You’re Starting Your Own Business: Now What?

You’ve decided to follow your life-long dream and begin a new business venture, one where you are your own boss. It is exciting stuff and if you vision-teamwork-businessplan-strategyaren’t careful, your excitement could derail your success.  Don’t get me wrong. Excitement, passion, and commitment are musts if you are going to succeed in any business climate. Yet, all of these must be balanced with a cool head, planning, and concise focus. So, where do you start?

#1. Draft a written document (call it a business plan, idea factory, personal plan, or whatever suits you) and state everything from who you are and what it is you produce or provide as a service, what your brand and packaging will be and how it is produced, to who will be a part of the team that makes it all happen.

Do you have a great memory and don’t think you need to write it all down? Think again!

Without a written business plan for where you are headed:

  • You don’t have anything to keep you on course and your team certainly won’t know where they are going either!
  • You have nothing to keep you focused on what YOU want, and you risk allowing the everyday trials and tribulations that starting a business brings to cloud your vision.
  • You will spend money that is unnecessary, either fixing problems that could have been avoided, or on efforts or supplies you don’t really need.
  • You will get completely worn out remembering what it is you want and what needs to be done to get it!

#2. Write everything down! You will learn what you don’t know about the plan you are writing. You will create space in your mind to develop further ideas or questions that need to be explored, and you will then have a tool for communicating to others (most essentially your team and investors) what you are going to do and by-when you are going to do it.

#3. Have a years worth of cash on hand, so as your business builds, the inconsistencies of cash flow won’t create problems for you. At the very least, you need a set of financials that clearly show you what you need to meet your monthly obligations.

#4. Know your competition, inside and out, because you can count on them getting to know you. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your competition. You’ve obviously created a product or service that you believe is competitive or you wouldn’t be starting a business. However, don’t get cocky believing yours is the best. Some of the best products and services never make it off the ground because the creator underestimated the current competition and the amount of customer loyalty to the competitor’s brand.

#5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I don’t know of one successful person who isn’t willing to share the secrets of their success. So find someone who is currently doing, or has done, what it is you want to achieve, and then listen!

I have developed a Business Planning Workbook that I use with my clients. For more details and purchase information, click here. It has helped numerous individuals in creating their plan and making it happen.

If you need help writing or implementing your business plan, give me a call at (406) 587-7482 or send an email to:  No commitment needed for that!

I would love to hear what’s up for you and where you want to go. Let’s see if we are a fit working together… or not.  If we are, let’s start playing!

All the best,


Clay Nelson
Clay Nelson
Founder/President at Clay Nelson Life Balance
Clay Nelson's background includes science, systems analyst, and business management. After 30 years of corporate leadership, Clay knows the key elements that make a business successful, and for more than two decades, Clay has been providing business executives and their teams, from all industries, executive business and professional coaching, mediation, facilitation, planning, system analyses and seminar leadership. Read More »


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