So You Want to Open Your Own Business?

A Game Plan for Entrepreneurial Success

Information on how to run a business is readily available. The real question is: “what is a good business idea and how do I know if it
will work?” Here are some concepts to help you.

Develop an Entrepreneurial Attitude

You must surround yourself with entrepreneurs in order to
stimulate the creative process. Reading books about entrepreneurs can help tremendously. There are good programs available in our area, such as Small Business Development Center at BCC, Founders Forum, LEAD Brevard, Women’s Business Center at
FIT, BCC Entrepreneurship Program. Plugging into these programs will help you develop the correct
mindset and ideas will flourish.

In Brevard County, we have a kind of “entrepreneurial deficit.” The government influence creates a 9 to 5 mentality, paychecks on the 15th and 30th every month, entitlement, benefits and a dependent attitude instead of the courageous attitude it takes to build your own business. The best thing we can do to save jobs in Brevard County is investing in entrepreneurship, because there is plenty of opportunity and talent – we just need to unleash the spirit. One need only go visit the Tampa Bay area to see what a thriving entrepreneurial spirit looks like as ideas are constantly being developed.

Attitude Creates VISION

As you embrace the right attitude, your vision for an opportunity will develop clarity. Vision for entrepreneurship is about filling a need. If you can determine a need in the marketplace then you just might have found a business. If you have an idea or are trying to develop one, the best way to determine the validity of a need in the marketplace is by asking the question: “If I had a blank canvas and could paint any picture of what I want or desire, what would it look like?”

Don Kramer kept hearing from senior citizens how they wished there was a place they could go to find and learn about quality services and products specifically for their age group. The birth of One Senior Place, a one-stop shop for services and products for our senior community resulted. Richard Roselle has done the same with “We Help Brevard.” In qualifying services for seniors, he has become a trusted connector of customers to clients because he recognized the need for seniors to have a referral source for quality providers with protection against being scammed.

“Are You Qualified?”

The Orlando Magic might be in need of a quality point guard, but you are 5’2″, slow and can’t shoot a basketball; though there is a need, you aren’t going to fill that gap. This is the stage where you must know yourself. Reality, not negativity or doubt, must set in. Doubt is what keeps talented people from pursuing a good opportunity. The reality of your strengths and weaknesses is needed to determine if you “fill the need” that you have identified in the market.

Because very few of us have a complete package of skills, this stage is where the business partner enters the game. We do not have time to discuss choosing the right person, but here is the quickest and simplest way: You need the character of the person to be the same while the skills and personality are opposite. The second way to cover these areas of  weakness is to leverage through partnerships or to outsource the areas needed.

Caution: Many people will tell you to do what you are passionate about. Success comes from being passionate about filling the need; you don’t have to be passionate about the need itself.

Can You Make Money Filling the Need?

This is where the rubber meets the road – if you can’t figure out how to charge for what you do, then don’t get started. It also must be sustainable, meaning: are you creating customers for life or are you constantly doing a new sale? The recurring revenue model is one of the best models for  a business. Customers will pay for value.

Customer service is what drives all companies. It is ALWAYS about your customer, your client, your student, your patient, your player, your patrons – whatever terminology you want to use. Who comes first in your company? The customer. If you don’t like customers – then don’t get started. I hear people complaining frequently about their clientele. Eventually you won’t have that particular complaint any more, because your business will dry up. Develop the attitude of “I’m only able to be here because you are here,” and see the difference it makes.

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