You must prioritize steps of business creation and development so that the odds are most in your favor. Investing time and money out of sequence can injure, and in many cases, kill your chances of business success. This isn’t to say that there aren’t exceptions to the rule. The more time and money you have, the more you can afford to do things somewhat out of order.
Still, the Entrepreneur Law of Order says that you are most likely to be profitable and have long term success when you appropriately prioritize the steps of business building.
Here are the steps for people in the advice business wanting to make a difference, change the world and make money doing it:
- Hire the best people you can afford and keep improving that team as needed as you make more money. The right person or people will improve upon the success of every step here after.
- Decide what type(s) of product(s) or service(s) you will sell and create whatever needs to be created so you have something to sell. Without knowing what you are going to really sell then the rest of these steps can easily waste time and money.
- Develop your brand with good names, slogans and persuasive copy that creates a high perception of value. You need to be able to have an effective conversation with people about who you are and what you do.
- Earn social proof like testimonials, endorsements, awards, proof of results, media features and titles of significance. You have to be able to answer the question “why you?” and not something else or someone else.
- Create an online presence with websites and social media that positions you as the expert in your industry and the best solutions for the challenges people are facing. People don’t feel like you are a real business until you have something to show online.
- Build a referral program that rewards people for introducing you to prospective customers and clients. This is the easiest way to get business.
- Design a presentation with slides and visual aids that will inspire action in every audience. This is proven to be one of the most effective ways to create a perception of value, capture leads and create sales.
- Write a best-selling, world changing, money making book. This can raise your icon status faster than just about anything else.
- Deliver your message through your own media. This can be your own radio show, magazine, podcast, TV show, or anything else that gives your voice a megaphone in a way that has a high perception of value.
- Manufacture an attention getting exhibit. You need to have a presence at events, summits, expos and conventions whenever possible.
*Note: Each one of these 10 steps have a little more or a little less than 10 sub steps with a total of a 100 point checklist that really helps you dive deep into the business development process. Once again, challenges can arise when you are spending too much time and money on steps 60-70 or steps 35-40 when you haven’t even completed steps 10-20 with confidence. This is the Entrepreneur Law of Order.
Sure, maybe you can start with step 2, deciding what you will sell, before step 1, hiring good people to help, but it would be better to have at least one person giving you some feedback. You could even consider steps 6, 7, or 8 before steps 4 or 5 but the odds are drastically more in your favor the more you can execute things in the right order.
Whatever you do, especially if you want to make money sooner than later, don’t do steps 4-10 without doing steps 2-3. And please, figure out step 2 of what you will sell before spending huge amounts of money doing steps 3-10.
Regardless, there will be an evolution of what you do, what you sell, how you price it, what you create, how you talk about it and how you fulfill on it. This is ok, inevitable and shouldn’t be fought. Every step should be executed the best you can with what you can afford. As you learn and grow you will revisit steps and improve upon them. Just keep the Entrepreneur Law of Order in mind.
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David T. Fagan
David T. Fagan is the former CEO of Guerrilla Marketing, which sold over 23 million books in 62 languages all over the world, as well as the former owner of LCO Communications, a Beverly Hills PR firm that has represented 58 Academy Award Winners, 34 Grammy Winners, and 43 New York Times Best Sellers.