New Business? Develop a Powerful Business Idea

Are you deciding on a new business? You’re all super charged and ready to begin your business. But do you have the drive, desire and commitment to make it work? Well, you got to have that if you have a REAL business that you want to pursue and if you want longevity. But wait… could there be one thing missing? Yeah, that’s right you lack a powerful business idea.

Never fear, you are not alone there are many successful, experienced business owners who may have difficulty deciding on their next move. Well today there are 6, count ’em 6, 6 steps that you can take to develop a powerful business idea.

1. It’s All About Your Attitude
When you are developing a new business or adding another business, it’s all about your attitude. A positive, optimistic attitude and forecast is the foundation for success. The foundation that you set is the ground work that sets the direction for your idea. Know and understand that research, education, asking questions, plain old creative brainstorming is necessary and worth the effort to achieve your goals.

You must be willing to learn and educate yourself on business and the type of business industry that you want to go in. YOU MUST EDUCATE YOURSELF; I CAN NEVER SAY IT ENOUGH. Just because you are out of school, the learning never stops because the business world changes all the time. Something in the business world could be changing now as you read this. You have to stay on top of the knowledge of what’s going on in business. If you don’t, you’ll fall behind. If you can afford to experiment, then do it. Always use mistakes or failures as learning opportunities.

2. Switch Places
Think about it and put yourself in the place of your customer. If you are the customer, what types of products or services fit best with your business model, what aspects of the product or service you like and dislike and what elements might add value.

3. Get A Sounding Board
Seek out someone with whom you can get some feedback from, good or bad. You can use your family and friends, those are good choices but their experience and emotions may cloud their objectivity. So choose carefully. In addition to family and friends, you should seek out expert advice from a person who will ask the right questions, tell you the upfront truth and not feel guilty about offering criticism.

Many current and budding entrepreneurs have business partners & consultants that are Virtual Assistants. With whom they use their services & utilize as sounding boards that help to offer advice, guide their thinking and alert them to hidden considerations or risks.

4. Research, Education, Research, Education!!
I tend to talk a lot about education because it is a passion of mine, it is very critical to your personal & professional growth. You don’t have to go to college to research, read, study, inform & educate yourself.

So with that said, you must research and educate yourself to be successful in the goals that you are trying to achieve. Get up, get going and learn EVERYTHING that you possibly can about business and the type business that you are going into. Through your research & education, you’ll uncover and discover. The more that you uncover; you’ll discover it will be easier for you to spot a need or trend that your business can fill.

Many times investigating one idea can lead you to another one and another one and another one etc… Then you’ll find that those ideas will lead you to more ideas that may be more promising or easier to implement.

5. Be A Daredevil
In some businesses there is plenty of risk involved and sometimes you have to take some risks. Many, many years ago, in the early days of the airplane, daredevil men and women would perform acrobatic feats on the wings of airplanes while soaring above their amazed spectators. They had a simple rule for survival that’s just as applicable to today’s entrepreneurs: don’t grab for something unless you already have a firm hold on something else.

In other words, conduct your small business exploration and development around your current career skills or responsibilities. Do not be in a rush to make hasty decisions or investments, take some time to think things through. Write down your ideas, keep a journal. That way your mind stays clear, stress-free to think things through and make the right decision.

6. Put Your Research Into A Plan & Your Plan Into Action
Once you have done your research, take what you have and put it on paper. Once you put it on paper (such as a business plan or just write it out) that will help you to see the direction that you want to take your business idea. It will help you to write out milestones, the steps that you need to take to reach your goals. When you incorporate your research and ideas into a business plan, it’s a good exercise that helps you to assess possibilities, contingencies, opportunities and limitations of any business idea, whether you decide to follow through or not.

Grow Your Memoir Business – Develop, Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Products

If you wish to up-sell and cross-sell to your repeat-customers (and you should since these are profit centers for any company), here is a marketing strategy to follow:

1. Develop writing or memoir products that can be up-sold or cross-sold. Start by looking at your current products and them add to them. And intro workshop needs to be followed by an intermediate one and then by an advanced one. If you are co-authoring, an example of up-selling might be to bundle two memoir projects for less than the cost of two separate projects. Up-selling might also include doing the book production. Cross-selling might include a workshop or coaching on how the clients might do the work themselves.

Most customers are unlikely to buy the same product again. If you want repeat customers, you must develop a line of distinctly progressing products (books, workshops, services) they can buy. If you have no additional products for the progressive mastery of writing, you have no up-buying or cross-buying opportunities. Some one who has taken the Intro workshop will not enroll in it again. They will however up-buy to the Intermediate workshop or cross-buy coaching. A client who bought a product listed above is likely to up-buy or cross-buy the following one.

2. In the next year or two, set a schedule for yourself for developing products. Always opt for the one net in the line of mastery. Do not develop an advanced workshop before you have an intermediate one. Then promote these offerings in your brochure, on your website, in your presentations–everywhere.

3. Distinguish between your products (clearly place them in a sequence of mastery) and let your marketing tell your clients repeatedly and consistently why up-buying or cross-buying is to their advantage.

When your company has a large number of sequenced and complementary products, you will have many repeat customers over the years. Your buying analyses will show customers reappearing everywhere. That is great! If you offer quality products and make your customers aware of them, of course, people will want to up- and cross-buy.

Good luck in growing our writing-based and memoir company.

New Entrepreneurs – Overcome Information Overwhelm in Start-Up Business Development

After 30 years of being an employee who worked for attorneys as a legal secretary/assistant, the firm decided they needed fewer employees. That gave me the “opportunity” to go home to my computer, with all the current technology and online resources for learning, and start my own business as a virtual assistant. My initial vision was that all I had to do is set up shop online and in extra bedroom, get jobs, and start collecting checks. Sounds very logical, common-sense and practical — not!

The way an employee “works for a living” is completely different than being an entrepreneur “creating value” and getting paid for it. As stressful as a job may become as the employee is given assignments to complete in a certain time frame, that’s nothing to compare with the “dis-ease” called information overload that is waiting for the start-up Internet entrepreneur. Here are some examples of the painful symptoms:

  1. tasks that appear to be “must-do” activities are overwhelming in quantity and complexity;
  2. the need to take another online class or buy another “how to” digital program seems essential;
  3. the fact becomes clear that I don’t know how to identify and schedule short-term/long-term projects;
  4. my attention is constantly diverted by tasks that seemed A-1 in importance, but now appear as decoys;
  5. my feelings of being duped are mounting in inverse proportion to being drained of time and money resources;
  6. as I watch time and money flow out the door, in comes insecurity and lots of low self-worth;
  7. I never seem to have enough time, never finished, and that means 24/7 – is this a business or an addiction?

Why is it so much harder to produce results from the freedom of my own home? Why all this pain and paralysis, digging holes that never dig deep enough to strike pay-dirt? I knew the answer had to do with a difference in mindset between the employee and entrepreneur, so I decided to explore it with this article.

The Good News – The Problem is Solved by Tweaking The Mindset

It was easy to analyze – what I did as an employee was essentially a three-step process consisting of:

  • Receiving an assignment (a task to do) from a employer (boss) which included a deadline for completion;
  • Completion of the project (within or outside of deadline) by whatever means it took (nobody went home until it was done or rescheduled);
  • Payment made on a time or task basis (putting in the time or finishing the task essentially guaranteed getting paid). There was some performance review, but basically, if you showed up and did the work, and the company had money in the budget to pay employees, you had a job.

What is means is that an employee really is a cog in the wheel of production, not determining the very beginning (a call for the product or service) or the very end (marketing or collecting by way of invoice/charges). Compare this with the mindset of an entrepreneur who must do these activities:

  • rule owner’s enterprise by taking leadership role(s), control decision-making and, ultimately, is responsible for the outcome in terms of satisfied customers and payment;
  • takes risks, experiments with various methods and systems of production, marketing, collecting money, keeps track of outcomes (like a science project), keeps records (notes, journals, spreadsheets) in order to maintain an accurate history of actions taken, to be able to learn from both successes and mistakes. And, yes, to be able to make mistakes as the best/fastest way to learn sometimes, and since you are the boss, you cannot be fired for your mistakes — you can only quit!
  • learn to plan for and rationally expect a return on your investment (ROI), and look for ways to increase income flow (getting compensated for time and money invested in business), the whole purpose of which is to provide value to others. And, logically, as you provide actual value to others, you will get paid, but it may not be predictable as to exactly when and how much. Also, look for payment in terms of knowledge and connections, not just money.

The Bad News – The Problem is Better Solved by Combining The Mindset(s)

In the Old Days, the days before the economy actually demanded we create a business online as soon as possible, in those old days, we’d do a self-evaluation (whether on-the-job or as a potential entrepreneur) to determine whether we have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, or if we should shape up even more, and be the exemplary employee with an annual raise. Now, I suggest that the bad news is that there is no longer a choice — it’s essential to be both an employee and an entrepreneur, both at the same time.

What I’m suggesting is that we need to create a new mindset that incorporates the best aspects of the employee mindset (which is to ‘just get it done, no matter what, because that’s what I’m hired to do), and the entrepreneurial attitude that wonders “what will happen if I do it this new way, in answer to what appears to be a need to create value for our society?”

We become both roles, the boss and the employee; we’re here to “just do it” and get the product or services out the door and delivered. We need to judge only our own self, but not spend too long lingering over the hard lessons called “mistakes” or gloating over a success that really is temporary anyway. We need to think about the customer/client as our employer and allow these people to dictate what we need to do, how to value it, and how to give them more than what they bargained for.

Yes, I believe we need to stop thinking about our expectation of a paycheck and think more about the quality of the results we are producing.

Once we combine both mindsets and step into the dual roles of employee/entrepreneur, we’ll be living in a healthy and practical world of expectations where hard work pays off as long as we produce results and not get bogged down by excess information, self-analysis and procrastination — inaction.

And this productive behavior will keep us busy, solving problems, moving forward to test our theories in action. And certainly we’ll have no time for information overload, any more than Alice in Wonderland had when she faced the Queen yelling “off with her head”! Alice simply faced the noise and commotion and said rightly: “You’re nothing but a pack of cards.”

Surefire Tips For Your Online Business Development

Whether you’re putting together an offline or online business, certain things stay the same. You can almost always count on going through “growing pains” as you expand your business enterprise. Most of us can easily remember the steps that a child takes through their early years and into adulthood, and we can draw from this example a very good analogy with the business world. Numerous fundamentals have to be addressed and attention given to each stage of growth before advancement to the next level can occur.

If you’ve got an extraordinary idea for a new business endeavour, don’t even think about rushing into anything before you have a definite plan in mind. If you were building a house, you wouldn’t start without a solid foundation, and the same holds true here.

No amount of experience in the world of business will allow you to take shortcuts with any new project. You should always lean on your marketing and customer relations experience if possible, but remember to take a fresh approach to each new enterprise, and you’ll be pleased you did.

The process of creating your unique angle, also known as a USP, requires you to determine the makeup of your typical client and what sets your service or product offering apart. Preparation is everything at this stage, and you shouldn’t even think about website development just yet. If you don’t thoroughly analyse your operation and break it down accordingly, you’re likely to run into confusion and uncertainty down the road.

A well-planned business enterprise is a good base from which to launch from, and it should help you to ensure that your delivery is consistent and goes beyond what the customer should realistically expect. This will give you the ability to gather exceptional testimonials and referral work right from beginning. It’s good to know that your “baby” is up-and-running, but be sure to continue to provide outstanding high levels of customer service even as you focus on growth.

As you begin to acquire momentum, stay focused and become the very best at what you do before you even think about investigating new directions. Don’t cut yourself too thinly and be tempted to take on too much, as your core business will likely suffer.

Some business owners attempt to micro-manage every element of their operation, and are afraid to delegate. As your business grows, there will come a time when you have to delegate, and as such, there are certain parts of your operation you’ll need to entrust to the care of an expert virtual assistant, and in this instance – just like any other, your choice of qualified team-mates is of the utmost importance.

You’ll know that you have a business based on solid ground if you have loyal customers, a good reputation, a productive referral and marketing system, and built-in safety nets. When your strengths generally overcome your weaknesses and you see more opportunities than threats in the market, then your successful business is destined for stardom!