No matter what type of business you’re building, there are certain questions you have to answer. Responding to these questions can help bring about tremendous clarity in your business. There are many things to ask, but I’ve distilled all of these down to four simple questions, and here they are.
The quick answer is yes; you most definitely need a plan. Many people have asked, “Do I need a business plan?” That level of detail and granularity is appreciated but not in the beginning. You need to make sure that certain things make sense before getting to that level of detail. However, you do need to answer preliminary questions:
These are some simple questions you can ask yourself, and as you answer those questions, you’ll start to see that you’re developing your core plan for your business.
In another lesson, I talked about what business problem are you solving, and when you start to define the problem, you’re solving it helps shape and formulate the plan for your business. Everyone needs a plan. Otherwise, you’ll just get into the habit of confusing activity for accomplishment.
I’m guilty of operating without a plan, and if you do the same, you never know where you are. You have no barometer of if you’re getting closer to your goals. You have an ever-changing plan that makes you feel like you’re not doing work that matters.
Take the time to write out a plan in the beginning. That plan can change. Different factors can affect your business, but at the onset, you do need a plan for your business, and it needs to be written down.
This question deals with your passion and your purpose. Honestly, if you’re doing something you don’t enjoy, and have no passion for it, over time, your excitement and work ethic will decline. For example, I know many people who have started lawn care businesses, though I have the ability to cut a lawn and garden if I went down that path I wouldn’t be passionate about it, and over time I’d start to ask myself, “Why am I doing this?”
One of the things that I’m passionate about is taking an idea and making it a reality. It just so happens that with web design a lot of this comes into play. People have ideas of what they want to do, but I’m able to help shape that idea and make it a reality. For me, I know that I enjoy web design because it aligns with one of my passions: helping people meet their goals. Not only that but helping bring their ideas to reality.
The same question applies to everyone out there: Do you enjoy the work?
There’s many things you can build a business around, but it would be best and easier to build around something you’re passionate about. Even if the business you’re building is not directly related to your passion, you may want to ask yourself “How does it play a role in reaching your passion?” Maybe the business you’re building is a part of a larger plan.
The third question is, what I would say is the most important question.
The first key in any business is validating payment. Yes, business is about solving problems, but the other half of it is once you solve that problem, did somebody value your solution enough to give you money?
Earlier I brought up the idea of a business plan, and many people ask me if that’s something that they should do. Business plans are helpful, but it’s not the first thing you should do. You can plan all you want, but if you can’t get somebody to pay you first, you have nothing to build the business around.