The 3 necessary keys to unlocking your business’s potential.
Who wouldn’t want to be the captain of one’s own ship and the master of one’s destiny? If you are an aspiring business owner, you are most likely driven, at least in part, by the vision of charting your own course.
While you should enjoy the opportunity to be as creative and innovative as you see fit – there are at least three different keys that you need to unlock your business’s potential and ensure a successful launch, according to a range of experts and entrepreneurs.
Inspiration, Energy and a Passion for Contributing Something Special.
Whether you are launching a beauty salon, spa, dog grooming service, or landscaping service, you need to have a passion and energy for the business you are about to launch.
All the greats have weighed in on this necessity. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos said, “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” Steve Jobs, the late Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple advised, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
You are going to be working long hours, investing your own and sometimes other people’s money, and let’s face it, nothing ever goes as planned. So enthusiasm and an eagerness to bring your product or service to the world is paramount in order to have the fortitude to succeed.
Research, Research, Research.
Just as important as the age-old rule to business success: location, location, location, is the necessity of thorough research. When you are considering launching a local business, it’s essential that you explore whether there is a need for your product or service, is any other business offering something similar and, if so, do you have a vision for offering something unique? What do you plan to bring to your local community that is special?
What you offer doesn’t have to be revolutionary. It can be something as simple and vital as offering top notch customer service and perhaps a more customer-friendly way of communicating with those you serve.
For example, if you are planning to launch a salon and there are four other salons in your community, make sure you have a plan for offering something that will make you stand out from the competition. Research the existing businesses in your community and the recent trends in the industry and this process will surely fuel your own enthusiasm, as well as, prove to be a wellspring of ideas.
Pay attention to the basics.
There's a third, very important, key to unlocking your business's potential: Going Back to the Basics.
The basics of setting up a business that are recommended by several experts, such as the United States Small Business Administration (SBS), include: writing a business plan, securing any additional training or licenses you may need to operate your business, choosing the best location you can afford while researching the zoning laws that may apply to your business.
In addition to those, you will need to:
- Ensure that you have adequate funds to launch your business – you may want to consider taking out a loan from the SBA or from someone who believes in your business idea.
- Determine the legal structure of your business – will it be a Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or an S-Corporation?
- Decide whether your business will be run as a for-profit or not-for-profit organization.
- Secure a tax identification number from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
- Register the name of your business with the state.
- Create a social media presence in the form of a website, Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and any other social media platform that relates to your business.
- If you're employing others in your business, learn about all of your responsibilities as an employer and take all of the legal steps required to comply with local, state and federal laws.
While the basics of starting and running your own business may seem a bit daunting, your passion for your product or service will be critical and will see you through your everyday challenges.
Of course, there are always going to be periods of second-guessing yourself. That’s to be expected. Just remember to take a deep breath and move on. And from time to time, consider the advice of those who traveled before you.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO said, “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”
Of course the father of the most famous mouse in the world and the creator of many imaginative worlds, Walt Disney, offered some very practical and down to earth advice, “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”
About the Author
Ms. Schiavi is a multimedia communicator with more than four decades of experience. She has served as a small business owner, as well as developed content for a wide range of businesses including many Fortune 500 companies. She served as writer, associate producer, host and narrator of the Emmy Award winning Matter & Beyond television program and currently writes and produces video presentations for a roster of clients that include: Gannett Publications, New Jersey Monthly Magazine, and Sanofi.More Content by MaryLynn Schiavi