My answer to What are the things to consider before starting an online business?
Answer by Ken Larson:
Are You Driving the Tools & Not the Car In Launching Your Small Business?
As a small business counselor I have noticed there seems to be a belief that automation, the Internet and social networking can make the business succeed when in fact the real design of the enterprise itself is lacking (niche, market base, business plan, competitive analysis and financial forecasting)
I hear from many clients who ask, "What Now?" having launched an enterprise that is going nowhere because they are driving the tools and not the car.
I take them back to the garage; design the auto to see if it can run and then apply the wrenches retroactively if that is possible. It is usually a traumatic experience and could have been avoided with strategic and business planning before launch.
Below is a simple test to develop your potential idea for a business.
1. Do you have a product or service niche in mind?
2. Do you believe you have a market for 1 above and the means to reach it?
3. Are you willing to develop a business plan using the tool kit linked below to validate 1 and 2 above before you launch?
If the answer to the above questions is "Yes",use the below planning aids to design your business vehicle and the road map you intend to follow on your journey:
When you have completed the above definition and planning process you will then be in a position to astutely select the tools you wish to use along the way and apply them successfully.
You will be able to network your vehicle, pick up riders as industry partners, and attract revenue fuel in the form of customers by marketing and social networking based on the thorough definition and content of your business plan.
There is a new kind of monkey these days – the technology monkey. That sucker will bury us if we don't learn to deal with him. In short, don’t let technology make a monkey out of you and your idea as well as raid your treasury before you launch.
Define your business vehicle and its journey first. Then pick the right technology tools to make a successful trip.