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Starting and Growing a Business

In this article, I will be discussing topics associated with starting and growing a business. As an outline for this discussion, I will be using the manual for a course called Starting and Growing My Business for Self-Reliance, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church). This manual was created for and is used as the course material for a 12-week program that helps participants evaluate their readiness for creating a business and walks them through the process of successfully starting an growing a business that provides for their needs.

If you’re interested in becoming a class member and taking the Starting and Growing My Business course, you can enroll (it’s free) at your local LDS Church. The course has some sound advice and provides lots of opportunities to be accountable to action partners. Having a religious context, the course (and this article as well) takes on the principles of business and success from a spiritual perspective, quoting from scriptures and from the leaders of the LDS Church as they describe the religious reasons why building a business is beneficial. The manual likewise uses a religious foundation for the principles discussed throughout the course.

If you’re familiar with programs such as Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership, you know that they have somewhat of a religious foundation as well. This Starting and Growing My Business class draws upon religious principles much more extensively than EntreLeadership and other business building mentorship programs.

I’ll embed the PDF version of the course below so that you can scroll through it as you read this article and refer to it as needed.

Before we start into the course, let’s talk about the different options available to the general masses for earning income: being an employee of a company, or running your own company.

Income: Employee or Business Owner

Earning an income to support yourself and your family typically comes in one of two forms:

  1. Working as an employee for a company
  2. Starting and building your own business

There are obviously pros and cons associated with both of these methods of earning a living. In my personal career, I’ve spent time in both worlds, although the significant majority of my time over the past twenty years has been spent as an employer rather than as an employee. Here’s a quick list of pros and cons associated with each of these approaches to earning income

Working as an Employee

This benefits of working as an employee include having a steady paycheck, not having to take work home each day, often having access perks like health insurance, and not having to absorb the ups and downs that happen in various industries and with various kinds of businesses.

Of course, these benefits vary from company to company, from job to job, and sometimes even from person to person. Small companies often don’t provide health insurance. In startup environments and with companies that are not well established, wages may be thin or even deferred. However, for those in the workforce who are employed by thriving companies, most of these benefits apply.

Drawbacks of being an employee include a limit to the amount you can make, not having the accountability that a business owner has, being dispensable to the company and susceptible to layoffs and restructuring. In many situations, it’s more difficult to grow when you’re limited to working in a specialized aspect of a business that doesn’t open up opportunities outside of your specific assignments.

Owning and Operating a Business

Operating a business that you started or have purchased obviously involves much more responsibility than working as an employee of someone else’s company. For most small business owners, there are so many hats to wear. Business owners typically experience to their full extent the highs and lows associated with the business, whatever and wherever they may be. The problems and obligations of the business are usually your own personal commitments.

On the other hand, as a business owner you have the opportunity to really dig into what you’re doing and develop the skills and discipline to create something that really pays off in lots of different ways. If you do it well, owning a business can really pay off. The profile of a millionaire painted by the authors of The Millionaire Next Door assert that although they make up only 20 percent of workers in the United States, self-employed people comprise two-thirds of the millionaires in the country.

My Experience with Starting and Growing My Own Businesses and This Course

When I took this course several years ago, my wife and I had already started, built, and sold several businesses, all of them online retail businesses.

Even though we weren’t new to the world of business ownership and entrepreneurship, we found most of the material in this course to be either educational or motivating. As I walk through the various ideas and principles presented in the course, I will explain how my own experience compared to what is presented in the course materials.

One point I’ll make first off is that when I walked into the class the first day, all twelve or so members of the group introduced themselves and their businesses. Almost everyone in the class had either started a business or was already in the process of building their own business, so the majority of the class had already advanced past figuring out whether they wanted to own a business and had already chosen a product and business model.

As identified by pretty much every member of the class, the biggest they were faced with involved marketing, specifically figuring out how to use the internet to draw attention to their products or services. I found it fortunate that, with my background in internet marketing, I was able to give some advice and instruction on what has worked for me. In fact, outside of this class itself, we scheduled extra sessions that allowed me to do some analysis of what each of the class members needed in terms of marketing and provide a marketing strategy for them.

While this class doesn’t cover internet marketing in any degree of details, I’d highly recommend for anyone considering starting a business that you learn how to make use of the various opportunities to market your business using the internet, including publishing content and getting traffic from Google (which is most likely the tool that brought you to this article), selling on Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and other online sales platforms, and efficiently building audiences through social media outlets that include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

There are lots of very useful, inexpensive classes available for learning how to be successful at online marketing (among thousands of other business topics), so there’s no reason to feel like you don’t have access to resources, even if those specific resources aren’t included in this course.

If you want to be successful at launching a business and having bless your life, giving you all that you are hoping for in a business, you’ll likely find that you have to be super persistent and constantly make little adjustments as you gain knowledge and experience. The concepts taught in this specific course should give you a solid foundation for establishing that mindset and those habits.

Starting and Growing My Business: Course Outline

As mentioned earlier, this course consists of 12 lessons, typically given over the course of a 12-week period (although I’ve seen it adapted to combine lessons), that allow participants to learn what’s necessary to building and operate a successful business, and the course also includes the expectation of work and performing action items each week to make progress towards that objective.

Here are the sections covered in the course.

  1. My Readiness for Business Success
  2. Solving Unmet Customer Needs
  3. Ensuring That I Have a Profitable Business
  4. Finding Customers
  5. Keeping Customers
  6. Managing the Profitability of My Business
  7. Keeping Separate My Business and Personal Money
  8. Managing the Cash Flow of My Business
  9. Growing My Business
  10. Financing My Business
  11. Continually Improving My Business
  12. Presenting My Business

I will summarize each of these lessons and highlight material presented in the course to help you understand how to start and grow a business.

My Readiness for Business Success

This section of the course helps you determine whether you’re up for the challenge of being a business owner. There are several principles presented that contribute to business success, each of which is worthy of considering for a potential or current business owner. Here they are:

  • Vision: To be a successful business owner, you have to comprehend to the best of your ability the future success of your business so you can make it a reality.
  • Work: Understand that your business will likely require some long days and some blood, sweat and tears, either figuratively or literally, before it becomes easier.
  • Inspiration: Get into the habit of asking Him who knows the end from the beginning, and who is highly interested in showing you the way as it best benefits you.
  • Persistence: Get used to trying again… and again… and again before some things finally start to happen as you’d hoped they would.
  • Accountability: Progress can only be made as you access responsibility for things that need to be done. As a business owner, you have to get used to being where the buck stops.
  • Abundance mentality: This is similar to the Think Win-Win concept o the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You should succeed while helping others succeed as well.
  • Time management: Your time is limited, and you have to make choices. The success of your business is dependent upon your ability to spend time on things that matter the most.
  • The power of small and simple things: Big outcomes are always comprised of smaller decisions, little wins, and things that by themselves may seem insignificant, but when added together create a successful company.
  • Commitment: Similar to persistence, a commitment to success will give you the endurance required to see something worthwhile through difficulties and .

Why Start or Grow a Business?

I’ve already discussed some of the advantages of being a business owner, which fits directly into answering this question. However, there are several other reasons presented in the course that you might consider if you’re still on the fence about whether to venture into your own business:

  • Ownership
  • Additional income
  • Personal passion
  • Second career
  • Challenge of the experience
  • Necessity (lack of other employment options)
  • Personal freedom and control
  • Greater financial security

I’ve written before on this website about whether it’s risky or not to be an entrepreneur. Looking back over my career starting and building internet-based businesses, I can say that it seems risky to me to allow others (bosses, employers) to determine what the value is of your work and to have too much say in what you do with eight or more hours of your time every day. There is an opportunity cost associated with the decision to work a regular 9 to 5 job.

Like many who have chosen a path of entrepreneurship similar to the one my wife and I have walked as we’ve raised our family while operating our own small businesses, I’ve seen up close the value of being able to work together with my wife as we educate our kids (now totaling 7), travel together, take time out for people who need our help, donate to worthy causes, and ultimately enjoy the flexibility that comes with creating something that provides well financially for us.

Our transition into being business owners didn’t happen overnight. We built up a solid savings and gradually built up our businesses so that when we took the leap, it didn’t feel like too big a risk. If you’re looking to become a business owner and transition out of your day job, you might consider how getting out of debt, saving some money, and then moving your focus to increasingly to your own business can be done without too much stress and uncertainty.

If you’re on the fence regarding starting your own business, it is worthwhile to take an in-depth, objective assessment of you personality and the things that motivate you, considering what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do.

This section of the course includes an assessment that allows you to grade yourself in light of how well you fit the profile of a business owner, evaluating yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 on statements such as:

  • I am willing to work hard for long hours over an extended time.
  • I can function well in ambiguous situations.
  • I am willing to sacrifice in the short term to achieve long-term rewards.
  • I am detail oriented.
  • I am willing to listen to others and accept feedback from them.

Taking this evaluation and discussing it with your spouse or someone else who has a vested interest in your success but who is also willing to be candid about giving you feedback will help you understand better whether you’re ready to be a business owner.

Can You Sell Something?

In order to operate a successful small business, you almost always are required to sell something. We often think that only people with salesperson in their titles as being required to sell, but businesses need revenue. Revenue comes from sales transactions. Sales transactions come from people presenting a product or service in exchange for money. Whether it’s you or someone you plan to hire in your organization long-term, you have to be able to communicate the value of what your company does.

This part of the class ends with what’s called the “paperclip challenge”. The paperclip challenge involves taking a paper clip and trading it with someone for something that has greater worth to you. You then trade that item for something else that has more value. You repeat the process several times until you have obtained something that demonstrates your ability to negotiate and ultimately sell an idea, a concept, or a product.

Solving Unmet Customer Needs

Businesses are built around solving the needs of people who are willing to pay for your specific solution. A simple lawn mowing and landscaping business involves trading hours of time making people’s yards look good in exchange for payment. More sophisticated and much more profitable software companies charge subscription fees to people who pay to use their software on a recurring basis.

Usually, when a business owner is considering how to meet customer needs and plan a business around those interactions, the ability to identify what customer needs exist most naturally comes from the person’s own experience and drawing observations from a previous job or other work experience. Although it’s certainly not a requirement to start a business in an industry with which you are already highly familiar, staying within your core competence is a great way to mitigates some of the unknowns that tend to undermine any business.

Figuring out how to build a business around unmet customer needs can be done successfully by understanding the markets and industries in which your business will exist in the context of your skills, abilities, and enthusiasm for meeting those needs in a way that provides a path to be profitable. There are lots of resources available for understanding this ecosystem.

Filling an Unmet Need: Honest and Quality Car Repair

For instance, many years ago I attempted to open an automotive garage together with my father and brothers. My dad and my older brother were auto mechanics, and they had lots of experience understanding how those types of businesses worked. They also saw a lot of room for improvement in the way the businesses they worked for were operated.

We went to Goodyear Tire, the company we had chosen to be our supplier of tires for the business, and asked them for help getting set up. They provided a feasibility study for the geographic area we were considering building the store. The study considered the growing demographics of the area and other tire and repair stores nearby. Ultimately they gave us the green light to build the store.

In this example, the stakeholders in our Robbins Automotive business concept came together and identified an unmet need, honest, quality, affordable car repair in an area where the population was quickly growing. Our competitive advantage would be the experience of those who were in charge of handling repairs combined with the sales, customer service, and marketing abilities of the others of us who had valuable experience in those areas of business. We would also have competitive advantage based on the location we were choosing to build the business, which was just off the freeway and positioned in the middle of a combination of business and residential districts that would flow potential customer traffic right to where our business would be located.

Ultimately, when it came time to finance the business (we needed a loan for about $1.3 million to finance the building and equipment), several of the key stakeholders were uncomfortable with the risk and decided against opening the business. Without their expertise, the rest of us involved in the business decided to go a different direction as well.

Although the business didn’t get off the ground, hopefully this example allows you to see how we went through the process of matching unmet needs with the collective skillset we had available to us and our interest in building a family business.

After that business opportunity evaporated, I went through a similar process to identify opportunities to sell products online. When my wife and I later met and were married, we evaluated the opportunity to build an internet retail business together based on my previous experience and our collective understanding of what it would take. We decided to move forward with our plans, and we’ve have several of success building internet-based retail businesses.

Ensuring That I Have a Profitable Business

In this section of the course, it’s time to get into the numbers associated with revenue, costs, and creating a bottom line that is profitable. For many businesses, achieving profitability doesn’t happen immediately because it normally takes some time to build a customer base that will form the foundation for revenue. As the business matures, you will also likely find opportunities to be more efficient at operating it, which will tend to reduce your costs and increase profits.

Your business’ net profit is calculated by subtracting your overall costs (which consist of both fixed and variable costs) from your sales revenue. As you begin your business, it’s important to be able to set goals and make estimates on both revenue and costs, ensuring that there is room for margins.

You should aim to have at least a 50% gross margin (sales revenue minus variable costs) and higher than a 10% net profit margin (sales minus fixed and variable costs) in order for your business to run successfully in the long term. Having margins lower than these numbers often causes businesses to run into trouble when revenues decrease or expenses increase unexpectedly.

Finding Customers

Finding customers involves marketing, letting people know about your business. It also involves selling, helping people understand the value your business provides and feel the desire to pay for what you’re offering.

There are many different ways to go about finding customers, that range from inexpensive and old-fashioned to highly sophisticated and costly. A large part of the test you’ll need to pass as a business owner involves becoming highly efficient at this part of it. The process of finding customers through marketing and sales efforts is essentially the engine of the business.

For a small lawn care business, the initial customer base might be found by printing off flyers and going through neighborhoods handing them out to homeowners or placing them on their doors, including having specifics about your offer (e.g. $25 for mowing and trimming on a normal sized lawn). You might also put some advertisements into a local classified ads section.

Over the past decade, search engine optimization and social media marketing have become the most popular forms of attracting customers to most businesses. For instance, any locally-oriented business (ones that provide products and services to a defined geographical area) can benefit from doing local search engine optimization, teaching Google to bring customers to them when they search for phrases related to the business. For businesses that sell things online, learning how to build audiences through Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media platforms can a very powerful way to find customers.

This part of your business, finding customers, is critical. Most businesses that thrive have spent adequate time developing their marketing and sales strategies and carrying them out.

Keeping Customers

Finding customers can often be time consuming and costly. It makes sense that keeping your existing customers and helping them develop loyalty to your business and brand is an important way to continue generating revenue. Your existing customers create a foundation for revenue upon which you can build by adding new customers to your loyal customer base.

For local businesses, keeping customers involves ensuring that their experience at your place of business or interacting with you or your personnel is positive, inducing them to come back to receive what they view as a value that’s worth coming back for.

For businesses that are not locally based and whose customers are not very intimately associated with them (e.g. the majority of products sold on Amazon.com), there are other ways to keep your existing customers. Building a community through social media outlets is one of the common ways of creating customer loyalty. Many businesses will ask for the email addresses of their customers so that they can stay in touch and present offers, including discounts and promotions.

Software subscription companies are the best that I know of in terms of keeping customers. Because of their abilities to create large foundations of repeated monthly or annually revenue bases (referred to as annually recurring revenue or ARR), software companies can quickly grow from an idea to a billion dollar company. Customers who use the software of these companies usually find it more difficult to stop being customers (since doing so would create an unwanted disruption in their own processes for accomplishing whatever the software is currently doing for them) than it is to continue paying the monthly or annual fees associated with continuing to use the software.

There is a lot that can be learned about keeping customers from subscription model software providers.

Managing the Profitability of My Business

The excitement at starting a new business can be quickly squashed when a new business owner realizes that his business is losing money or not making what he had hoped and planned for. To keep this from happening, detailed record keeping needs to be done, including comparing estimates against the realities of what has been happening in a business.

For me, getting into these details of the business, including tracking individual expenses and accounting for every detail, is probably my least favorite. Fortunately, my wife enjoys that aspect of the business, so she serves as our business accountant, tallying up revenue and expenses, paying our contractors, and then giving me permission to withdraw from our business account to our personal bank account the profits that we are entitled to for each month.

To manage the profitability of your business, you’ll likely need to spend a significant amount of time using spreadsheets (Google Drive works well, and is free) or some other mechanism for tracking how much money you’re bringing in and comparing it to how much you’re spending on costs such as products, marketing, and other expenses.

Keeping Separate My Business and Personal Money

One of the most difficult challenges my wife and I have faced in building our businesses is this one: keeping our business and personal money separate. Periodically, we will spend time and energy overcoming the entropy that has happened in our business over the previous year or so, then we fall into bad habits of using our business credit card for personal expenses and other crossovers that cause us to have to go back and reconcile later.

In this section of the Starting and Growing My Business class, it is recommended that you set up separate income and expense logs for both your business and your personal purposes. Doing so will take some getting used to, but making that effort will allow you to better understand what’s happening in your business versus what you’re doing personally, which are logically two separate entities.

If you’re having a hard time doing this aspect of operating a business on your own, it’s helpful to fall back to a professional (normally an accountant), who can help you set up an stick to a system that will keep your business operating efficiently and that will be easier to work with when it comes to preparing taxes and other reporting requirements for your business and your personal life.

Managing the Cash Flow of My Business

Cash flow is the business version of blood flow. With the cash that circulates in and out of your business, you can ensure that all the different components of your business are being provided with what they need and ultimately kept alive, similar to how blood delivers the nourishment your body’s various cells and organs need constantly.

You can be profitable and still struggle with cash flow. I have experienced this situation in my own business. After my sporting goods business had been up and running for awhile, we began extending credit to organizations we trusted. We accepted purchase orders, which mean that we would fulfill someone’s order, then send them an invoice. Once they received the invoice, they had 30 days to send us payment.

Because of all of the hats I was wearing as the owner of the company along with family, church, and other obligations, I started to get way behind on sending out invoices. One day I sat down and added up all the money that was owed to us from purchase orders we had fulfilled in the previous six months. The total was over $125,000! There were 15-20 different invoices that had not even been sent to our customers, even for orders that had been delivered more than two months prior. I was blown away at how much cash I had failed to collect in a timely way.

I made a determination that day to stay on top of our accounts receivable so that we wouldn’t have that situation again.

Cash flow problems can come from a variety of reasons, including ones that are good signs for a business, such as experiencing unexpected growth. In order to keep your business from being in jeopardy at any stage of its existence, you’ll need to proactively manage your cash flow.

Here are a few ideas for ensuring that you don’t run into cash flow issues with your business:

  • Get paid quickly: motivate your customers to pay you as close to when you have fulfilled your obligation to them that qualifies you for payment.
  • Conserve cash: Cash in the bank acts as a buffer shielding your business from catastrophe. Ensure that your buffer is big enough by not pulling it out for unnecessary things, and consciously keep the buffer there.
  • Manage the cash flow: Regularly check on your cash reserves, and make sure you have contingencies in place. Many business owners use lines of credit to make sure that there is a backup layer of cash buffer to meet their obligations during times when cash outflows are high compared to what’s being collected from customers.

Growing My Business

Once you’ve created a business that is established, that has patterns of revenue and profitability that are predictable, and that have essentially validated your original idea for starting the business, it’s time to move into a phase of growing the business.

There are several different ways you can grow your business. Here are three of them:

  • Expand your services or products: For my daughter’s clothing company (MayBoo Clothing), we decided to start out with four different styles of doll dresses as a way to get brand recognition and build the foundation of our following. Her clothing brand is targeted to young girls. Once we have manufactured and sold a few thousand doll dresses, we will begin to develop more styles of dresses, and we will expand into making matching girls dresses.
  • Expand to new markets: This is a great idea for local-oriented businesses that service a specific geographical area. If the idea has worked in one or two initial market areas, you can then use the information you’ve gathered from those initial locations to predict the success of a new location.
  • Compete for a larger percentage of your current market: This method of growth essentially boils down to getting more aggressive with what is currently working for you. If you’ve found a marketing strategy that works well and keeps you profitable, you can begin scale that strategy. If you can improve your processes to cut costs, you might cut the price of your product slightly to see if that doesn’t attract more people who your product or service may already be targeting. This idea for growing your business is likely the most low-hanging fruit.

Financing My Business

I once knew of an aspiring entrepreneur who rented the office next to ours, who was creating a software product that served a developing niche. He was financing all his costs on a credit card. That last I knew of his situation, he was at least several months away from completing even a minimum viable product (the simplest form of a piece of software that people can actually use, without any bells or whistles), and he had already spent over $100,000 on his credit card. Each month of doing business became more stressful as he had to not only pay the couple of people in his company, but he was also obligated to pay large amounts of interest from his credit card.

I highly recommend against that type of business financing!

While that example of financing is one that doesn’t make much sense, there are times when running a business that you’ll feel a need for financing. In this highly connected, highly technical world there seem to be multiple options offered for any kind type of financing need. It’s likely that, in the even that you encounter a situation where you need to finance some element of your business, you can match one of the plethora of available financing vehicles with your specific business financing needs.

Financing always comes with this warning: Make sure you do it cautiously and with intention! Undisciplined use of offers of money will almost always lead to hardship. Whether it be in business or in your personal life, it’s important to understand that when you borrow money from someone, your obligation to pay that money back along with the agreed upon interest and according to the agreed upon terms doesn’t simply vanish, even when the circumstances for which you originally borrowed the money change. There is always risk associated with running a business. That means there is also risk associated with borrowing money to run the business.

With that warning in mind, here are some of the most common ways to finance a business.

Debt Financing

Debt financing involves accepting money in exchange for a commitment to pay back the person or entity that provided the loan over a period of time. There is an interest rate that is charged by the lender that makes it worthwhile for them to take the risk and provide the money to your business.

With debt financing, there is usually a designated time period over which the loan is paid back. An amortization table is used to show how much of each monthly payment is used to pay down the principle versus how much goes towards the interest.

There are many different options available for debt financing. When one will work best for you depends upon your specific situation, including how much you need to borrow and how long you anticipate that you’ll pay it back.

The chart below compares some of the forms of debt financing available.

Equity Financing

Equity financing involves giving up some percentage of ownership in your company in exchange for money. With equity financing, you are essentially selling a part of your business to a person, a group of people, an equity fund, or one of the other equity financing arrangements that exist.

Equity financing is less risky in the sense that if circumstances change and the business is unable to pay back the amount of money received from equity financing, you are not usually personally liable to pay it back.

On the other hand, equity financing is often costlier long-term as investors can have too much control and input into the direction of the company, and their motivation is often to make short-sighted changes that will allow them to realize a gain on their investment without considering the long-term consequences. Having investors means having partners who can be difficult to deal with.

Also, with equity financing, you often give up long-term financial benefits since you’re having to split profits with investors rather than realize them yourself. With debt financing, the cost of financing is a flat interest rate, an that cost goes away after the loan is paid off. With equity financing, there is a high potential for losing out on hard-earned profits such that it can be much more expensive than using debt.

Government Grants

For some unique types of business, there are government grants that can provide financing. In order to qualify for a government grant, your business typically has to be solving a problem or researching a solution that some government entity has an interest in seeing happen. Another way to receive a government grant is to qualify as a type of business or be the type of business owner that has been designated by the government as being in need of financial assistance that’s provided by taxpayer money.

The SBA lists several types of government grants that a business can apply for on its website.

Continually Improving My Business

Anyone who’s gone through the process of designing, creating, and operating a successful business knows that there is much more to be done once the idea has been proven and things are working out well.

As with anything else in life, if you’re not making progress, you’re invariably losing ground. The same thing applies with the lifespan of a business.

Because of how dynamic the world is and how many influences operate on every person and entity, it’s important to continue looking for ways to improve. This improvement happens by consistently evaluating your business and its strengths and weaknesses, taking feedback from customers and others, and committing to a culture of improvement.

Here are some things that can be done on a consistent basis to insert improvement into your company:

  1. Setting a vision for the business and regularly assessing how well it’s moving toward that vision.
  2. Standardizing the business and making it run as autonomously as possible by creating well-understood protocols for employees and for management. The book E-Myth Revisited provides some great case studies for doing this sort of thing with both small startup businesses and larger, established businesses.
  3. Making sure that your business is compliant with laws and regulations that might affect it.
  4. Investing in employees: as your business grows, you will have more employees affecting various parts of it. This delegation of responsibilities in the company should be managed in a way that helps the company be successful and that helps employees make that happen.
  5. Setting and accomplishing goals in the business, including on a business-wide scale all the way down to helping individual employees improve through goal setting. The most widely used approach to goal setting is the SMART methodology, which has been shown to produce the best results with respect to setting goals and achieving them. The SMART methodology includes the following five components of goal setting:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Achievable
    • Relevant
    • Timebound

In your business, as with the rest of your life, a commitment to consistent, intentional improvement is the best route.

Presenting My Business

The Starting and Growing My Business course ends with the group members creating presentations that discuss what they’ve done on their businesses throughout the course of the program. Business presentation skills are useful for many business owners, especially when they need to secure financing, which requires describing your business to people who will make a decision about whether they will take a risk on you and your business.

The specific assignment given in this part of the course is useful for any business owner who is in the process of evaluating the viability of a new business idea. The presentation includes these pieces of information:

  • On overview of your business idea
  • The customer need your business addresses
  • Your competitive advantage
  • Your target customers
  • Your plan to attract customers to your product or service
  • What resources you’ll need to make your business a reality
  • Evidence you have that your business will be profitable
  • What steps you’ll take next to move forward on your business idea