According to Start Your Own Business published by Entrepreneur magazine, most new businesses will succeed when they do the right things. They reveal what it does take to succeed and keep growing.
The first three years are very crucial. So in their fifth edition, they expand to include advice and guidance on what it takes to grow and advance through the first three years. You can achieve financial success and security while working for yourself. Although the journey shouldn't be taken alone. Using Start Your Own Business along with another interacting entrepreneur will give you a good footing to build your business and grow.
You must be determined, patient, persistent, and willing to make sacrifices, then the rewards will eventually come.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on strengths, get help where you need it or improve on your weaker area. (Create a personal resume to get a clear picture of what you are best at. Review it like you would a job applicant and figure out from it where would be the best place to put you in your own company.)
As you define your market, practice nichecraft. Make a wish list, focus on a few top areas, describe the customers' world view, synthesize, evaluate, test and then go for it. Keep it fresh, be on a mission (say it in words). Do market research, use your associations, colleagues, people you know, and others who are in touch with your potential market.
Name your business, choose the right structure for you and legalize it. Get advice from attorneys, accountants early on. Funding can be from family, friends, investors, loans, Fed's special programs. The authors go on to cover negotiating, finding the best location if a location is needed, image building, mailing systems, insurances, hiring employees and policies... the rudiments of business details. When they discussion what to buy, technology uses, websites, staying connected... there are over 150 pages of ideas in the book. It's a wealth of detail vital to a business function.
Branding your company is about establishing your reason for being, creating value, simplifying and clarifying your message, fulfilling your promise. To build your branding strategy, set yourself apart, know your target customer, develop a personality. Keep your advertising brand focused, with a consistent look throughout your whole business and operation. Get rid of dead weight in your business and do the essentials... this will make you stronger.
As you create your marketing plan, create a snapshot of your current situation, describe your target audience, list marketing goals, develop a marketing communications strategy with tactics(the specifics actions, steps you will take) that you can use and can afford to do. Figure out a budget and cash flow plan.
When will you need your money, so what method of billing and getting the money from the customer will accommodate that. Where will you advertise... consider all media and avenues, methods to use (the book lists many to explore).
Reach out with email, personal emails are better, and offer good things they want. Give away free things. Make connections, have fun, add value, keep it simple. Provide a map so people can find you.
Engage with social media... like Facebook, Linked In, You Tube. Write articles about things you know so others can know it too. After you have a lot of articles, create and offer an e-book (using the articles as chapters in the book). Create "helping others" blog information, then link your blog to your Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, etc.
Network online, join groups online, connect with fan pages online, and don't forget to re-connect with past friends, high school and college classmates. Find people, professions, groups that are in touch with your market and ask them to help.
The authors then go into profits... how a business keeps score. Set up a bookkeeping system.
Many good software packages exist. Many sole proprietors use the cash method in accounting... that's recording revenues in and expenses paid out as they happen. Be a competent bookkeeper or use someone who is. Computerize, be consistent and be compatible. With a good computerized system, financial statements can be produced monthly, quickly, and easily.
Make sure everything you do is in compliance with the IRS. Record keeping is imperative. It is wise to have an accountant advise you on how to set up your accounting systems, assist in maintaining your financial records, and let you know the best financial methods for making the most money at the level of business you are.
Start Your Own Business provides examples of income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Also included are guidelines to figure out how to pay yourself.
The book has a great resource section including government and business resources available. A good place to start is the Entrepreneur magazine website. It's a very thorough, one-stop place to find a lot of practical, necessary business helps.
Anointed for Business by Ed Silvoso is a book that expresses the value of business owners being equipped as ministers in the marketplace. Everyone has a place to minister, serve others for bringing them into the Kingdom of God. Here's a few of his thoughts.
We need to see that many are anointed to serve in the marketplace. Both, the call to serve in the marketplace and the call to serve in the Church, are valid and interdependent since both involve ministers who partake of the same divine calling. People who are called to serve in the marketplace should be validated as full-fledged ministers because the last revival, the one predicted by Joel and quoted by Peter (Acts 2:17-21), will happen all over the city, not just inside a building. It will be an outpouring of the Spirit of God that will touch all flesh.
Today there are multitudes of believers in the marketplace holding strategic positions in business, education, and politics who need to know that they are called to play a vital part in the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth. Without their active participation and leadership, our cities will not be transformed and the Great Commission will not be fulfilled in our generation.
In the marketplace, church is open every day as Christians replicate the model first presented in Acts 2:42, “and they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
No one is better placed in the city than Christians who operate in the marketplace. God has already given them jurisdiction in businesses, schools, and government circles on account of their occupation. The promise that “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you” (Joshua. 1:3) applies to them also—and they tread all over the city on a daily basis!
Furthermore, the Lord is in their hearts, the Holy Spirit is imbuing their spirits, and the Word is embedded in their minds. All they need now is to realize that they are anointed to minister in the fullness of the Spirit to push back the spiritual darkness enveloping our cities. When marketplace Christians begin to move in this anointing the whole world will be able to hear the voice of God.
For a full summary of Anointed for Business by Ed Silvoso note this summary provided by the Indiana Christian Chamber...
(Also look into the Indiana Christian Chamber website. It is an excellent model for building a Christian business network in your area.)
Everyone who circulates in the marketplace is in a key place to be a servant for Jesus in building the Kingdom of God and seeing the Joel prophecy become an existing reality. As church groups and marketplace ministries equip and train their people for these efforts, we will see an expanding influence of God's Power in the marketplace and affecting all people.