Deven L. Munns, Esq.
Starting a successful business can be highly technical and knowing how to do it right can make or break your business. To start the business right, you need to:
- Come up with a business idea you think would make money.
- Determine what products or services you will provide.
- Develop a mission statement and goals for your business.
- Perform a market analysis by identifying your target customer, studying similar products/services in the market, identifying competitors and their weaknesses, and developing a strategic advantage to better serve your target customer.
- Determine what key people could help develop your business and whether to bring them on as partners, investors, lenders, employees, contractors or advisors.
- Build a budget determine your price point, raise capital, and develop a plan to bring your product to market.
This all comes before we even begin to discuss banking, bookkeeping, sales, legal structure, marketing, and the ever-formidable T-word (Taxes), and the list goes on.
Any one of these items could be the key to success or failure, so a blooming business owner would be right to analyze these items before jumping in. However, all this analysis can halt a business owner in their tracks. So, how do you get around this? What is the middle ground?
It is football season, so of course, we need a football analogy!
A few years ago when my oldest son was about 4 years old, I decided it was time to start teaching him how to throw a football. I took him outside on the lawn of our small apartment complex, determined he would be the next Payton Manning. I did not want him to learn bad techniques that I would have to work out of him later, so I set out to teach him the technique I learned growing up:
- Stand with your non-throwing shoulder pointed in the direction of your target.
- Grip the football with the fingers of your throwing hand crossing the laces.
- Lift your elbow until your throwing arm is parallel to the ground.
- Direct the point of the ball to the back of your ear.
- Look downfield in the direction you want to throw the ball.
- Lift your front leg and take a step forward, planting your foot back on the ground with the toe pointed at your target.
- Rotate your hips in the direction of the throw and swing your non-throwing arm out in front of you for added thrust.
- Bring your throwing arm over your head while rotating your shoulders, and finally release the ball at just the right moment while flicking your wrist to create the perfect spiral.
This technique is highly technical and there was no way my 4-year-old son would be able to follow all these directions from the start. So, what did I do? I taught him how to stand and how to hold the ball. Then, I told him to JUST THROW THE BALL!!
That first throw was far from perfect and there have been thousands of imperfect throws since then, but little by little, he has improved. This year he played quarterback in every game of the season on his 9 to 11-year-old football team. It may be because he is my son, but in my completely biased perception, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the entire league even though he was the only 9-year-old playing the position.
What does this mean for your business?
There is an endless source of information available to you to help you start your business off right and that information can be absolutely vital to the health of your business. But, if you try to read and understand all the material out there before launch, you will never get your business off the ground. At some point, you are going to have to just throw the ball!
I recommend you start by reading a business startup book like Mark Kohler’s “8 Steps to Start & Grow Your Business.” To read this book, click (here). It takes you through the steps of starting or growing a business and gets you the basics of what you need to know. Then, once you have launched and found some success, you will be motivated to learn more and the more you learn, the better your business will become. Over time, you might be throwing 60-yard spirals like Patrick Mahomes II, but first, just throw the ball.