10 Things You Should Know Before You Launch

Know your objectives:

There is no shortage of good ideas out there it’s successfully implementing them that separates the wheat from the chaff. Every good strategy addresses the five P’s plus: product, positioning, pricing, promotion, and placement—and the plus is for customer service.

Product-Your product can be a physical item, a service, or an idea.

Positioning-How do customers view your product or service in the marketplace? How is your product or service different from the competition?

Pricing-What will you charge customers for your products and services? If you plan to charge more than the competition, what additional selling points or features will you add to make it worth choosing your product/service over the competition?

Promotion-How will you promote your business and create awareness in the marketplace?

Placement-Where do you intend to distribute your goods or service? Is location important to the success of the business? Does your location need to convey a certain image, such as a gallery space or a high-end home furnishings store?

Plus-Good customer service anticipates the customer’s needs and provides a product that delivers the benefits it promised. Consider what services you will offer after the sale has been made. Some examples include delivery, warranty, customer support, follow-up and flexible refund policies.

Know where your money is coming from and where it’s going:

These are the most basic of basic financial forms and they promise to inform you of your bright future. See what’s possible both immediately and in due time. These simple forms will guide your steady growth and promise staying power.

A Sales Forecast worksheet will enable you to see monthly sales. Once you set your monthly projections and get a sense of your growth rate, you will be able to forecast for a year or three!

A Start Up Budget allows you to see how much it’s going to cost to make this dream business of yours a reality.

An Operating Budget is often an extension of your startup budget because a good deal of your startup costs will be repeated on a monthly or quarterly basis.

A Personal Budget allows you to gauge when you can commit full or part time to your endeavor. It also reflects the amount of personal finances you may be able, or unable, to invest.

Know thyself #2:

In the end it comes back to doing what you love and loving what you do. “Do what you love and the money will follow,” we couldn’t agree more. For one, you’ll have staying power because you’re passionate and you will be less likely to bolt at the first sign of a problem. Additionally, doing something that you truly are committed to will motivate you to find creative and, when needed, alternative ways to achieve the dream—your dream.

Nada Jones and Michelle Briody are the authors of 16 Weeks to Your Dream Business: A Weekly Planner for Entrepreneurial Women.

Ladies Who Launch is asking you … what do you think of Tanya’s advice? Let everyone know in the Comments section below!

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