NORTHFIELD, MN (5/10/11) – Adults do it. Kids can do it, too. What they ‘do’ is run their own business. If you are interested in becoming a ‘Chief Executive Officer,’ get started with a business plan. There are many excellent resources to get you on your way to your dream.
After leaving my salaried position, I decided to go into business for myself. After ‘free-styling’ for over a year, I knew what I didn’t know. That started me on a useful pathway others can learn from.
Attending a “How to be an Entrepreneur” free, short workshop, was my first step. Next, I took advantage of the “Business Plan in a Day” course. That helped me understand concepts and put a plan together for my business. Finally, as a volunteer, I assisted thirteen teens while they worked on their own business plans.
A few basic ideas stood out to me. Perhaps they will also be useful to you if you seek to be your own CEO.
“They are living the dream” was what one high school junior said. He was referring to a main street business that is doing what he yearns to do. He and his friend want to go into business together. When you work with a partner, it is even more important to form a business plan.
Of thirteen teens in the workshop, four want to start a business with a friend. Friend today and business partner tomorrow. That is not a relationship change to take lightly. “Getting onto the same page” for the business will be useful to keep the relationship a positive relationship.
“People could really use this” was what another teen said. “How do I get people to buy it from me?”
One person shared information about a strategy that backfired. They gave their services for free and asked for referrals. What they got was more requests for free services and no referrals. Putting a price on their time and skills was emphasized.
Discerning between features and benefits was also a useful distinction. Features are about me. Benefits are about them – the customer. So, the young woman who wants to have a home daycare has features of flexible hours, nutritious food, and activities. The benefits to the parent leaving the child in her care are safety and nurturing.
Overall, the most useful information was to follow a guidebook to develop a business plan. These two resources are excellent beginning guides.
Business Plan in a Day: Get It Done Right, Get It Done Fast by Rhonda Abrams and Julie Vallone
(If you’ve heard these words from a potential lender, investor, or business partner, and you need a business plan pronto, this book is for you!)
Six-Week Start-Up: A Step-By-Step Program for Starting Your Business, Making Money, and Achieving Your Goals! by Rhonda Abrams
(Designed as a personal workbook filled with worksheets, checklists and planning tools, this handy guide takes wannabe entrepreneurs through the entire process of getting a business started, week-by-week.)
Photo Credit: ‘Budding Entrepreneur” Robert S. Donovan
Please Comment: What resources or information have you found useful to start your own business?
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