Andrew Harmon



10 Steps to Kick Start Your Business
Leslie Shields, President
Chevannes Global Group, LLC and The Wiz of Biz™
Duane Lawrence, Certified Public Accountant

You have the 3P’s — Passion, Persistence and a Positive mindset. Grow your business by following these steps:

Step 1 – Write a trim and lean business plan. Include an executive summary, a general company description, a list of products and services, a marketing plan, an operational plan, a list of management and organization, a personal financial statement, a summary of startup expenses and capitalization and a financial plan.

Step 2 – Learn the law. Don’t become “the biggest loser” because you are clueless about areas such as employee laws, protection ideas, contractual laws, industry specific laws and environmental laws.

Step 3 - Cast a wide net for funding your start up. Start with personal assets, family and friends. Expand to bank loans and SBA loans. Research the pros and cons of engaging angel investors or venture capitalists. Take a look at the television show “Shark Tank” for perspectives on venture capitalists.

Step 4 – Focus on the money trail. Balance sheets and financial statements should be a part of your regular reading and review. Keep your business and personal accounts separate. Open a business account and initiate a “best friend” relationship with your banker.

Step 5 – Develop a Partnership Agreement. Going solo may not be the answer to your business growth and profitability. Avoid the handshakes and gentlemen’s agreements. You need a written document that outlines the amount of capital each partner is expected to contribute, responsibilities, workloads and time commitments . Also include an exit plan of action in case of death or exit from the business.

Step 6- Hire an attorney, CPA, and business coach that is “in the know” — not after legal, or financial problems surface. These are your partners in making your business prosper.

Step 7 - Follow your customers and have them follow you by leveraging social media platforms. Are you a Twitter fan? If so, consider using Tweet Reach. This tool identifies how effective your tweets are based upon the number of people you touch.

Step 8 – Sizzle proof your e-mails to your target market. In other words, release emails that are relevant and valuable. Avoid using terms such as “dedicated email”, “I hate to …”, “urgent”, “what’s missing?” or “opportunity”.

Step 9 - Pitch, Pitch, Pitch. Develop a “pitch” (or elevator speech) on your niche, product or service. The pitch should be: Clear – uses language that everyone understands; Concise – can be delivered in 30-90 seconds; Goal-oriented – be clear about your desired outcomes; Have a hook – uses words and phrases that engage the listener; Powerful – words used should be powerful and strong; Targeted – aimed toward a target market; Tell a Story – illustrates “what I can do”; Visual – creates an image that is memorable.

Step 10 – Boost your hiring skills. You may need a team to help meet your business goals. Look for the “Will & Jada “or “Beyoncé & Jay-Z” types — top performers. Avoid the dysfunctional types such as “Valerie the Vulture” and “Vince the Vampire” types. These individuals can suck the energy and motivation from your team. Remember when good employees leave, you suffer hits to productivity, morale, and institutional knowledge — not to mention the hard dollar costs
of finding and training new talent.


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