The 3 Essential Documents Needed to Start Any Business

Starting a business can be a risky undertaking. They can be full of missteps, starts and stops and disappointments. To ensure that you start off on the right footing, there are three documents that will create your ventures foundation. Without them, it will be hard to be successful. These three pieces will take some time to get right. Iterating on them will codify your idea. This creation and iteration process will make your venture much more likely to succeed.

Step 1: The Pitch

The first document is your pitch. This is usually done in some presentation tool like NeoOffice or Keynote or Powerpoint. It should be the first document you create since it outlines your venture.

The importance of the pitch is that it allows you craft a story for your business. It’s what Angels and Venture Capitalists will want to see when they meet you. A good pitch is not a wordy, 12 point font business plan in Power Point but a high level vision of what you want to do. Refining your pitch will strengthen your story. Refining your pitch delivery will make your idea come alive.

Step 2: The Financial Model

Once you have outlined your idea, you need to figure out if it will actually make money. I know, sounds shallow and all corporate but it’s the truth. There is no point in spending a ton of time on your business idea unless it feeds you.

The financial model is meant to cull through your assumptions about income and expenses. Getting these all down will help you refine your pitch and executive summary. Since this is an iterative process, don’t worry about getting everything perfect right away. Just get something down you can play with. If you are unsure about an expense, put it in anyway. It’s much better to over estimate a little than to undershoot. The same applies for income (or sales).

Step 3: The Executive Summary

The executive summary is critical to getting that first meeting with investors. It’s the first thing they will ask for (the pitch might be second). It needs to stand-a-lone as the best possible high level overview of what you do. Each word, each phrase and each number has to do useful work. It has to be clear, concise and easy to read. Think of it as your ventures infomercial.

Step 4: Iterate

Getting all three pieces right will take some iteration. These iterations will anneal all three into a cohesive set. The best way to iterate is to practice your pitch in front of your team and others you trust. Have them act as investors and critique your delivery and message. These sessions will show you where your idea needs more work. Any area where you have to give long explanations or stumble over words, needs to be refined. Stumbles during the warm-up will tend to get worst when nerves get the best of you when in front of investors. Practicing will make that a whole lot better.

What About A Business Plan?

Business plans are an important component of your venture but not the end all, be all. Solid business plans start with the three documents above. They lay the foundation for how your plan will be structured. It’s important to flush out the high level idea before you dive into the business plan details. In most cases, your original idea will morph into something different. Waiting for the morphing to stop will save you time and effort.

Some funding sources don’t even want to see a business plan (Ventures and Angels). What they will want is a verbal description of your venture along with specific plans (like technology road maps or market roll out). Just because you don’t do a formal plan does not mean you don’t have to do the work. Knowing your business inside and out will instill in the investor that you are the right person to make it successful. Skimping on that will never get you funded.

Home Business Expert – Top 10 Myths About Home Based Business

Today we have more home businesses than at any time before and the number of such businesses seem to be increasing with each passing day. This only points to one direction and this is that, home businesses are making a lot of money for their owners. Yes, it is true you can start a business from your home and begin to amass wealth. But to make it really successful you need to know what are the myths about home businesses, and then work around them.

So here are the top 10 myths about home based businesses for your convenience.
1. It is too technical.
2. Running a home business is easy.
3. You just need to work for a few hours.
4. Since I am working with Bob and Bob is a millionaire I will be one too.
5. Only the first people or the top people will ever make any money in a business.
6. You don’t even need a website!
7. You don’t have to pay for advertising!
8. You won’t have to spend any money.
9. There is no need to meet people at all.
10. You can put things on autopilot.

It is too technical : This is one big myth. There are thousands of entrepreneurs with very little technical skills, and no technical skills even who are making money all the time from their work at home enterprises. So you can too. Most businesses do not need you to be a technical wizard.

Running a home business is easy : Yes it may seem that there are many who are easily earning a 6 figure income, but you should know that this is not necessarily an easy job. To become really successful, you will obviously have to know your business inside out and then do the right things properly and only then can you begin to amass enough wealth. But yes, it can be done.

You just need to work for a few hours : Of course you can decide the number of hours you want to work and even select the time of the day when to work when you are working from home, but this does not mean that just working 1 hour a day for 3 days a week will make your business a hit. There are many small business owners who really slog it out and many of them even work on weekends. But this work is usually fun because you are working for yourself and not your boss.

Since I am working with Bob and Bob is a millionaire I will be one too : Here’s another popular myth. Yes Bob has been a great success story, but you still have to make it happen even though you are following him.

Only the first people or the top people will ever make any money in a business : Many believe that only those who join first or the ones who are at the top will ever make money in a program. But this is wrong. If you do the right things, you can succeed too, no matter where you are placed or when you start. You simply have to start!

You don’t need a website : At the very beginning when you are starting off, in many businesses, you may not have a website, but as your business progresses, you will see that having a website has become a necessity. We are now in the Information Age & the Internet isn’t going anywhere.

You don’t have to pay for advertising : No matter what your business, you still need to inform your customers about it and thus you need advertising. Advertisements are most effective when you are paying for them and this can also give you the mileage you need.

You won’t have to spend any money : This is another myth because often you will find that it becomes necessary to spend money for many reasons such as business promotion, paying people etc.

There is no need to meet people : You might be working from home, but that does not mean that there will be a need to meet anyone at all for your business.

You can put things on autopilot : There are those who think that you just start the business and put the things in place and the autopilot will take care of everything. If your business has systems & the tools in place, you’ll have the ability to leverage your time & make money while you sleep. However, you will always be the constant & therefore your business will never be on autopilot.

These are the top 10 myths about home business. Needless to say, they are not true.

Ask Yourself These 10 Questions Before Starting Your Online Business

Are you seriously considering starting your very own online business? If you are you should know that there is a difference between making money from the internet and running a successful online business. The difference is, when just making money online you are basically getting paid for every action that you do online, meaning that once you stop doing whatever it is that you are doing to make money  the money will stop.

When you are running an online business that means that your business should be a 24 -7 money making machine that should be making you money while your sleeping. Sounds great doesn’t it?

The thing is, many people that are looking to start an online business jump into it with little or no thought which usually leads to their failure. I think it is important to answer these 10 questions before  pursuing your internet based business.

1. Do you have a clear cut vision for your business? This is important because if you do not know  exactly what you want your business to be and where you want it to go, it can be difficult to start it.

2. What are your business strengths? Take some time to identify what you do best in regards to running an online business. This will make it easier to realize where you may need help with or training. Be honest with yourself.

3. Do you have your business goals in order? You need to have long term and short term goals for your business. Not having any will make it difficult for you to succeed with your business.

4. Do you have a good business plan? If you don’t have a solid plan you need to get one. You should know everything that you need to do get your business up and running.

5. Do you have all of the tools and resources that you need ? You need to make sure that you have everything that you will need to start an operate your internet business. This may include  computer software, web designers, content, proper internet provides, web hosting and more.

6. Do you have a good product? You need to make sure that you are confident in whatever it is that you are selling. If you do not believe in your product no one else will.

7. Do you know who you are going to be selling to? Understanding your target market is huge because this will help you figure out how you should promote to them.

8. Are you full of information? You need to know your internet business inside and out. This includes knowing how your business is run as well as everything about  what you are selling.

9. Do you need a business coach? It may be well worth it to get a business coach. If you are having trouble in certain areas of your business plan you may need to consider a business coach.

10. Do you have the drive? Starting an online business can be tough and you should know that it will take some learning and work to achieve your online goals. The good news is that if you stick with it, you may very well be able to live your dream life due to the success of your  online business.

Laws Involved Around Small Businesses

Many people think because they have a small business they can’t benefit from the counsel and advice of an experienced business attorney. An experienced lawyer can easily help a small business owner avoid unnecessary litigation and if necessary have the best outcome for the case.

A business should always do things to protect themselves from lawsuits and its personal from business and personal liability. To avoid those kinds of situations the business should have a complete business liability policy available in place, and as well a company procedures and policies, like an employee book. Most  lawyers should be able to provide assistance with developing procedures, policies, and handbooks.

A small Business Attorney Can Help Resolve Your Dispute

A small business is an enterprise generally with less than 100 employees. It is usually a closely held corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship acting under small business law regulated by the government. In terms of ownership, only a few stockholders own or hold the shares of a closely held corporation. In contrast, partnerships involve two or more persons who agree to go into business together as co-owners. And a sole proprietorship is a business operated by a single owner with no separate legal entity for holding or operating the business, including the liability of the owner for the debts.

Most business law firms has the type of strategic, aggressive, and experienced business lawyers you need to best represent your business law matter. The entrepreneurial spirit translates into willingness and ability to craft attorney-client relationships that better suit the clients’ needs and make economic sense.

If you have a small business don’t hesitate in hiring an experienced law firm to protect you and your business. There are people out there ready to file a lawsuit against you or your business for the minimum issue they can find. For example, in the year 1994 the  famous chain food restaurant McDonald’s lost a lawsuit against a 79 years-old that claimed had spilled hot coffee on her lap. McDonald’s ended up paying a ridiculous sum of $2.86 million regarding this lawsuit.

Business Insider,a famous website that write about news related to legal issues, create an article entitled “Ten Ridiculous Lawsuits Against Big Business”. Click here to read it.