Recruiting a team for business development is critical to success

Entrepreneurial success can be enhanced by seeking assistance and advice from both professional and experienced business people.

Having an idea for a business is but a seed – the nurturing necessary for the idea to bear fruit is less difficult if mentors or consultants are utilized. Due diligence before spending your (or others’) hard-earned dollars on a venture is required, and building a team of professional or volunteer consultants and service providers is essential.

Any product or service satisfies one of three desires for the customer: meeting basic needs, solving a problem or allowing for an indulgence. Both primary and secondary market research that gives insight into these desires can be obtained from professionals or by “walking around” and asking. The Michigan State University (MSU) Product Center, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center and libraries, among others, provide market research materials. Knowing what the market desires can go a long way to helping you develop your product to meet their needs.

 While Sole Proprietorships make up 80 percent of all businesses in the United States, other forms of business organization should be investigated. Partnerships can be beneficial and should have written agreements in place. Corporations offer certain advantages, like long life. Many types of Corporations are possible and some, like LLCs, can be created on line with the State of Michigan. An online guide is located on Michigan’s government website.

 A Google search for “business plan development” will bring back 10 million locations. Start with an overview of your business idea that includes how you will make it, what will you charge for it, who will buy it, how it will be distributed, how you will finance your business and who will be on your team. This overview will give you a working idea of the funding necessary to finance your venture. Sources of funds include your own savings, your friends’, your family’s and other borrowings. Lenders will expect a complete business plan. Classes are offered by the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, MSU Extension and others.

 Promotion of your product or service will let your potential customers know what need you’re seeking to meet. The goal is to develop a proper product in an acceptable form at a price that provides value in the right location; this product has to be advertised through a media source that reaches your target market. Again you can perform you own market research or hire professionals. Press releases, social media and trade shows can also help to promote your product or service.

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