- Written by Skip McNutt
Build a Fire in Your Business!
OK – This will sound like a very simple metaphor. It is simple, but don’t throw water on it just yet.
If you have ever built a fire you know the basics. You need a match or the power of rubbing sticks together. Use whatever it takes to start a flame. You need kindling of some kind. It might be paper or fibers or small sticks. From the starter you need fuel to keep the fire burning. Of course, the longer you want the fire to burn, the more fuel you will need. There is always a reason for the fire in the first place. Whether it’s for warmth or cooking food, a fire of some kind will be needed.
So, how does this relate to business? I’m so glad you asked. It takes a fire of some kind to sustain life and all the demands of a business. I have talked with hundreds, if not thousands of people who dream of having a business of their own. I might add, it is not usually the business they want. The bottom line is that they would like to be out from under the control of a “Boss.” Freedom is a big deal. The truth is that there will always be a boss. That boss might be the demands of the customer, the employees, the government and the basic needs of a family.
Consider, if you will, the basic elements of building a fire in comparison to the basic needs to start and operate a business.
- The first stage is in determining the reason for the fire/business.
- The match is the capital.
- The kindling is the location and inventory.
- The fuel is more capital and marketing.
- The labor to keep the fuel coming is your time and the efforts of the employees.
Sadly, the majority of those wanting to “Start a Fire” will fail to consider the whole picture.
- The first stage.
Think about the reason for a business in the first place. Do you have a compelling reason to start a business? It’s one thing to get tired of working for someone else. It’s another thing to look ahead to the future and the lifestyle that you may have dreamed about. You may need to remove the barriers that include self-doubt and lack of initial capital. Can you genuinely see your self living the life you really want?
Countless individuals are trading hours for dollars on the job. You only have so many hours and therefore a built-in limitation on earnings. Its easy to feel trapped and out of reach from your dream lifestyle.
- Available Capital.
It is difficult, at the very least to save for the future when you are barley earning enough to get by. Starting a business of any kind costs money. You might find it interesting that most people who are in business for themselves became desperate at some point and did whatever it took to get the funds and move forward.
- The Kindling.
Establishing a suitable location and purchasing inventory requires capital. This is where most businesses have to start with a great business plan and a bank loan. These loans are not small and will consume a significant portion of the revenue.
- The Fuel.
Here comes the big gamble. The revenue required to sustain the business for the long haul is the great variable. You are faced with everything from weather conditions to variations in the market place and overall efficiency in business management in the effort to sustain the business. This is the place where you do your homework to determine the real viability of a business plan. DO THE MATH! I recently talked with an individual who, after several years in business, still didn’t know his cost of customer acquisition. If you don’t know how or what to consider, it will pay to get some advice. One of the most common reasons for failure is the lack of financial planning.
Maintaining staff and all the individual needs and requirements can be a major headache. There is a clear cut cost in hiring and providing for employees. The other challenge is found in the stress factor. Stress can be overwhelming to the extent that you may wish you could return to your old job. A well thought out plan will help eliminate much of the stress factor.
I’m not trying to paint a negative picture when it comes to the possibilities associated with owning your own business. It’s just a realistic look at the factors that need to be considered in the process
Do you want to Build a Fire in Your Business? Take a hard look at what it takes and start planning. The majority of the issues I have outlined can be resolved with a well-thought-out plan and the action required to launch.
Check the video above for additional thoughts.