With several decades of experience spearheading innovation in the Philippine business industry, I have been frequently asked about the specific steps to start a business. Looking back at those long years of coaching industry leaders, I believe there really are cut-out steps that one must follow to build a business. While anyone can think of a business idea and pool enough resources to start operations, the operational word we need to focus on is “success”. Allow me to go through three of the twelve steps in starting your business.
Step 1. Know yourself
Before you could build your business, you need to evaluate a number of things about yourself. Yes, you need to understand yourself better because you will be the one who will manage the business and make it grow. When we say “know yourself”, we mean to “understand who you really are and what you are capable of”. This includes knowing where your passion lies, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what can you do, and what you love to do. In fact, it is a lot like applying for a job. When you seek employment, you ought to ask yourself what type of work you want to do and what you can do according to your skills and knowledge.
In Eric Ries’ book titled The Lean Startup (which is something I recommend to everyone who wants to start a business), there are three personalities in creating a business. These are the hacker (or someone who knows what to do), the hustler (or someone who knows how to sell), and the designer (or someone who knows how everything actually fits together). Aspiring entrepreneurs need to assess what personality fits them. From there, they need to focus on this certain personality and look for other people who are able to perform the other roles.
Step 2. Know your people
A business is not just about a single individual. A business is built, managed, and taken care of by a team of people with the same vision. Every person in a business organization is significant to the success of a business. Hence, you need to know who these people are (especially your core team, perhaps the management team or the founding team) – not just their names and job descriptions, but what they can do, what motivates them, what they aspire to do and achieve, and what they can improve on. This way, you become more knowledgeable of what your team is capable of, and therefore it becomes easier to evaluate how deep you can expect your business to dive.
Step 3. Know your customer
One of the most common errors of new entrepreneurs is disregarding the profile of the customers. They thought that if they have an idea and they have the capital, their businesses would eventually be up and running. In contrast, a business plan will not be realized when there are no customers. As early as the planning stage, it is essential to understand that the success of a business lies in the sales from the customers. Hence, you should first create your customers’ profiles, including their motivation, their personality, their buying behavior, and their demographics. When you have all this information at hand, you’ll be able to come up with more effective strategies on how to entice these customers to purchase from your business.
Watch this video as I talk about these three steps. Stay tuned for more video articles about this topic.
This is Joey Gurango, your Business Technology Coach!