Major Milestones for Starting Your Business

Did you know that airplanes can be off-course upwards of 95 percent of the time?

This means a flight requires constant attention to course correction. Your business has similar needs, although hopefully not to the same extent, so we use milestones to gauge our progress and the actions we need to get back on course. Let’s look at some of the milestones your new business should have.

Building a Strong Business Model

Business models come in all sizes and shapes. When you’ve decided what business you wish to build, that’s the time to plan your business model. Since it’s the foundation on which you’ll build, make it a good one.

Your business plan needs to outline things like your funding options, how much capital you’ll need to start, and the company’s legal structure (corporation, limited liability corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.). A legal advisor, also known as a lawyer, can help you determine the legal structure. Naming your company can present problems down the road if you grow beyond expectations. If the name conflicts with a company at the national level and they have already registered the company name nationally, you could be out of luck.

A detailed discussion on a variety of funding options can be found here.

Diligently Create Strong Customer Loyalty

Customer Loyalty

Image via Flickr by betsyweber

Ah, the sweet smile of your first repeat client. Gathering an understanding of customer loyalty should take less than 30 seconds if you answer this question: “What makes you give your business to the same company over and over?”

Let’s take a wild guess here and say your reasons are customer service, product or service quality, and price. These are among the most common motivators for customer loyalty.

Build a Marketing Strategy

“Marketing? I don’t need no stinking marketing!” Paraphrasing an old film may be funny to some who remember it, but if you believe that statement, your company will be among the 50 percent that fails within the first five years of launch. If you’re not spending much time on smart marketing, you’re not keeping the sales pipeline full. Sooner or later, you’ll be back to square one — trying to build your business all over again.

Hire and Train Staff When You’re Ready

Many of us could safely say that time is inversely proportional to money. If you have a lot of time, you have very little money because you’re not working enough. Conversely, if you have a lot of money, you have very little time because you’re working too much to spend that money.

When you reach the latter point, you should plan to hire and train staff because you have enough money to pay them. In return, they will free up your time.

Remember that scrimping on staff training is not only wasteful but potentially dangerous. As my father used to ask, “Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over?” Whether the job is in manufacturing or computing, little knowledge is dangerous. And this principle doesn’t apply only to your employees. If you’re interested in more training for yourself — specifically to help you start and build a business — check out Amway Education.

Celebrate When You Reach a Significant Number of Sales

As part of your marketing strategy and a milestone, you should plan to celebrate a significant event, such as your 1,000th sale. This sort of event truly is a milestone and should be recognized for what it is: a job well done. As an added bonus, celebrating important milestones will alert the public that your company is doing well and provide a rallying point for your staff.

As you’ve seen here, milestones aren’t just events we encounter, like birthdays or anniversaries. Those milestones will happen with or without our intervention. Your business milestones need to be thought out and planned. They are guides and goals to keep you on track. To remind you that you planned this journey, and when you land, it will be worth it.