As you may have read from the two past blog posts, I have been re-reading the late Dr. Barbara Plasker's book, "Simple Ways to Transform Your Life". You can read part 1 and part 2 of my series on Dr. Barbara Plasker, and her book on our RocklandWeb blog.
The most recent chapter I read was about "Courage". In Dr. Plasker's scenarios, the courage was to overcome personal fears. Examples she cited ranged from a simple request for someone to be a witness to a signature of a document, to planning to move to a new home. In both, there was a need for internal resources to be mustered, and allow the self to change.
In much of Dr. Plasker's book, I find wisdom that can be easily applied to the business world, as easily as she had applied it to life (through her teaching, and through her example). In the case of business courage, I would like you to ask yourself some questions that I typically ask of our RocklandWeb clients, which may help you to start, grow, or streamline your business, organization, or cause. In business (as in life), we are continually challenged. And the only way to address those challeges that are given to us, is to first challenge ourselves, and then to meet the external challenges head-on.
I'll divide the questions into startup (Start), growth (Grow) and business operations (Ops). These are the three areas where we have thrived over the years, and have helped many a client. I might add more to the list over time.
- Do you have a name for your business?
- What items (physical product, service) are you selling?
- How much are you selling each item for?
- If you are selling your service time, how much is an hour of your time worth?
- Are you Incorporated? Do you have a DBA certificate?
- Do you have a separate bank account for your business revenues and expenses?
- Do you have access to a Lawyer, Accountant and Chiropractor when necessary? (You'll need the Chiropractor to de-stress lol)
- Do you have at least one fairly nice set of business attire?
- Are you a member of your local Chamber of Commerce?
- Have you joined a networking referral group?
- Do you have a business phone line?
- Do you have all the necessary materials to provide the product or service to your customers?
- Do you have adequate starting technology, such as a great laptop, mobile phone and high speed internet access?
- Do you have a logo?
- Do you have a business card?
- Do you have a brochure?
- Have you purchased a website domain that closely matches the business name?
- Have you built your website yet?
- Do you have a Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn profile?
- Have you started writing information that will be posted on the web in several of the above places?
- Do you post to social media on a regular basis, to set yourself up as an industry expert or community champion?
- Do you regularly research your industry, and provide new information to your target audience?
- Do you have a phone system to handle twice as many clients or customers?
- Do you have a database of clients that can easily be accessed from anywhere?
- Can you accept credit cards online and on your phone?
- Do you have a detailed Operations Manual with all the information you need for anyone to be able to run your business without you?
- Do you have a financial management system?
- Do you have an office, or a place to go outside of your home to get work done?
After looking at the list(s) above, I'm sure that no matter what stage you are in your business, you will be a bit daunted. Each one of the above items is time intensive, and requires a lot of attention to detail. However, remember that once you commit to the work, you can still take care of one item at a time. You don't have to do everything at once. Take a small step each time. But keep moving forward! And never give up!