I Mean Business So How Do I Plan For It?

Lucid Leadership by Rowan B. Colver

You want to get ahead, move forward, make some money, and help people all at the same time. You’re a business person. You know that your life is valuable in the world and your unique set of gifts are there for people to utilise. You also know that people will take what they can get in the world and they rarely spare a thought in the process. This means the business has to come between your skills and society’s desires. It’s a matter of fact that without a decent business plan, your good intentions and hard work will simply spiral into a whirlpool, making a lot of noise, maybe a bit of money, but you will not last long. Someone else will take your spot pretty quickly. Having a clear direction and communicating it with everything you do will ultimately persist even when the flock of seagulls have gone to another free feast.

Your most important factor to consider is how will you ensure that you get paid? Some of us have no problems saying no and only working when someone has offered money, but other times we feel that word of mouth and contacts are valuable in their own right. Scarcity increases these values. It might make sense for a team to do something in exchange for exposure and interest if they don’t have a lot of it. Making a profit is a multi-pronged factor that considers assets and services as valuable alongside cash sums. Clear priorities can arrange the agenda according to what is needed most at the current time.

It’s important to summarise your service into a set of tools that others can find and pay for. Solving people’s problems when they can’t solve them themselves is what the majority of business is about. We pay for things we need or want only when we can’t access them for free elsewhere. Putting down skills and services in a manner that reflects their purpose in the eyes of other people is therefore the first aspect of planning your business. What do you do and what does that do for others? The more powerful and effective your tools can be shown to be, the better product you will have.

Knowing what we can do for others is the first step but we also need to consider how we can turn this into money. There are two ways of making money in this way. We either provide a service to a person directly for a fee, or we provide a global service that people want to support. There is often a mix of both aspects that work at the same time, where businesses offer goods and services to customers and show that they use profits for good in the world. Showing customers what they can purchase and what their custom is providing in the world will be the main element of what your business is.

Who are your customers? It’s not a good idea to guess based on your own dislikes and likes. A customer is a specific type of person with a specific type of problem. When judging your customer type, you must consider what it is you offer. It is unlikely that people who are just like you will want your service, as people just like you can provide it. We need to consider the people who cannot do what we are offering and, therefore, will be willing to pay for your time. Once we have a person type in mind for who we want to work for, we need to think about economics. Making a profit needs to happen so that you can pay yourself a wage and employ other people. You cannot charge too high because the customer will find a cheaper deal, if you charge too low then you won’t make a significant income. When you research similar businesses you can get a flavour of what people are charging for what level of service. It’s important to try and find an original and unique way of delivering the product that offers something specific to you and people might even want to pay a little more for that.

Once you have looked at what you can deliver and how much the market is willing to pay for these services, you can set about advertising and building networks of collaborators and customers.

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Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome. ko-fi.com/rowanblaircolver

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Rowan Blair Colver

Rowan Blair Colver

Music writer and humanities educator from Sheffield in England. Democracy of philosophy, comments are welcome. ko-fi.com/rowanblaircolver

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