Starting a Business – 5 Personal Inventory Audits to Help You Launch Your Business Startup
Starting a business appears to be as American as apple pie. Every year, tens of thousands of people in the United States decide to launch their own business start up. If you are thinking of doing the same thing, you probably need some help in deciding exactly what type of business you should start.
In over 9 years of being a business advisor and coach, I have helped numerous entrepreneurs make decisions like this with a special set of tools known as personal inventory audits. These personal inventory audits are simple sessions where you think specifically about a particular life area and create a list of assets. Here are 5 simple audits you can perform on yourself to help you decide on the business startup of your dreams.
1. Audit your Skills and Competencies
Starting a business related to skills you have means that you can be your own employee. These may be broader professional skills, or technical skills or even leadership skills. When you establish a company that delivers a skill set that you understand, you can manage your employees based on your first hand knowledge of what they do.
2. Audit your Experiences
The experiences you have been through in your personal or business life can form the foundation of a new company. Whether these are nominally negative or positive experiences does not matter. In seminars and workshops, I instruct people to "turn tears into gold" by repackaging their experiences (and lessons learned) for the marketplace of people who may be going through similar situations.
3. Audit Proxities
By proximities, I mean that you should audit and create a list of people, places, products, or philosophies that are near and dear to you. Ask yourself questions like:
- What can I partner with these people to offer?
- What do these people do well that I can sell?
- What are the places I'm familiar with well known for?
- What do I know about this product that many others need to know but do not?
- How many others could use these philosophies I have been adhering to?
These types of questions serve to jog your thinking into action and to help you discover hidden opportunities for doing business.
4. Audit your Hobbies
If you have outdoor hobbies like extreme sports or hiking and mountain climbing, you can leverage your knowledge of these areas to start a related business. Not only could you start an equipment or accessory supply business, you could start an internet-based business where you sell valuable information to fellow hobbyists. The internet is also a great business platform if your hobby is an indoor activity like embroidery or scrapbooking.
5. Audit your Professional Knowledge
Do you have professional credentials? If so you could start a business in your area of expertise. An accounting professional I know recently started a bookkeeping business to help business owners in a very specific niche. This is a great way to leverage the work you have already done and the experience you have already built in your professional life.
Starting a business can be one of the most exciting but challenging experiences of your life. You can increase the chances of your business reaching the point of ultimate success that you define by building a business according to your core strengths. Learning to conduct regular personal audits gives you a great measure of control in your decision-making.
These personal inventory audits are not so much exercises in starting a business as they are tools for building self-knowledge.
Self-knowledge is something you will need to make sure that starting a business does not become something you deeply regret down the road. Whether you are in charge of a business startup or you are leading a corporate unit within an established company, gaining this kind of self-knowledge makes you a more effective leader – a more effective leader for your business organization, and a more fulfilled person in life.