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Planning a new venture is a difficult and confusing process. No single article or even book can address all the things that need to be done, as so many will be specific to that venture and the order can vary greatly depending on many factors. However, here we are trying to outline some of the key steps to help you formulate a business plan and vision, so you can outline a timeline that might work by revealing many of the key steps that are not well thought through by many new entrepreneurs. The time frame for the first ten steps can be a few months or even a full year, but as much should be done as possible before a large burn rate is incurred that might greatly limit your time to learn and develop the business plan. Using virtual teams of advisors, not on the payroll, but available for consultation is often a great way to keep expenses down, while not compromising on quality or experience needed to develop you plan.
Typically an entrepreneur will start with a product idea and that portion of the vision that is made up by that "core technology", problem or idea. The problem is that this is really only about 2% to 5% of starting a company, the other 95+% is much harder and will require many diverse skills. Most people start with this core idea or market need and that is not a bad place to start, as it indicates the POSSIBILITY of a market if everyone, or at least lots of people think like you, and are willing to pay enough for your solution compared to alternatives.
First I recommend lots and lots of up front market research and then creating a draft brochure of what the company might look like to a consumer of the product or service. This does not mean elaborate and expense quantitative studies, it is WAY too early for that, but real world data gathering and interviews that get people's reaction to your business proposal. This will allow some surveying of your mother-in-law and others informally to sharpen and focus your idea on a market and improve your presentation before showing it to anyone "professional". Smoothing out some kinks and identifying the key questions and objections is critical. Then, after some validation by real buyers, at a particular price point, you can begin to pull together a real development and business plan for launching your company.
A good starting point is to read the short chapter on The Marketing and Communications Pyramid". You can start at the top and work down. Obviously there are many ways to go about this task, and I know several that can be combined in the process to validate the value of a business concept and begin to get a handle on the risks, costs and opportunity. One very experienced person can sometimes do this, but typically you will need to draw on the experience of several people with backgrounds in marketing, sales, finance, product development and operations.
For a 22 step checklist and
inish this article click here
Other Articles For Any Company:
Modes Of Management
A Simple Framework For Employee Development
The Messaging Communications Pyramid
Bob Norton is CEO of C-Level Enterprises, which provides expertise on rapid growth, mentoring, and coaching via Seminars, 1:1 Consulting and ebooks coming in March. He has been a full-time CEO since 1989 and now works with companies to develop and enhance visions, maximize performance, and design businesses for strategic advantage. He can be reached at Bob@CLevelEnterprises.com.
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Articles On Running Early-Stage Companies:
Top 10 Rules For Startup Success
The Perfect Startup Model - A Metaphor for Success
Startup Versus Big Company - A Comparison of Operations Modes
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