When it comes to an idea to start a business, even start a Mac business, the first step is the idea of starting a business. Usually the idea comes from a number of perspectives or reasons: seeing an idea that solves a problem, the need to want to make more money, the desire to use all of ones talents rather than the limitation of working in a “cubicle nation,” or even wanting to do something different with ones life. Whatever the reason, they all surround the main reason of WHY. Why do you want to start a business?
The steps needed to start a business are as follows
- Why? What is the real reason for wanting to start your business?
- Business Basics. Understanding the purpose of a business, i.e. solving a problem that someone is willing to pay money for your solution. It means there is the craft of your business and the business of your craft. Much like being a writer. You’re a writer, but there’s the business surrounding your writing, graphic artist surrounded by the business of graphic art, law and the business of being a lawyer, etc.
- Business Research. Doing the necessary research into getting your product marketable and salable to your customers. Are there others that are doing what you’re doing? How will you do things differently, separating yourself from the pack?
- Business Plan. Business planning is about analyzing your business idea, i.e. crunching the numbers, to see if you can make a profit out of it. Making sales without making a profit means you’ve worked for nothing. It goes back to #2 above, but here’s where missing out how to calculate how you’ll make a profit, including covering for any sick days that you might have, medical insurance, etc., can cost you a pretty penny. As we use to say in the USAF, prior planning prevent poor performance. A suggested product is IONFreshStart.com‘s Business Planning templates made for Apple’s iWork.
- Action or Project Plan. Once the planning for the Go/No Go decision is done, whether or not you’re willing to go forward with your business idea, now you need to put action to the financial questions and get it done.
- Mac Software. What Mac software will help you with your business? Here, too often, the typical new business owner wants to “buy big” for the future or “wants what everyone else has” so that they can be “compatible with those they work with.” It comes down to this question: do you want to share information or collaborate with others? You can share a PDF of information with others, but if you need for others to work with you on something, look at whether or not the software can use the same file format or not.
- Mac Hardware. Once you have decided on the software that you need to run your business the next step is to decide which Mac to run it on, whether you need power, portable, or price conscious. Power refers to desktops, portable means laptops, price means the Mac Mini.
- Marketing. It’s about getting your name out for your customers to find you. As it has been said by others, 10% of your effort is in getting your product to market, the other 90% is marketing. You will not stop this part.
- Sales. Once your customers know who and what you do, it’s a matter of selling them what you offer. It is also a matter of listening to your customer and adjusting your product to keep and gain more customers.
- Operations. Here’s where the rubber meets the road. If you can’t run your business cost effectively, even frugally, then you won’t make any money. If you love what you do, that’s one thing, but if you can’t run a cost effective operation you wont’ make money at it.
There you have the steps. If you want more detail, you can purchase my book, How to Start a Business: Mac Version because I go into much more detail as to how to get started. Or click on the book cover on the top right and order one today.