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Starting a Business Venture: As Easy as 1, 5, 10

June 9, 2010

In Your Shoes is pleased to have Holly Hurd, the founder of VentureMom.com, as a guest blogger for today’s post. Holly is devoted to helping moms develop their business passions.

VentureMom's Holly Hurd

By Holly Hurd

Beware. The home office can be a trap for a woman embarking in a new business venture. There’s the pillow out of place on the couch. Then, you see dust under the rug. A load of laundry needs attention. The phone rings. And, of course, the dog needs food.

You get the picture.

It is said that half of being successful is just showing up. That is definitely true when it comes to starting a new business venture. It demands focus, something that we’re not always good at as women, when there are so many demands on our time.

Here are some simple ideas and a strategy — the One, Five, Ten Plan — to help keep you on track.

Start a Business Venture: The One, Five, Ten Plan

The One, Five, Ten Plan is simple, but effective. It enables you to gradually build up to the time commitment you will need to launch a new business.

One. Start by devoting an hour each week to your new venture. Carve this hour out of your schedule and stick to it. Maybe you get up an hour earlier. Perhaps you cut out a TV show, skip a lunch with your friends or exercise one hour less. If you have a full-time job, maybe you work on your business venture during a lunch break or a weekly afternoon off.

Diligently write down the time you will spend on your venture and don’t waver. As you gain steam, you will want to spend more time working on your business.

Five. Once you are committed to an hour a week, go to five hours a week. This might mean some weekend time. That’s OK. You will be doing something you love and are passionate about, so it won’t seem like a sacrifice.

During each venture appointment, don’t get distracted. Don’t answer the phone, don’t answer your e-mail, don’t unload the dishwasher, don’t stop to shop for groceries, don’t run out to have coffee with your friends. You venture time is just that — time devoted to your venture.

Ten. Finally, move to 10 hours each week. You can do it! Soon, you’ll see that you’re starting to get somewhere.

Conquer Essential Business Venture Steps

In addition to making a time commitment for your business venture, it’s essential to know the outcome you are looking to achieve. Write down your specific goals in a format that can be measured. Start with the big goal: What do you need to do to get your first sale or customer?

For example, let’s suppose you want to get your first photography customer within the next 30 days. Break down each step that will enable you to reach your goal, as follows:

  • I will create a name and logo for more venture on days 1-5.
  • I will decide on my rates and create an information summary on days 5-7.
  • I will take and develop photos for my marketing package on days 7-14.
  • I will create an e-mail promotion for my venture on days 14-16.
  • I will e-mail everyone I know and tell 10 people about my photography venture on days 16-20.
  • I will design a post card to place in local shops on days 20-25.
  • I will book my first job, even if I have to do it gratis by my deadline.

For business endeavors, large and small, your business venture will become a reality by completing specific goals and steps. Try to make each step achievable during the time you can commit. If you can only carve out 30 minutes every other day, design your steps so they can be completed within that time frame — whether that’s one hour, five hours, 10 hours or 20 hours each week.

The Art of Focus

Light coming through a window is spread throughout the room. But when focused, that same light can burn a hole in a table. With focus, you will succeed.

Women are amazing at multitasking and getting a lot done in a little time. Just imagine what you can accomplish when you’re able to carve out 10 hours a week for your business venture project.

The key is to focus your energies — step-by-step — to achieve the overall business goal. With each venture appointment, focus all your efforts on just that one thing to move you along the path toward success.

Your One, Five, Ten Plan is your blueprint for building you venture. It will keep you focused on your venture, one day at a time.

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

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