Whether people like it or not, we live in a majorly capitalistic world where money is exchanged for value, time, services, and products. Many of these are offered in a legal way via businesses and corporations which are created for the purpose of making money by offering the four things we just described. Now, some people don’t want to start their own business and prefer working for someone else, which we encourage if that’s what they want to do. Everyone has their own truth and we cannot convince those whose truth is different than what we believe. However, there are some people who want to have a better position in this financial world and thus want to start their own or understand more about business. For that reason in this article we will be discussing the topic of business and how you can start, grow, and exit.
Starting, Growing, and Exiting a Business
Like the famous rapper Jay Z said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a BUSINESS maaaan.” He’s 100% right. We are all walking businesses and are constantly selling people on who we are. The way we dress is our packaging. What we say is our copyrighting and sales pitch. What we think is the incubation phases, and what we do for others ends up becoming our product. Most people think of a business as selling something to others, but they don’t understand that they themselves are a business and simply create a company in order to have higher credibility. Those that understand this do create corporations, but just how do they do it?
Starting: A business starts the moment an entrepreneur has the idea to start one. Napoleon Hill’s first statements in his best-selling book, and business bible “Think and Grow Rich”, are that everything starts with an idea. This is true because without a thought, nothing can happen. Without a vision there’s no path. Once the thought of starting a business happens, there’s a few things, questions, that follow. What industry should I go into? What products and/or services will I offer? Who is my target customer? How much will it cost to launch my business?
Once you’ve answered these questions then we need to establish your business as an entity. This means you will need to create a name for it, one that people will familiarize and connect with the industry. After a name is chosen, you will have to look for a domain name which is how your customers will find your website. In order to create a website we need to have a logo created as well. Once you have these things done, you can file your paperwork to make your business a DBA (doing business as) or file right away to be a corporation.
From there, you will have to create a business plan so that you have a good understanding of your business, target audience, marketing plans, budgets, money needed (if any), and other items included in a business plan. Partners will want to know what you plan to do with the business, how you plan to grow it, and what your exit will be. Yes, there have been some successful businesses that had none of this, like Facebook, but we can guarantee you that there was an initial business plan created and it simply morphed into something much bigger. That’s the awesome part about business, that usually the business takes on a life of its own and becomes something completely different than what you thought it would be.
Growing: Starting a business allows you to get off the ground. You may get few customers/clients in the beginning or you may have a tremendously great idea and you grow faster than most business, but in reality, you will have to grow the business yourself. This requires a lot of time, effort, and money so you will have different scenarios to play out in your head. You can either run the business yourself in the beginning to save money and later hire people to help you. You can also seek startup capital and/or partners to come in with you to share the work load or to provide you with the money as “silent partners” so that you can go and hire people, spend money on marketing, and anything else that the business needs. Here’s a list of things for you to research in order to grow a business successfully:
- Customer Relations Management (CRM)
- Social Media Management
- Advertising Platforms
- Branding Specialists
- Managers, CEOs, CPAs, and Employees
- Freelancers and Virtual Assistants
These will allow you to stay organized, to automate as much as you can, to advertise to the right people with the least amount of money, to brand your business to grow and be respected, to hire people who know more than you to specialize in certain aspects, and to hire people to do the small tasks that you don’t want to or feel competent to do. The best business owners in the world prioritize and know their strengths and outsource everything that they know they suck at or don’t want to do.
Exiting: A business has a cycle as well, just like anything else. A baby is first conceived, then its born. It then spends its life learning, growing, meeting people and doing something for the world, and then…it dies. This is the same path that a business takes, but some die prematurely, others live on. The way you exit a business and allow it to live on will determine how you start it, so the exit should be pondered before you launch. Below are three methods of existing your business.
- Merger and Acquisition (M&A)
- Initial Public Offering (IPO)
- Sell the Business
It is essential that an entrepreneur knows where he or she is going (exiting) before launching so that there’s a clear path to follow. There’s so much more that we didn’t cover so it is up to you to do further research and learn along the way because every business will be a different story and a different journey.