Starting a business can be both exhilarating and challenging. Here are some essential steps to set up, grow & scale your business fast doing what you love, making a huge profit & a vast & lasting difference. Step 1: Discover your vision & values - FIRST [suspend for this part the monetisation or reasons you can’t do this] 1. What could you do all day that doesn't 'feel' like work (most of the time)? 2. In what areas are you prepared to endure challenges & see it as a get up & go rather than give up & go 3. What do you feel totally in flow doing where you feel like time flies? 4. In what areas do you love helping people & solving problems 5. What do you feel you are good at, better than others, and/or could become great at? 6. What/where do you already spend a lot of your time doing & thinking about? 7. What causes bigger than you could you see yourself being involved in, or what mission/education do you want to share? Step 2: Do what comes up consistently & you will find a way to monetise this latent talent & uniqueness. 1.Test the meaningful problem/solution 2. Does your business serve, solve & scale? 3. Crowdsource your product/service & create a V1. MVP as soon as possible 4. Test your product/service/IP with low overhead, low risk, first & fast 5. Get feedback & iterate 6. Pivot frequently & don’t be too attached to what you want; Kodak or Rolls Royce/Coca-Cola 7. Can you monetise it? Really? Don’t be nostalgic or romantic. De-risk early 8. Who is your ida customer & are there enough of them? 9. Repeat this process for each product/service you launch, & check in yearly that your existing business is still doing this Step 3: Creating your product or service & going LIVE 1. Start with/create an MVP [Minimum Viable Product] & iterate from there 2. Do you have IP, license, patent, trademark or none of the above? 3. Set up your co. quickly & easily online 4. Alone, business partner, staff at the start [PA, MD/Opps & sales early] 5. Work our your costs & margins in isolation & including overhead; work out GP & NP 6. Break even point, MAC, PHR, LCV 7. Finance through cashflow, personal cash/loans or equity 8. Focus on making money not spending it. What is your remuneration Step 4: Values, Vision, Mission & Culture 1. What do you believe in & stand for? 2. What makes you unique? 3. How will you change the world/make a dent/matter? 4. How do you serve & solve? 5. How to team/staff crowdsource your V.V.M.C 6. What makes your co. the best co. to work for? Step 5: Create the community, database, fans & followers & customers now 1. Multi-platform strategies 2. Leverage all the free ones 3. Be visible & credible on all main engines/sites 4. Give information freely to build goodwill 5. Make it easy to follow, like, opt in & get your info 6. Reinvest into PPC as soon as you can 7. Discover as many marketing channels as possible: DR not brand marketing Step 6: Personal & business brand 1. Celebritise yourself in & exclusive of your company 2. Platforms on the above section on both you & your company 3. Do not make the company reliant on you or it won’t scale 4. Give valuable information out for free & look after your community 5. Be clear on your vision & values; what you are & what you are not 6. Balance the new innovations with existing proven platforms 7. Embrace digital early & focus on building a marketing team fast Step 7: The main functions of a business 1. Marketing 2. Vision & innovation 3. Sales 4. Accounting 5. Finance 6. HR & recruitment 7. Admin 7. a. Leadership/speaking Step 8: Managing yourself & building your team 1. Create a routine that works for you & follow it [KRAs, IGTs, KPIs] 2. Compartmentalise your team 3. Work on the vision & building the team outsourcing. leverage] early in the day 4. Manage & master your emotions [discipline, leadership] 5. Use your NM assets when you don’t have cash 6. Help people, add value, look to do JVs 7. Don’t wait until you are maxed to leverage 8. Passion/profession & vocation/vacation merge 9. Tell everybody what you do; shameless plugging with passion Step 9: General 1. Expect challenge. Don’t wish it away. Solve them & you grow 2. If you keep asking your customers, business is easy; give them what they want & need 3. Think long-term. Will this decision be the right decision for 3, 5 or 10 years in the future. You have to live with past mistakes so think long term. Stay patient, keep going even if progress seems slow 4. Contribute to your community & industry 5. It’s OK to make loads of money! Focus on serving & solving 1st though 6. Keep overhead low & don't rush to raise external finance 7. The longer you do it, the easier it gets 8. Get mentors, go on courses & keep reading/listening/learning. Do not do it on your own you don’t know what you don’t know 9. Don’t listen to or get sucked into arguing with, the critics, haters & trolls. Just do your thing the best you can & serve others 10. But always seek feedback to grow & improve 11. Do not procrastinate or deny big/real problems. Roll up your sleeves and sort them out as it increases your value 12. Know when to say yes & when to say no13. Get accurate and up to date management accounts & KPIs as soon as you can