≡ Menu

Launching or starting a new business sounds like a great idea that many of us have heard before and some of us would love to sink our teeth into. For first-timers, it is understandable to be a little apprehensive and unsure of how to make a reasonable go of it. However no one should let that stop him or her. It is very doable at a basic level, but I realize it can SEEM overwhelming for those who have never attempted it.

Let me show you how I take an idea I have for a small service business and make it into a business. I will turn it into a case study for this blog; I’m going to launch this business and just let you watch and hopefully learn from the steps I follow. It IS something the beginner can realistically do, and do relatively well with a little proper planning and a few good instincts. This business is not something I expect to grow into a huge business, but I feel reasonable in my expectation that it will certainly make a few thousand dollars each month.

Concept
This is going to essentially be a marketing service that delivers faxes to primary care doctors in Ontario, and will eventually expand to all across Canada if successful.

Target Market 
Our target market will include other primary care doctors, specialists, research arms, and other allied health services.

Competitive Analysis

After defining the business concept and the target market, I moved on to researching who my competitors are in this market, as well as what possible alternatives exist to this service. After a quick inspection of our friendly neighborhood search engine, Google, I can say with confidence, that my idea pretty well stands alone, as nothing like this exists in the market today. Just being armed with that tangibly powerful piece of market knowledge convinces me even further that this is going to work out at whatever level I decide to take it to.

Pricing Model
We will charge $0.50 cents per fax for the first page, and then $0.15 per additional page in the fax – all the while our costs will remain very low at perhaps $0.02 per page.

Because my startup costs are fairly low (less than $1000) and my profit per job will be fairly high, I can already see this will be a viable business model. This, it would be fair to say, can take the edge off someone who is just starting out and who might be hesitant when they begin to examine the nitty gritty.

This business’ ultimate success will come down to how quickly I can find customers for this service, and how much it costs me to find each paying customer.

Assume my average customer sends out 4 fax blasts a year at an average cost of $150. My costs on those faxes would be $10-$15. So considering they are doing this 4 times a year, I can earn $540 to $560 per customer I acquire. Not bad at all considering there is not a tremendous amount of legwork to do to facilitate the process and put it into motion.

How much will it cost me to find new customers? That is the ultimate key to growing this business. Can I find paying customers for less than $135 each? If I make approximately $135 on each sell, and if I can spend less to find a paying customer than I make on the first sale, I can continue to scale my business.

So in the interest of just testing out this idea, I thought I would simply give it a shot. Glad you’re along for the ride.

Here are the steps I followed:

  • I picked out a URL and registered it. I decided on MarketToDoctors.ca and registered it at Godaddy for $10.
  • I purchased some web space to host my new site at Hawkhost for $25 for the year.
  • I used a graphics designer I know to make the logo and layout for the website. This cost me approximately $100.
  • I had a web designer build this simple site for $100.
  • I put together the script for the video myself and had a marketing friend put it together for less than $50.

finalfile

So I, in all fact, built my working prototype for $285. This is not a lot of startup money by any reasonable comparison or standard, especially if this business ends up making me a few thousand dollars a month. A quick visit to the site will show you it is just a quick prototype, but if it works, we will then clean it up, streamline it, and make it more professional. Then: watch it grow.

I plan on investing another $500 in to marketing to see if my service will work. So I am prepared to invest up to $780 to see if this business is viable.

Of course, when you are thinking about setting up your own company, you also have to think about how you will deliver the service you are offering.  In my case I have a process in place to manage the work as it comes in.

I expect to have this site up and ready to launch by the end of next week. I have a marketing strategy I will use to contact our target market and see if they have a need for this service.

I will post an update in a week or two on the blog. Can’t wait to share it with you and show you how exciting and promising it can be.

Hopefully, this inspires you to take some action on YOUR business ideas. Remember, everyone started out as a beginner once, myself included. Now, I’m glad to share the process with you. Feel free to leave a comment below, I will respond to all questions.

{ 0 comments }

If you don’t have the income you want, it is likely tied to your thoughts about failure. To often people with good ideas are sitting on the sidelines. They are afraid to start, as they don’t want to fail.

This isn’t just limited to starting a new business; this can be related to switching jobs, finding a life partner, or any other area of your life where you are playing smaller than you deserve.

Growing up, we are conditioned to avoid failure and we worry about looking foolish in front of others.

But the reality is

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.“ ~Wayne Gretzky

What does this mean? Well if you don’t take a shot at your goals you are certainly not going to hit them. Yes it is true at times you will try and it won’t work out, but who cares. Do you spend any time thinking about goals others have tried to achieve and missed?

FAIL, FORWARD, FASTER

You need to adapt a new thought process around failure. Start to think of failure as the process moving you toward your goals. The quicker you can test your ideas and see if they work the quicker you can learn what works and what doesn’t.

You can easily find examples of people that are the most successful in their field. Usually they are also the people that have experienced the most failure, although they likely won’t look at their experience as failure.

i_have_not_failed-343-75

This guy literally lit the world.

How does this apply to someone that wants to start a business on the side? If you have an idea for a business it is time to start, don’t let your fear of failure stand in the way.

I often test new business ideas, some work, and I invest more time and money in them and scale them up. Others do not, and I learn something and move on.

I am in the process of setting up a new service business. It is a small business idea that I plan to test with less than a $1000.

If you are interested in attending a webinar where I walk you through how I approach a business idea and how I can test it inexpensively I’m happy to share that with you. There is no fee for the webinar just an opportunity to interact.

I will review my idea, my plan, budget, and time line. Then I will answer any questions you may have about your start up.

If you are interested you can sign up here, if not I encourage you to act on your business goals. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you.

Best of luck and if you liked this post please feel free to share it with your friends.

{ 0 comments }

Should You Quit Your Job To Start A Business

If you are like most people that have a 9 to 5 job and more importantly, a family or other financial responsibilities then my quick answer to the question “Should you quit your job to start a business?”, is NO.

Trust me, I’m the eternal optimist, I see the glass half full in almost every situation, but if you are currently employed and want to start a business I suggest you start it part time.

Here is why.

Starting a business is not something you should do to make more money in the short term, to work fewer hours, or to free you from having to answer to an annoying boss. Starting and building a business can have a huge impact on your life, if done correctly.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a business owner. I think it is the greatest occupation you can have. The concept of being able to come up with an idea for a business and then through your ability to manage and execute bring that business to life is extremely rewarding.

When it is done right and the market validates your idea by helping it grow and expand, you provide jobs and opportunities for others as well.  It is a magical process that I have enjoyed for the past 15 years.

If you do it right, and you execute well, a business can give you more money, it can allow you to have some freedom with your schedule, and often can allow you to feel like you are not serving a boss.

But it is not a short-term play. It typically doesn’t happen overnight, and in every business I have been a part of you still answer to a boss. You just call them a customer or a client, but if you deliver what you promise or slightly more, they are certainly the best boss you can have.

So, if you want to start a business, start it part time. Build it to the point where it is self-sustaining, meaning it is creating a positive cash flow. Once it can afford to pay you a salary you can live on and still have enough cash left over to re-invest in its growth, at that point you can safely quit your job and grow your business.

Your part time business will allow you to test the waters, get a feel for business, without all the risk of giving up your day job.

Enjoy the process, and have fun.

 

{ 0 comments }

This is a common stumbling block among people that want to start something on the side. A lot of people think they need to come up with the next Facebook or Twitter before they have an idea worth launching.

This becomes the crutch that prevents them from taking any action.

The truth is that you don’t need an original idea to make money with a side business. If you look around your neighborhood you will find a lot of small businesses that are making money.

So if you are one of these people that has been saying you want to start a side business; but you haven’t managed to start anything.

It is time to stop making excuses and start taking action. There are a ton of small businesses that you can easily start in your town. The list is endless.

Action Plan

Pick an idea for a side business that you will enjoy working on. Here is a lists of small business ideas in case you are not feeling uninspired.

So you picked your business idea, now what?

If you have an idea you can deliver profitably, and you can find the customers to purchase your product or service, you have a profitable side business. Find more customers and watch your side business grow.

It really is that simple. It is time to take action.

I’d love to hear what type of businesses you want to launch. Leave a comment below.

 

{ 0 comments }

So you have an idea for a side business, but now what?

 

This is where most people stop. They have an idea but they don’t know what to do next. I have 5 quick questions I like to run through once I have a business idea.

  1. Who am I going to sell to?
  2. What will they be willing to pay for my product or service?
  3. How much will it cost me to deliver it? (Including marketing, sales, overhead, cost of the product or person delivering the service)
  4. How am I going to get customers?
  5. How can I test this idea with minimum risk?

If you have a business idea you want to test you can simply run through these five questions.

I recommend you focus on business ideas you can test inexpensively and grow organically. Meaning I don’t suggest you get into a business that requires you to invest a ton of money up front before you can prove that the business will be profitable.

If you can define whom you are going to sell to, how much they are willing to pay for your product/service and what it will cost you to deliver the product/service including the costs to find customers then you have a working idea.

You can use this simple spreadsheet to check your business.

Once you determine it is a profitable idea the only other issue to solve is how do you find customers economically?

This is where most business ideas fall apart. If you can find customers to pay for your product/service and you can deliver the product/service for the amount you thought, you have a profitable business.

Then the only question is how quickly can you find customers and how big do you want to grow it.

I’d love to hear what type of businesses you want to launch. Leave a comment below.

 

 

{ 2 comments }