Freedom and Responsibility
For those of us who live in countries which allow us the opportunity to make income through business opportunities, we need to be reminded daily that with this freedom we have been given responsibilities. I like to use the acronym PAV to summarize the basic responsibilities of many businesses in relationship to time and "life stages of a business." PAV stands for preparation, administration, and visualization.
Before starting a business, there is usually a preparation stage that needs to be walked through. This could involve many things. Some of which are training, setup, knowing your local demographics, knowing your target customer, understanding economic trends, understanding laws and how they affect your business, and extra savings and/or financing for business challenges.
- Training- Every business I've been in involves some sort of training. This could be information, "hands on" experience, and any other relevant aspects needed to be able to go into a business with adequate preparation.
- Set-up- Getting set-up to open your business is an important part of the preparation process as well. This can involve various actions that need to be taken before opening your business. Some examples of these actions are buying equipment, testing it to see if it works, setting up websites, etc.
- Knowing your local demographics. This part of the preparation process really needs to be done before any training and setting up of a business. This part of the preparation process needs to be done before even considering opening a business in a given location. Throughout the years I've seen business come into a particular location without understanding demographics. In a couple of cases the prices of their products were too high for that particular region resulting in business closings or limited success.
- Knowing your target customer. The saying goes, "If you're marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no one." This is especially relevant to online marketing. It's helpful to write a description of your target customer and where to find them to keep you on track as you continue to market.
- Understanding economic trends. It is always helpful to be aware of present and future economic trends and how they could or are affecting your business. Some examples of economic trends are the rebounding of overseas economies, new inventions and ideas that can change the direction of a particular industry, interest rates, cost of stocks, and new political leadership that could have an effect on the market places either through new legislation or less indirectly just by their presence in office.
- Which brings us to the subject of knowing how various laws apply or may apply to your business. This would include present and future laws also. Some laws may have little to no effect on your business and others may require a redirection or reinvention of certain aspects of the business or all of the business.
- Savings and/or financing for upcoming or potential business expenses. This, of course, varies per business. Some businesses may require extensive savings or financing to start, others may be inexpensive in their startup costs. Two great contrasts in relation to startup and overhead are a business where someone cleans up pet poo (there is one in my local area!), and someone who buys a fast food restaurant franchise.
- Anticipating any potential challenges that may come up and preparing mentally and practically for these things. Preparation for potential challenges may involve business set-up, finances, insurances, etc.
Summing It Up
The three stages of action for a business are preparation, administration, and visualization. This article deals with the preparation stage of action. Common factors in the preparation stage are training, set-up, knowing local demographics, knowing your target customer, understanding economic trends, understanding laws and their effect on business, savings and financing necessary, and anticipating potential challenges.
Your Turn Now
How well have you prepared for opening your business? Did you get the necessary training involving knowledge and/or experience? Are you set-up well to start your business? Do you know your local demographics and/or target customer? Are you aware of present and future economic trends? Do you know the laws and their affect on business? Are you prepared with the necessary savings and/or financing? Have you anticipated and prepared for any potential challenges that could come up as you PAV the way for your business?