Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Launch!

Just the other day, I received a short email from a friend who asked a very common question: what do I need to know if I am starting my own business? As the owner of a consultancy that specializes in advisory services to new businesses (among others), I tend to get this one a lot. In fact, most people, at one time or another, seem to mull over the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, but of course, the majority of them never pursue it. Even still, that never stops them all from asking the question. In fact, it is a question received so frequently that the Axiom Strategy Advisors, LLC, elected to develop a training workshop specifically for would-be entrepreneurs. It is called Launch!

To answer my friend’s question, as well as the same question from other readers of this blog, I decide to post material used in the workshop. I hope that this material, even in a deliberately abbreviated form, can be of some use to him and others...If not, then they should remember that the training workshop offers a more detailed and interactive study of these materials and more.

--gh

Launch: The AxSA Workshop for Start-ups & Aspiring Entrepreneurs (Part Two: Business Modeling)


Before a new business is ever launched, an entrepreneur must commit serious attention to the organization of that business and the planning for its near-term success. The entrepreneur must address questions about the legal structure, the work-flow processes, marketing, partnerships, employees, budgets, and so on. The entirety of this early process is what we call business modeling. And while every enterprise is unique, Axiom Strategy Advisors, LLC, believes that, for every entrepreneur, there are five common components in the business modeling process. Addressing each of these components in the prescribed phases will allow the entrepreneur to build a sturdy foundation for the new business.

Due Diligence & Market Research
--Formulate of the idea for the new business
--Research the idea
--Investigate your competition
--Create a name for the new business
--Protect your idea
--Determine & register an adequate business structure for the idea
--Develop relationships with professional-services providers (bankers, accountants, attorneys, consultants, etc.)
--Study your insurance needs and prepare to adequately indemnify the new business
--Select your location
--Apply necessary licenses, et al.

Budgeting & Business Planning
--Generate a comprehensive business plan
--Develop a pro forma detailing all expenditures and forecasting revenue
--Develop budgets for the new business
--Find funding sources
--Negotiate & sign partnership (or operating) agreements
--Receive funding and disseminate it properly into working accounts
--Prepare for taxes
--Acquire and/or lease the professional space for the new business
--Furnish the office
--Procure necessary equipment
--Design compelling signage

Hiring
--Develop an comprehensive organization that adheres to your budgetary constraints
--Develop job description for positions denoted in your organizational structure
--Begin the hiring process for your new business
--Set up employee payroll processing
--Identify and outsource work to sourcing partners where it is deemed necessary
--Investigate employee benefits packages
--Constantly motivate your team
--Fire quickly

Execution of the Marketing Strategy
--Brand your business and its products
--Revisit your marketing plan and the budget for its execution
--Develop a marketing mix
--Build your marketing network
--Create buzz
--Create an online presence
--Formulate compelling and memorable advertising (gain mindshare)
--Deploy a highly professional, customer-service initiative
--Analyze the early sales of the business to determine the effectiveness of the marketing campaign
--Capture as much customer data as possible

Sustainability
--Commit to quality control
--Establish a measurable loss-prevention program
--Keep payable current & maintain a solid credit score
--Control growth and the burn rate on capital resources
--Plan for emergency contingencies and disasters
--Improve the infrastructure of the business
--Expand
--Seek out additional cash infusions and/or venture capital
--Avoid burn-out; learn to delegate responsibilities to senior personnel
--“Live it” and remember to pay yourself

1 comment:

John said...

Thanks, bro. Now I have more questions but I think I know how to start.

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