All it takes to start a business is an idea. But if all it took to make a business successful was an idea, we would have more business owners than employees. It would be interesting to be around when that happens, because it can happen, believe it or not. During the Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar last weekend, I and my friend Sanika decided to start a tutoring business. Sanika is an experienced tutor and she specializes in working with children with special needs. She does wonders with kids between the ages of 7 to 14.
All lasting business is built on friendship. Alfred A. Montapert
Yesterday evening, Sanika and I had a 4 hour long video chat through Google Hangouts and we used the 100 Dollar Startup one-page business plan to create a basic blueprint for the success of our business. I am sharing this story in the hope that it inspires someone to start a business without over thinking about it. All it takes is an idea and someone to develop the idea into a business with. Following the guidelines on the one-page business plan, here is the process we went through:
- Chose a business name. This is one of the essentials. The business name is important but can be changed. We brainstormed, a few names came out, and we eventually settled on one which Sanika liked most.
- Define the product. This activity took us most of the time we spent discussing the idea. It is critical to determine exactly what the product is and in what form it will be sold.
- Determine a price. This was relatively easy because we researched competitors’ prices and positioned ourselves in the right bracket to make a profit while having enough resources to create maximum value.
- Create a unique selling proposition (USP). Here we defined exactly what it is that we will do and how that will be different from competitors and create value for our clients.
- Find out how to accept payment. With Square, Paypal, Google Checkout, and the host of other payment processing services out there, this is easier than ever. We will work with Square, simple UI and good reviews.
- Create a marketing strategy. We did not go into details of marketing, even though this is the most important aspect of the business. But we thought about 5 simple ways we will spread the word in our community.
- Determine success criteria. We decided what will be measured to establish that the business is being successful. Even though we thought about and discussed rapid growth and scaling up, we set our expectations very low for the first few months. That way it will not take much to keep us excited and going. We set our success criteria based on the number of customers as opposed to net income.
- Discuss potential challenges. We played the devil’s advocate and poked holes into our business idea and business model. Then we came up with potential solutions and created a series of action steps to follow to mitigate those risks.
After going through each of the steps above, we gave ourselves assignments and agreed to meet again a week later to create marketing tools for the business. If you know of anyone who has a child with special needs and needs an affordable and experienced tutor, call my friend and business partner Sanika Lim on 562 208 8971.
Do you have any advice or suggestion that will help us in developing this business? What are your experiences?