I was watching a home improvement show last week. The new owners discovered after buying the house that, while the house looked great, some interior walls had been removed to open the space up. Unfortunately, the person who removed the walls had no understanding of structural requirements and a load-bearing wall was taken out, leaving the house and its occupants at risk of harm. This got me thinking about the foundations on which we build.
When you build a business – or a career for that matter – you cannot succeed without a solid foundation. There are certain core building blocks that are necessary and without them you will likely fail. Consider the following questions:
Why does your firm or business exist? What value will you provide to your customers? Consider formalizing a vision, mission and goals.
Who is your primary & secondary target customer? Your product or service will not be a match for every potential consumer. Defining your target will make it easier and less expensive to market.
Do you have a unique sales proposition (USP)? What makes you different from the competition? You must know the answer to this question in order to effectively market yourself.
What does your budget look like? Yup, it’s reality check time. Everyone has budget limits they must adhere to. Know yours and look for the most effective ways to spend your money.
Do you have the support you need? Support can come from many directions. You may need help with specific business skills (i.e., a tax accountant or IT professional) or moral support from family and friends. Build your support network as you go.
Setting up a solid foundation may take some time, but in the long run this effort is necessary and well worth it. We’d love to hear how you’ve built your foundation. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.