YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016 - 23

BUSINESS ADVICE

WHAT HAVE I MISSED?

DO MY COSTINGS
ADD UP?

You don't have to be a spreadsheet
genius to work out the costs of your
business. Anyone with a calculator
can do costings. It's the most basic
process of adding up and taking
away. Remember to value your own
time too, so include your own
salary in projections. You're not
going to work the rest of your life
for free! Not including the cost of
your time distorts your selling
price. Whenever you don't add your
cost in, the selling price, whether
it's for a product or service, appears
to be cheaper so don't start off with
artificially low prices. Double check
the costings. Then double check
them again. And then get
somebody else to check them. If
your costings survive that level of
scrutiny you can feel confident
you're on the right track.

DOES MY IDEA WORK?

Crystallization is that moment
when your idea starts ticking
the boxes, answering all the
basic questions. The question
today is: does your idea work?
Avoid getting caught up in all
the micro detail and focus on
the key elements. Are you
fulfilling a genuine customer
need? If so, does the pricing
make sense for that customer?
Have you researched every
aspect of the market in depth so
you understand what makes it
tick? And are you ready to
embrace your idea, name it, and
see where the journey may take
you? If the answer is no, you
need to be prepared to go back
to the drawing board and start
again. If the answer is yes...
welcome aboard the
entrepreneurial journey.

The further you travel along this
journey, the more self-critical you
need to be. This is the time you
need to look even harder for that
one thing you might have forgotten
that could mean your idea doesn't
work. Then find the solution that will
make it work.
Even if you believe you have ticked
all the boxes in the process, even if
you have a real business idea that
customers are genuinely going to
want, one that you can secure an
order for, with costings that work
and a team in place to deliver it,
then you must double and triple
check just to be sure you
haven't missed anything.
You should never be afraid of
finding weaknesses or problems with
your business idea because acquiring
that knowledge will give you power
to correct any errors, adjust the
model and make your idea more
bankable in the long term.
You always learn more from your
mistakes than your successes.

HAVE I PUT TOGETHER THE RIGHT TEAM?
Usually one person cannot be the ideas
genius, the financial wizard and the
salesman rolled into one. Genuinely
multi-talented business people are few
and far between. Setting up your own
business doesn't have to be a lonely
and solitary journey. You may have the
heart of an entrepreneur but you'll
need help along the way to assist with
the key roles such as finance.
The financial role is critical so
ensure you have the right financial

team on board to help you do all the
basics if your idea takes off. They need
to look after registering the company,
sorting out PAYE, putting together a
cashflow forecast and so on.
If you understand what each
constituent part of your particular
business does, you can easily do a
mental checklist of what you need.
Who's going to do the selling? Who's
going to execute and deliver the
product or service?

You learn more from your
mistakes than your successes
23



YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016

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