Sometimes in the hurly–burly of running a business every day we lose sight of why we do This Thing of Ours. Here’s a three-step process for eliminating the things that get in the way and focusing on what’s valuable.
What Do I Know How to Do?
All too often the entrepreneur has a hundred ideas for making money, but no clear idea of how to actually make it happen. A good starting point is figuring out what abilities you, or your organization, have. If you attempt to develop a new product or service – or even a whole new business – and don’t have the necessary skills, you’ll put undue stress on yourself and your people. There really are a million ways to make a buck and you’ll be more successful if you stick with what you know.
This doesn’t mean you can’t do new things. Just don’t overdo it. Make sure your current business is on solid footing before going off in new directions. And, don’t try too many at one time. Focus!
Can I Make Money Doing It?
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you necessarily should. You might be a highly skilled buggy whip maker, but I doubt you’ll build a successful business in buggy whips.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Are there enough people willing to pay me enough to make a profit?
- Is the competition sparse enough for me to carve out a place?
- Does my intended market have legs? Or is it a fad?
After figuring out what you can do and what you can make money doing, you have one more question to answer:
Is it Fun?
Fun can mean different things to different people. Fun can be enjoyable or socially worthwhile or challenging. How you define it isn’t important. The fact that you are having fun, as you define it, is.
Fun is what will get you through the hard times – and every entrepreneurial endeavor will have hard times. If you get up in the morning dreading going into the office or the shop, you need to re-evaluate just what it is that you’re doing with your business.