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New Beginnings - Decisions and Actions Part 1
This Hub, “New Beginnings- Decisions and Actions Part 1” will be a short series of Hubs following through the setting up a new business, a new project at work or in ones private life.
It will not deal with new personal relationships which are an entirely different matter. It is important to realize that when embarking on new endeavors there are steps that one should pass through, and the decision making should be void of emotional influence. This does not mean that there cannot be feelings of passion involved, but they should be part of the driving force, part of ones being that wants to go ahead, to succeed, but not part of the planning and execution.
When beginning something new, be it a business, a project at work or even at home basic ground rules apply. Albeit each new endeavor has its own nuances but the thinking and planning process is common.
The decision of what to do is the first action in the process. This can be setting up a new business, a project at home and even what project is important to do at work.
What is important is to decide - lets do something and then what should I do.
Granted, not all projects at work are decided by a particular individual, but the decision to “do something” was taken and now needs to be followed through. In many instances, from this point onwards the definition and process management is by oneself.
I think that it is important to state that even when not in managerial positions, especially if one is responsible at work for a line of products, a warehouse, an office, their desk, there are almost always ways to improve and initiate, for oneself and for the business. A good manager does this, as well as gladly accepts and encourages his staff to initiate.
A decision to do something has been taken. So what are the steps ahead? This Hub and the following Hubs will address in broad terms these steps. Lets for example at setting up a new business.
Step 1: The Decision of What to do.
You need to define the area which this business will cover. The choice of business can be based on one of two options- the first - a field you are familiar with and the second - a field that you know about but need to learn more.
It is important that you know where the necessary information needed to be fluent in the choice of business will come from before the final decision as to which field the business will cover is taken. This is especially true for small businesses and not as much for large ones where experts can always be hired.
Thus we are addressing the setting up of small to medium business where the major player in it will be you.
The knowledge mentioned above addresses the familiarity of the essence of the business, be it goods and products, or services rendered (such as cosmeticians, delivery services and so many more). This knowledge can be either self achieved before setting up the business or, if planned carefully with the correct assistance while the business is set up and running. The latter option is riskier and success will depend on ones ability to learn, a clear open mind, the ability to accept guidance and advice, excellent assistance either from a partner or advisor. Alone and without any knowledge will make it much more difficult. Possible, certainly yes, and there are many examples of success, as well as failures. One needs to be aware of the pitfalls ahead. Knowing the needs and dangers will help to achieve the goals set.
As stated above the first option can be easier. “Easier” - not necessarily meaning less risks, but knowing intimately the field to be entered can help understanding needs of the public and the expectations of prospective clients. Here again, good planning, decision making and sound advice is a necessity. Being familiar with the subject will help, but will not ensure success.
Thought , planning and correct execution will increase the chances for success.
Decision taken - I know what area of business I want to go into - what’s next?
Step 2 - Defining the broad scope of the Business
Now that a decision has been made and the idea has materialized the next step will be defining the goals of the business in broad terms.
This step is important in the thought and planning process. It will define the broad scope of the business and set the path ahead. Sometimes this step is neglected. It should not be.
The decision has been made to open a business. To understand this better lets look at some examples:
a) Retail business. Invariably the decision will be to open a store that will offer a certain line of products, or theme of products. A line of products could be a store that deals in handbags and purses, a store that sells watches, a linen store, a theme store that offers a selection of items to enhance the home such as vases, pictures, artificial flowers, special crockery etc.
b) Services - Cosmeticians, Automobile repairs, Deliveries, building swimming pools, building houses, home renovation and more
c) Production - a small ceramics producing business, a small factory to produce special clothing, furniture production, etc.
d) Food - a restaurant, bakery, confectionary or catering In all fields it is imperative to define in broad terms what the goals of the business or activity will be.
In all fields it is imperative to define in broad terms what the goals of the business or activity will be.
• A retail business that deals in jewelery - this is the time to decide what type of jewelery, who the expected clients will be and what products (price range, styles etc) are targeted to be stocked
• A linen store - will this include curtains, bedware, blankets, towels and more
• a cosmetics operation , now is the time to decide what services will be offered - manicure, pedicure, make-up and so on.
• Furniture manufacturing - will it be dining tables and chairs, lounge suites , cabinets, bedroom furniture or kitchens
We could go on with numerous examples of each business, but the point being that the broad scope of the business needs to be defined, and defined as accurately as possible. It is not enough to just decide - "I want to open a business" and then go full steam ahead deciding as you run.
A process should be followed.
This thinking process does not necessary take a long time. It can be efficient and not time consuming. Rather, the emphasis is in correct planning. All the above is also relevant for working businesses and decision making in all levels when starting new projects or planning for new ideas, be it oneself or as a manager of a team.
To summarize the two major points mentioned in this Hub:
1. Decision of what we want to do
2. Defining in broad details the scope of the endeavor
The consecutive hubs in this series will define the coming stages that are basic step to fly so - “come back for more”