While most give you a list of resources to accomplish your stated goal or objective, I go one step further. I put those steps into a sequence to get you started the right way and not get sidetracked. Once you know the sequence, any change affects the next step and may require more changes to occur.
Life – You!
God created you, you are His resources.
Starting your own business means that you need to know four things and in the right sequence:
- Who are you?
- Where are you?
- Where is God leading you to go?
- What steps do you take to get from where you are to where you are going?
Who are you and where are you? Do you have a great singing voice? Love working with colors? Love food? Cars? Writing? Rocks? Medicine? Science? Whatever you have a natural ability and inclination, everyone has multiple talents, whether five or 25.
Growing up as a young man or woman you have had hints of who you are and have an interest in. Sometimes they’ve been buried by you or by others, sometimes you may not have discovered them yet. Whatever the case, find out by experimenting by doing the work. Do it frequently enough that you can tell whether or not you love it.
The idea here is to know where you are in life and what talents, gifts, spiritual gift, and skills do you have up until this very moment? Whether you were an unbeliever and then became a believer, your talents and skills do NOT change. What changes if the path you take using those talents and skills. Just like a pen has innate value, so do you, and the greatest value is when that pen is being used, especially when used for doing good in God’s eyes and not for evil. It’s a matter of taking stock of your talents, skills, and life NOW!
Right at this moment, whether you’re 15, 50, or 85, your life as of now is where you are. A life event may have brought you here and can change your life path in profound ways.
Income Idea or Life Purpose
There are two things that determine what you’re to do in your life:
- your innate talents, you were born with these
- a life experience, something that you come in contact with that changes your life path
It is the combination of both your talents and your life events that help you focus on your future going forward.
Once you have taken stock of where and who you are, you need to know what you intend to do. You need to answer:
Where are you going?
Whether it’s your talents alone, a life event, or both, you need to decide what you’re going to do going forward.
You either offer a product or you offer a service, but check out my book How to Start a Business: Mac Version on page 96-97 you’ll find the six ways of creating multiple streams of income.
Marketing – attracting clients
Marketing is like fishing, you need to know who your fish are that you need to fish for. Why? Because fishing for bass is not the same as fishing for salmon. If you don’t know the who
- Print – this is primarily for handouts and such, but can be PDFs, eBooks, etc.
- Audio – creating an MP3 of an audio book or a podcast of interviews.
- Video – using YouTube to upload your videos that are easily integrated into your web site.
- Bluehost.com Website hosting – you’ll need a domain name and a hosting company. People will need to find you and you need to be “available” 24/7/365. Do NOT spend a lot on it, start free and/or low cost. $100/year. I use for my web site.
- WordPress – Free to get your web site up and running.
- WordPress Themes – stick with what come free with WordPress, The main point is to get up and running so that people that are interested in your product or topic can find you.
- WordPress Plugins – Once again, stick with the JetPack plugins until you get comfortable with your web site.
- Email Marketing – I use MailChimp for one site and a list of up to 2,000 contacts for free and AWeber ($19/month) for another for a much larger client list. Each requires some getting use to them, but once set up, it automate your marketing efforts.
Sales – connecting with clients
Sales comes after marketing and attracted your clients, now it is a matter of getting them to the point of willing to buy what you’re offering. It is not a matter of you selling to them, they have to want to buy in order for you to sell. You see this in too eager sales people who initially hand you their business card and try and set up an appointment to talk with you. It’s like seeing a person of the opposite sex and telling them you want to marry them. Not!
Operations – taking care of clients
This is about how you run your business.
Taking your clients money. Paying contractors. Paying taxes. Legal. Bookkeeping. Most of the things people do not like to do, but are necessary to do to have a successful business.
You have heard that 80% of businesses fail in the first fives year? Yep, but what the statistics do NOT tell you is that there are significant reasons why business fail. There are two areas concerning running a business, the craft of your business, what you love to do and others find difficult to do, and the business of your craft, the things that make your business profitable.
Most fail because of the business of your craft, marketing, sales, and operations, not with what you love to do.
- PayPal – An online bank account that makes it easy for you to receive payments. as well as sell online on your web site. Free to set up, but takes a percentage of the transaction.
I use a Mac, so I’m bios’ed (BIOS? Biased. :D), although I have used Windows and Linux (SuSe and Ubuntu), too. But here are my main tools that I use in my business:
- iWork Pages – to write and design my books, both How to Start a Business: Mac Version and How Would Jesus Do Business?: Bible Secrets for Startups and Entrepreneur.
- iLife GarageBand – to record audio.
- iLife iMovie – to do videos.
- iPhone – to record videos and audios and then import them into the Mac apps.
This tool list will grow as time permits me to update it and I use new tools.