8 Steps to Start Any Business Quickly, Professionally and Successfully

I know from working with more than 4,000 new entrepreneurs over the past twenty-five years that when they come to us they all want to “be in business, not planning to be business”. There is an understandable impatience shown.

I know firsthand from planning my own three business launches the critical importance of step by step business planning, but I also know that few prospective entrepreneurs will take the time to complete a full-blown business school style business plan.

So, my team of coaches and I have reduced the business start-up process to just eight steps in our Start Your Business NOW! Start-Up School.
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How to Get Started with Marketing Planning

In my work with more than 4,000 start-up clients over the past twenty five years I have noticed a recurring pattern – many of these new entrepreneurs have set a financial goal they want to achieve their first year in business, but they haven’t committed to writing a detailed description of how they intend to achieve this result.

The process of doing so is known in the business planning process as “marketing planning”. Technology-oriented businesses often title this work as creating “the business model”. Continue reading

Prepping Your Small Business for a GSA Schedule Contract

If your company is currently working with the government, or thinking about jumping into the government space, a GSA Schedule Contract can open up additional opportunities and make your business more attractive to federal buyers.  A GSA Schedule is a contract that can be used by federal agencies to purchase a company’s products and services; it contains pre-negotiated pricing, terms, and conditions which streamline the government sales process.   More importantly, a GSA Schedule Contract allows small businesses to capture some of the $32 billion in annual spending through the program – over 37% of which was spent with small businesses last year.   Agencies can even set aside contracts exclusively for small businesses through the GSA Schedule program.

For the most part, you can submit a proposal to obtain a GSA Schedule Contract at any time.  However, before you begin the process, take the time to assess your current situation.  Where does your company need to be in terms of your organizational structure, financials, and past performance in order to obtain a GSA Schedule Contract?  What is your plan for when you receive a GSA Schedule Contract?  What resources and structure do you need in place to successfully utilize the contract? Continue reading