People that know me well would describe me as an entrepreneur. Since the age of 17, I think about start up business ideas continuously. I have tried several start up business ideas so far; some with success, others with failure and even more with mas o menos results ;-). In the end, I have learned a lot of things about start up business plans. In fact, if you don’t have a plan for your start up, you won’t have much success with it. This is why I am writing this series of 5 articles about Start Up Business Plans. These are 5 articles that will require action from you if you want to generate your own sideline income. In order to be effective and have the time to generate something that is worthwhile, I suggest you take 1 article per day and use them to build your start up business plan. So here we go with day #1:
Start up Business Plan Day #1: Define Your Mission
This sounds pretty basic. I’ll go even further; we hear about the company mission so often to the point where nobody really cares about it. Most employees see their employer’s mission as another quote to plug in annual meetings to cheer them up. The thing is; your mission is way more important than a cool quote and you can’t consider yourself as just an employee anymore.
What is the mission of your Start up?
In other words; what do you want to achieve?
How are you going to achieve it?
Why should you be the one doing it?
Why is it so important? (Does it solve a problem, comfort a fear or is it born from your passion?)
How are you going to make money from it?
Is there a market for it? (is it an important mission?)
All these questions will define what your start up business will become. This is by far the most important step of your start up business plan. Without a mission, without a clear vision of what you want to do, your start up business plan will be nothing but words in a business plan template. And your start up will be nothing but a good idea that has not been developed.
The problem with the mission
Most people have a good start up business idea before they think about their mission and business plan. The problem is that most people leave their idea as is. They leave the rock and forget to polish it; to cut the rock to transform it into a beautiful diamond. This is why most start up fails: the business plan was based on a rough and unpolished idea instead of being built on a solid and powerful mission.
I know all of this because I had made the very same mistake; I started my business without a clear mission. At first, I was just writing financial articles on my blog for fun and I was waiting to see where I was going with it. This is why my blog was a non generating money hobby for about 2 years before becoming a 6 figure revenue business in 2010. When I clearly defined what I wanted to do and how I was going to do it back in 2008, the whole game plan changed. I had achieved my start up business plan Day #1, I wrote down my mission.
A trick to make sure your mission is complete
Discuss your business mission with a friend or with family. Tell them about your project, describe it. If you can do it within 15 minutes, you know that you have a clear and concise mission. If you can’t do it and your mate has several questions, don’t argue with them, write down all their questions and go back to the drawing board to work on your mission.
Most people will challenge you on your ideas, don’t get discouraged. Use their questions and their defeat for not having the courage you have to motivate you; to polish your mission. Here again, don’t argue, just jot down their observations and their questions and answer them in a better, improved start up business mission. This should be enough to take you an entire day ;-).
Upcoming; start up business plan Day #2; Be SMART