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    11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 4, 2010 11:41 PM by Arev01

    lost in the big world of business

    Amelian24b Newbie

      I am starting my own business but I feel like I am going in circles and doing things in the wrong order. I really dont know anything about owning or starting my own business. I've had searched the web and it feels like exactly that. A web that I am tangled in. I have been to SCORE and SBA and it has been very helpful in assisting me with outlining a business plan and trying to link up with a mentor but i still feel lost. I really dont know what my first steps are and I keep finding myself at the final step. I have a rough draft of a business plan but finalizing it has been a bit of a struggle. I try to research my market online and continuosly find myself needing to spend more money to research or get any type of information. I really need to know what is my first step so I can map everything out. Im totally lost and a confused but far from quitting.
        • Re: lost in the big world of business
          Lighthouse24 Ranger

          A few suggestions . . .

          1. Get a crystal clear vision in your mind of what the successful business you are imagining will look like three years from now. Write out a description of what you are envisioning, in as much detail as possible.

          2. Look at each element of your business vision, and map out the steps you need to take to get from where you are now to where you want to be in three years. For example, does the business you envisioned have a building or facility? If so, what are the steps you'll have to take to get it? Try to create a checklist of things to do. (Does the business have products to sell? If so, where did they come from - what steps did you take to find vendors or suppliers? Make a checklist. Are there customers buying those products? If so, how did they hear about the business - was there a marketing or advertising campaign? Make a checklist.) As you can imagine, there are literally hundreds of things to consider like that, so you just take them one at a time and think them through -- making a checklist for each of all the things that have to get done. (A good SCORE counselor can help you identify those steps.)

          3. For each of those elements you considered, ask yourself which thing on each checklist you need to do first. Then ask yourself if you have the knowledge, skills, experience, strengths, assets, contacts, and/or resources you need to do that thing right now. If you do, then do it, mark it off the list, and move on to the next thing. If you don't have what you need to do it right now, then your first "to do" item will be to learn or find or meet or acquire the something or someone you need in order to take that step -- so you'll pursue finding that knowledge or person or resource.

          4. Keep at it until you have what you need, all the tasks on all the checklists are complete, and your vision is realized. It starts slow. Very slow. But anything you learn or acquire, and anyone you meet, will help you later -- so the momentum really picks up once you get going. Just make a promise to youself that you will do things every single day that move you closer to your vision. Lots of people want to have their own businesses, but not nearly as many are willing to work every day at closing the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. If you are, you will.

          Good luck!
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: lost in the big world of business
              Pozzum Wayfarer
              Excellent advice lighthouse. I had a terrible time trying to organise myself as to direction and goals. I knew what I wanted but just could seem to get it down on paper.

              Im in New Zealand, but I fornd this tool that may help you. It's not something you can print off and put onto your own plan, but it helped me see the light - then the rest just flowed.

              It's just an exercise, but it did make me aim in the right direction.
              Click on the link.



              You will find as you go through it, there are more link things. It takes you to a page where you can make a business plan off what you have learnt - not a copy jobby - you have to write a whole new plan. Its a great idea actually.

              I suggest you use MS office to work on it. I did it at the start opening it on a poxy little program i had and it nearly drove me nuts!

              Then there are links so you can make a profit/loss and break even statement.

              Its really cool. In fact, with the business that myself and 3 partners are developing, because I did this exercise, Im the only one that knows exactly what strategy, what is required and where we have to be careful.

              Do it! You wont be disappointed. The NZ government sponcerd it to help us Kiwis.
            • Re: lost in the big world of business
              SME_ally Adventurer
              Hello Amelian24b,

              Your frustrations are shared by many who want to start their own business. But that's the beauty of starting a business, you get free education in business admin. :)

              First things first, don't let your confusion and frustrations get you worked up. By your business plan, I am assuming you have already decided to dive into this business. If so, your first step is to finalize your business plan as it will act as a guide in setting up your company. The net is a great source to get secondary information for free. I am not sure what you are trying to research but if you let us know maybe someone in the community can provide some free sources. But if you have to pay then you have to pay. It's worth paying for info you can't get elsewhere to help your business.

              Your second step is to work out your initial investment and how you can fund this (savings, contributions from friends, family, relatives, banks, etc).

              Once you've got all your ducks in a row, it's time to execute. This stage is where you incorporate your business, get credit lines (if necessary), merchant account, find a shop, market your business, buy equipment, etc.

              I'm sorry this is a bit general. But it's difficult to provide specifics because I do not know what business you're trying to set up.

              In summary, just take one step at a time and try not to think about the other steps. If you get stuck with your business plan, ask the community. There are many here who genuinely want to help and provide great advice. Lighthouse is one among many who gives great feedback/advice.

              Keep us informed of your progress. I wish you the best of luck!
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: lost in the big world of business
                rbbrown.scent Wayfarer
                Hi Amelian-
                I have also recently started my own company. Thankfully I have a BA in Business and a few years experience with a large corporation but non the less still feel a little lost. On a recent forum that I posted a man wrote back to me with a great FREE! website. I found it to be helpful in writing a business plan, goals, etc. is the website. I hope it helps you as well.