The Business of Being in Business Today

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If you are reading this, chances are you’re considering entrepreneurship.

The concept of becoming a businessperson is both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. Where to begin can be quite intimidating.

Because of these obstacles, this “Business of Business” segment of my blog will come to you  in small doses, so as not to overwhelm and squash your enthusiasm.  It will focus on the “business” side of developing your entrepreneurship along with the structural side of starting any general business.

the business of business

It will be brought to you in a series of blogs that will feature “tidbits” of useful information and suggestions. Feedback is appreciated and encouraged.

The concept of becoming a businessperson is both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. Where to begin can be quite intimidating. #biztips Click To Tweet

Part 1

What is a Business?

A Business is the activity of making money by producing or buying and selling a  product or service. Simply put, it is “any activity or enterprise entered into for profit”. A business does not constitute the automatic assumption that it is a company or a corporation.

If the activity does not make a profit (and is not a not-for-profit or non-profit) then, for legal and tax purposes, it is considered a hobby. 

Business vs. Hobby?

The foremost thought in your mind is to determine whether you can make a profit from your venture or will it become your “hobby”?

Whether your business will be large or small, the “startup” process is still the same.  Therefore, there is a host of questions that need answers before you can move forward.

What do you hope to gain from this endeavor? Are you willing to dedicate yourself and your time to making this idea worthwhile and profitable? Or are you looking at this venture as a sideline investment?

Once you formulate your plan, you need to evaluate it. Will it  become financially successful? Or are you doing this for self gratification or simply, the “love of adventure”.  That’s sort of like a hobby. 

Next, let’s assume you’re like most people.  You dream about having a little of both.  You want to be profitable by doing what you love.

Regardless of whether your idea is related to a product or a service, the concept of any business is virtually the same.  The benefits, problems, pitfalls and “headaches”apply equally to any size or type of business. 

The only difference is that there may be more dollar signs at the end of the year. But Business is Business no matter what the size.  It could be a small “mom and pop” operation or a multi-million-dollar corporation.

Finally, the bottom line is, “A profit is a profit, no matter how small. If you make a profit, then it’s a Business.”

So, you’ve decided, you want to start a profitable business, now what?

Finally, the bottom line is, “A profit is a profit, no matter how small. If you make a profit, then it’s a Business.” #business Click To Tweet

Evaluate Your Business Idea

You need to confirm, in your mind, if there is a need and a market for your endeavor. 

The best way to do that is to evaluate your product, your market and your competition.

A visual analysis of your business plan will awaken you to the reality of your endeavor.

Consider reverting to those yesteryears when the writing implement of choice was a pen 🖊 and paper 📝.  While this idea can be out of your comfort zone, writing your thoughts down on paper and seeing them in black and white can give your thoughts and ideas new dimension and a new perspective.

Identify Your Target Audience

First, begin the process of defining your target audience and doing a market analysis of your product or service.  Put, on paper, the answers to these key profitability questions.

Is there a need for your business?  Who is your ideal customer? Who can benefit from your product or service? Are there other companies offering the same thing as you? Can you make money by providing this service or selling this product?

If you have difficulty answering these questions, look to your friends and family.  Interview them as one of your potential clients.  Get their feedback. Conduct a focus group.  Look for the answers around you.  Search the internet. Then, go with your gut.

What Makes Your Business Different?

What will make your company successful? Do you know what will set you apart from others in your line of business? Why should a customer choose you over another company in your field?

In trying to find answers to these and other questions, you may want to consider identifying your Unique Selling Position – USP.

A unique selling position is a statement that outlines how your business, product, or service is different from that of your competition. It identifies what makes your business the better choice, and why your target clients should choose you over the competition. It’s also an important part in creating “your unique brand” of business.

When creating your USP, be sure to include a vivid description of what your product is or what services you provide.  List the things that your business does very well. And, most importantly, what are your customer-focused business goals?

In trying to find answers to these and other questions, you may want to consider identifying your Unique Selling Position – USP. #biztips Click To Tweet

Research the Competition

Knowledge is power.  Know your Competition! Who else is out there competing for your dollars?

It’s imperative that you do your due diligence with competitive market analysis before venturing into any new business. 

Today, this process is right at your fingertips.  Gone are the days of tedious research and long hours at the library.  Most of your research will be comprised of information found on the internet. Regardless of the source of your analytical information, try following the SWOT method. 

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps an owner identify his/her strengths and weaknesses.  It’s a valuable tool to use as a starting point when dissecting a plethora of information.  It will also help you in creating a strategic marketing plan.

Start by listing your…. SWOT.

Strengths | Weaknesses | Opportunities | Threats

Strengths: The attributes that will HELP your business. What are your unique skills? Do you have experience with your product or service? What do you do best?

Weaknesses: These are the attributes that could HURT your business. What areas do you need improvement? Do you lack resources? What part of your business is not profitable? Do you know what costs you time and money? Lastly, what resources do you lack?

Opportunities: External conditions that will HELP your venture. What are your business goals? How can you do more with your existing customers or clients? Can you use technology to enhance your business?

Threats: The external conditions that could HURT your company. What obstacles do you face? Do you know the strengths of your biggest competitors? What are your competitors doing that you’re not? What’s going on in the economy? Are there related products and services that provide an opportunity for your venture?

This Part 1 of the Business of Business segment only poses some of the many questions entrepreneurs face when forming a new venture.

There are always more questions to ponder as you focus on the road ahead. 

Please drop a comment and let us know what you need to know about starting your business today!

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Lisa Sicard has been running Inspire To Thrive for over 9 years. She helps companies manage their social media as well as providing training and consultations. She has over 25 years of digital marketing experience and helped many small businesses grow.

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