alison griffiths articles
Alison's Money Rule
Great idea into a great business
Posted November 28, 2011
Originally Published June 1, 2010
Turn a great idea into a great business by taking care of business before you open your doors.
Summer is the season of possibilities. When everything is green and growing thoughts turn to nurturing that big, brilliant, business idea of yours. Here are some steps to take that will help you structure the process which can be a bit overwhelming.
1. ASSESS YOURSELF
Okay, you've got talent and a great concept. But are you
entrepreneur material? Ask yourself if you have these signs of the entrepreneurial
a. A need for achievement
b. The desire to influence others
c. A love of autonomy in the work environment
e. A strong work ethic
f. A high action drive
g. The strength to keep leaping tall buildings when taller ones keep popping up in
i. Ego and competitiveness. The best entrepreneurs have both in good measure.
2. MAKE A PLAN
A business plan doesn't just sketch out the idea but gets specific
about how will develop and over what time frame. Included should be marketing
strategies as well as thorough market research. There's no point in duplicating what already exists or in attempting an idea that has already failed.
3. BUILD YOUR PROFILE
This step involves coming up with a name, an on-line
identity, a support group (lawyer, accountant, business networks) and taking care of things like registering your business, getting a GSTHST business number and
deciding whether to incorporate or operate as a sole or joint proprietorship. In the process of taking care of these details you will also amass information and research about restrictions such as zoning or other obligations such as handicap parking and health regulations.
4. FINANCE IT
A dream often starts the entrepreneurial spirit cooking but money keeps it alive. You must know your cash flow needs to pay your bills but you also likely need a pot of cash to get things underway. This entails visits to banks and other lenders to determine if you qualify (new businesses will likely have to lean on personal or home equity lines of credit).
All of the above will take time so a helping hand is, well, helpful. Check out the
Business Development Bank of Canada, bda.ca, for a host of excellent tips and links.
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