Written by Tammy Durden

What do you think of when you hear the word Foundation? My first thoughts go to construction and contractors laying a ‘foundation’ to a new structure. If you look up the word ‘foundation’, you will find included, all of the traditional ones like, the beginning of a project, the laying of a base to a building or other structure, etc… The one, however, that really caught my attention was this:

“A foundation is the base for something. You often hear about the structural foundations of buildings, but a good idea can also be the foundation of a successful business. In the simplest sense, foundations support something else.”(1)

Did you catch those two important factors?

  1. Foundations (in their simplest sense) support something else.
  2. a good idea can also be the foundation of a successful business

How did your business begin? More than likely it started with a broad idea that you brought into focus or a few ideas that you probably narrowed down to a couple, until you had THAT idea – you know – the one, the one that really that called out to you. Before you knew it, you were making plans for the start of your new adventure.

It is true that a foundation is the basis of a structural object and I am certainly learning this firsthand, as we are adding an addition onto our home, for my mother. Yet, as we said, a foundation is also the base of a successful business. Many businesses today, neglect to do the basics before they jump in. Although a ‘good idea’ can certainly be the catalyst for our business, there are some other steps that must be taken to get you off the ground successfully. Just as a foundation must be poured for a new building or structure, you must lay a good foundation for your business also.  Rebecca Hastings, in a 2012 article, reporting on Richard Fagerlin, president of Peak Solutions Inc. in Fort Collins, Colo., makes so interesting comments related to this: “Trust is the foundation of a strong organization.”(2)

She further relays Fagerlin’s concepts in stating:

“…trust requires confidence in one’s relationships with others and a belief that they will meet expectations in three overlapping areas”, including, “integrity – how one is, competence – how one performs and compassion – how one relates to others”(2).

These areas are imperative to one’s success in business.

In starting our businesses, we really must do some initial examinations, and just because you have already launched, does not mean you cannot do these, as it will still benefit your business.

Steps that will help you lay a foundation for success:

  1. Have a solid understanding of your current market.
  2. Know and understand your target audience.”(3)
  3. Create a Business Plan – one that you can re-visit often.
  4. Know the Reason WHY you want to begin your business, or the passion behind the brand you are creating.
  5. Be sure to set up a Budget, re-visit and revise as needed.

Certainly these steps will help to provide a good foundation for any business start-up or even one that has been in business for a short while. As with any new venture, doing your research, gaining knowledge of all of the facts, having a clear direction and passion, will create the foundation that will assist you in establishing a success company. As with any foundation, as essential as the foundation is, in order for it to become ‘something’, you continue build. The foundation is simply the part that holds the rest of the building up, so continuing to add to your knowledge in regard to your industry, as well as, fueling your fire for the passion that began your quest down this journey, will be the exquisite finished product that others will call your company. Before you know it, others will be seeking your advice and counsel on starting a business. We love to hear your tips also, so please share some of the steps that have helped you?

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