#BacktoBasics: Resources to Build a Strong Foundation for Your Business

There is a fundamental truth about constructing a new structure:  Any building that is constructed has a better chance at lasting on bedrock than on sand. That is a guarantee! This is why it is so important that your business has a solid foundation.  

How can you make sure that this is the case with your business? By assessing how you have structured your company and making the necessary improvements and adjustments so that you are operating like a well-oiled machine. 

Many times, enthusiastic entrepreneurs setup their business “flying by the seat of their pants” and figuring things out as they go along. The problem with this, just like with any constructed building, the cracks are going to show up with a faulty foundation. They’ll start out small and then gradually expand to large, messy and very expensive issues that can no longer be ignored. When this happens, it can affect one’s reputation, cash flow, marketing efforts and most certainly your mindset and the level of stress you deal with as an entrepreneur.

Whether you are a business newbie or an established entrepreneur, NOW is a great time to analyze your infrastructure to ensure that it is setup to support your long-term growth and success.  The following resources are a few key areas to consider when starting or re-evaluating your business foundational building blocks:

Introduction to Business Startup

Are you ready to start a new small business? This webinar will lead you through the steps you should take to be successful.  Tune in to learn a no-nonsense approach to starting a business with a higher chance for success. Some of the topics for discussion are:

  • Startup myths
  • Critical success factors
  • Your roles as a business owner
  • The most important business functions
  • The critical importance of cash flow
  • Dealing with regulations
  • Finding good professional advisers

Recommended recorded webinars:

  1. Introduction to Business Startup
  2. Business Startup in 2022

Business Planning and Strategizing

A business plan is a very important and strategic tool for entrepreneurs. A good business plan not only helps businesses focus on the specific steps necessary for them to make business ideas succeed, but it also helps them to achieve short-term and long-term objectives.

A large number of business funding experts support the idea that having a good business plan is not enough. Even excellent business ideas can be useless if you cannot formulate, execute and implement a strategic plan to make your business idea work. If you are looking to raise funds from institutional investors and lenders, keep in mind that having a good business plan is extremely valuable. You should aim to have a well-documented plan that speaks for itself. It needs to be clear and easy to read and understand.

Recommended recorded webinars:

  1. The Quick 1-Page Business Plan: Lean Canvas
  2. How to Write Your Business Plan

Elements to a Marketing Plan

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is that finding and engaging potential customers is becoming increasingly technical and complex, and it’s all too easy to waste money on strategies that don’t get the desired results. Learn your target market, competition, business environment and how to write and implement a marketing plan.

Topics covered include:

• Who are the right people for my product/service?
• Where do I find these people?
• What’s the difference between marketing and sales?
• Now that I have a blog, what do I write?
• How do I use Twitter/FaceBook/Blogging to attract customers?
• How do I get people to come to my site?
• Am I saying the right words to connect with my audience?
• Defining your target market

Recommended recorded webinars:

  1. Elements of a Marketing Plan
  2. Branding in the Virtual World

Preparing to Fund Your Business Costs

Planning your start-up? Scaling up your existing business? How do your plans look in financial terms?

How much funding will you require and when? What are your start-up costs? When will your cash flow be positive each month? Can you turn a profit in a reasonable time? Is your start up story solid enough to convince lenders?

All are important questions for the entrepreneur. Tube into these webinar opportunities to learn the basics for building your Cash Flow Plan for Success.

Webinar Deliverables:

Help you, the start-up or existing business owner, understand cash flow to:

*Target positive cash flow and adequate “profit” from the start
*Know the critical factors of your business plan
*Convince backers and lenders to provide their support
*Track your progress

Turn your business vision into a sound financial story

Note: Having a basic business plan or a completed Lean Canvas is the right foundation for this course.

Recommended recorded webinars:

  1. Show Me the Money!
  2. Understanding Basic Financial Statements

Tips for Starting a Business

From Certified SCORE Mentor, Joe Fernandez:

When Starting Your Business, Walk Before You Run

You have an excellent idea for a product or service, and you’re sure it will be a big hit. You are eager to go, so you plunge in, doing what the blogs, YouTube videos, checklists, and webinars said you need to do. You came up with a name for your company, designed a logo, and ordered business cards. You registered an LLC, have your Federal Tax ID, and you’ve spoken to several banks. You even built a website and social media pages. What could go wrong?

This month, I’ve met with several business owners who have taken all these steps and more but don’t understand why they can’t attract clients. They also don’t know why banks won’t give them the time of day. When I asked them, they could not tell me what made their product or service unique or how they knew there was a need for their product. They didn’t know their marketplace, and they didn’t know how much money they needed to start and operate their business until break even.

Had these business owners been ready with a well-thought-out strategy and plan, they could have saved a lot of time, effort, and money. Instead, they missed sales, suffered losses, and squandered funding opportunities. They were so eager to get going that they never built a solid foundation. Now they will have to backtrack and start again.

It’s easy to be so wrapped up in details that we forget to answer the fundamental questions about our business. So before you go running off to take care of all the fine points, first walk through these five questions to determine why anyone would want to buy your product or finance your company.