Turn Your New Business Dreams into Reality
by Robert Imbriale
Are you just starting out in business? Great! I know exactly how you feel! This is truly a wonderful time in your life with nothing but promise ahead for you. Enjoy the moment, but don't let these great feelings get in the way of your decision-making abilities.
What I mean is this. You are probably feeling like your new business is the answer to all your dreams. That your income will soon be many more times what you have earned in the past. And that now you are free to come and go as you please. But in that, there is the possibility that the decisions you will be making will be heavily influenced by the dream and not the reality. Let me give you and example of what I mean.
It's your very first trip to your local office supply superstore. In your mind, you are seeing an office, fully stocked with nothing but the best supplies, the nicest desk, the latest computer, and a phone with more buttons than you'll ever learn how to use!
I see you in these stores. All I have to do is look at what's in your shopping cart and I know exactly where you are in your business. If I see lots of "luxury" items, chances are that your new to the business world.
Why is this? Simple. We all have dreams about the way that we want our business to be. We all want to be on top, have the best of everything, after all, we are the self-proclaimed President of our newly formed corporation. And we all know that a President only gets what's best, right?
Let me say this. When you are just getting your business underway, the most important asset you have is the money you have invested in your business.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on that fancy new desk, would a hundred-dollar desk do the job? Of course it would! The only exception to this is if you intend on meeting with clients at your office. Then it does pay to invest a little more in your office furniture. Keep your purchases of office supplies to a minimum at this point too.
There is no need for you to "stock-up" on photocopy paper, pens, fax paper, etc. There are office supply stores readily accessible in every town. If you run out, it will only take you a few minutes to pick up what you need. The key here is that you keep as much money available as you can.
Buy the best computer system you can reasonably afford. I say this because computers change at a break-taking pace, but you can extend the length of a computer system's usefulness by buying the latest model. Buy a good printer. A laser printer is best for high-quality printing and also for printing large numbers of pages quickly . An ink-jet printer is fine for most everyday printing, but realize that these printers are not designed for printing fast or for printing hundreds of pages a day.
When it comes to a fax machine, you may just want to consider a lowest-cost machine without all the fancy features. For the most part, you will never use many of these features and you can use the faxing capability in your computer for more complicated faxing projects.
When it comes to your telephone, get a better quality phone. It's important that you have a reliable phone, but again, you won't need all the features of the more expensive phones.
You'll likely need at least two phone lines. Use one for your outbound calls, faxing, and Internet use, and leave your "main" line free for inbound calls. This way, if you are on another call, your phone can be answered by a simple answering machine.
Buy a reliable, brand name, answering machine. You want to be sure that it works
reliably so that you won't miss any important calls. It pays to spend a few extra dollars here.
At this stage, don't invest anything in decor, unless you expect to be meeting with clients in your office. If that is the case, make it look nice, but don't spend very much of your money here.
Invest in business cards, letterhead, and envelopes. Not too fancy, but a good middle-of-the-road quality will work just fine here. In most cases, I have found a brochure to be a waste of your resources at this stage. A well-written sales letter will do much more for you than brochure, at a fraction of the cost.
Perhaps the most important investment you can make at this stage is in hiring a
professional to guide you through the next (more complicated) stages of building your business. You want a person who has been through it before so that you can learn from their experience. This will save you thousands of dollars in "trial-and-error" but more importantly, it will jumpstart your business and get you to the profitability stage much quicker.
The person you are likely to hire is a person known as a Business Coach. Unlike a
consultant, a Business Coach is a person who is there to help you build your business in every area, whereas a consultant will typically specialize in a specific area.
When it comes to advertising, be wary. Every publication, radio and television station, and every Internet Web Site company is going to work extra hard to get your advertising dollars from you. This is where your Business Coach can help you save thousands of dollars, and months of time. Your Business Coach already knows what works and what doesn't and won't let you spend money on advertising that is not going to work for your business.
Often times, I can get a business off and running without spending any money at all for advertising. Yes, you heard it right, build your business without spending money for advertising. That's why you absolutely need a Business Coach. It's honestly the best investment you can make in your business.
Remember to keep as much money as you possibly can in your bank account. You never know when an opportunity is going to show up that will help you to grow your business and you'll need some money to take advantage of it.
Those very precious dollars you have set aside to start your new business will disappear very rapidly, if you are not careful. I have seen hundreds of new businesses - many with great promise - get underway and spend far too much of their start-up capital on things that would never end up contributing to their bottom-line. And just months later, they are gone, closed, finished. Completely out of money.
Don't let this happen to you. Go ahead and dream. Enjoy the dreaming process because everything in this universe began as a dream, but don't let your dreaming interfere with your decision-making. Dreams only become real when you wisely apply both energy and resources to your cause.
Congratulations on starting your new business. Enjoy the process and remember to find a Business Coach who will guide you through the most critical stages of your business. Think of your Business Coach as your guide. The person who will get you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future, safely.
©1998 by Robert Imbriale. All rights reserved.
Robert Imbriale is an internationally known Business Coach, Speaker, Author, and
Master Marketer whose work is currently published worldwide in over 16 languages.
Thousands of businesses worldwide currently use his marketing strategies to increase
sales and grow their organizations. Mr. Imbriale can be reached on the web at www.ambiznet.com or via e-mail at [email protected]