Archives#coachintheclouds Archives — C. Lynn Northrup, CPA, CPIM

Starting a New Business

February 17th, 2016

One of my students asked me to share advice and information on starting a business. After thinking about his request, I recalled a recent article posted on the Business Owners Zone. It is a must read for any person considering a new business venture and was posted by John Benson who successfully started a business and lived through the process.

I thought the most critical question in the article was “do you have a business plan?” A business plan will help to answer the question of whether you have enough money to start and grow the business. The article also touched on the psychological and emotions issues that should be addressed before launching a new venture.

Business coaches weren’t mentioned in Benson’s article but I think having one is a good idea. In a previous blog post I pointed out that business and life can be a lonely journey. Having an experienced coach can be the difference maker between success and failure.

Starting a new business requires serious research and analysis. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Am I qualified to do this work?
  • What is the cost to start this business?
  • What resources do I have to commit to the business?
  • What is the competition?
  • How successful is the competition?
  • Will I need help to run the business and can I get the help I need?
  • Can I run the business from my home?
  • Who can I talk to about starting this business?
  • Do I need a business coach or advisor?

These are just a few areas you need to evaluate. Many other questions will emerge as you prepare to start your journey.

One of my other blog posts dealt with the flower exercise to help you understand your skill set to get a better handle on how well equipped you are to start and run a business. The self-examination process should be part of your homework before making a leap of faith into something that’s not a good fit.

If you make the decision to move forward and follow your dream you will need an expert financial advisor. I strongly recommend engaging a CFO advisor to help you set up a cloud based accounting system. This will provide the necessary financial tools to help manage your new business. Having a good accounting system and being linked to your own virtual CFO is an essential ingredient to success.

Your business coach together with a virtual CFO will help you craft a strategy and develop a business plan. These steps combined with a solid accounting system will give you the tools to measure and monitor your business results. Measurement is critical. If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t manage it and improve it.