So, you're thinking about starting your own business. You've got a great idea and are pumped to get started but not sure how to go about it? Well, all successful businesses start with a solid foundation. The 4 P's are the pieces that every business needs to achieve success! The first is people – who will be involved in your business and what skills do they bring? Next is processes – what type of process need to happen in order for tasks to get done? What are the critical steps that need to take place? Thirdly is productivity – how can you be productive and what tools you need to get there. And lastly, Profit – How to know your numbers and what to look out for. Keep reading below to learn more!
- People: You cannot do this alone. You must grow a team. Consider using a psychology tool to prequalify people. Start an intern program and pre-qualify people. Don't hire your friends! Do not say yes to everything and everybody. Stay focused on your goals and if a new shiny object comes along and it doesn't align with your goals then the answer is no.
- Processes: Building internal and external processes that are paperless, are essential to our business world today. Get everything out of your head and in the cloud quickly. Video your screen to show others how to do what you do. Consider an internal process and a communication plan for you and your team. And consider an external process that you and your team will follow with your clients. Do not deviate from your process, meaning, if you allow your clients and your business to run you, you basically have another job. Learn from your process and make it better.
- Productivity: do not get overwhelmed by all of the shiny tech tools. Start small but invest in the right software programs and productivity tools to ensure that you keep your team accountable, establish deadlines, and again a communication plan that is going to be productive for everyone involved. If you don't know what tools are right for you, hire a consultant or get a mentor that can provide experience shares.
- Profit: this is perhaps the most important. You must understand your numbers. Understand your overhead, and understand how much you need to run the business, how much you need to make to live, and what you need to be saving for in the future. Evaluate this annually as you grow. The biggest mistake that I made the first seven years of business was not understanding how to appropriately charge for my company services. Don’t compare yourself to what everyone else is doing. At the end of the day you are unique. Your service or product is unique. Your idea is unique. Even though there might be a ton of competition in your industry, find what makes you unique and exploit that as much as possible.
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