Your Business: What a Concept!

If a clairvoyant had told me 10 years ago that my very first business venture would be a maternity retail store, I would have laughed and said “What? You crazy!”

If it was mentioned that this business would begin only six months after my first child was born, I would have thought to myself, Hmmm, I guess that’s what I get for seeing a fortune teller!

Call it serendipity or just call me crazy, but hindsight has proven that my years of varied life experience at school (ie: personal relations, studying, extra curricular activities) and with every single job I’ve held (from retail to restaurants, temporary administrative jobs to freelance writing), were long-term lessons that would become the building blocks of my future business.

So how do you conceptualize your business?

Looking from Point A to Point B is often a narrow perspective that excludes all the wonderful possibilities of how to develop your business concept. As I’m a “List Person”, I find that the most effective method of conceptualizing your business is to have a personal ideation session with the friends and family who know you best.

That’s right, brainstorm baby! This way, you can infiltrate your subconscious, stimulate your creativity and open your eyes to an enterprising idea. So grab pen and paper, or start clickety-clacking on your laptop to list the following personal attributes:

  • Passions  Using myself as an example, I knew I was passionate about one day owning my own business where I could be creative and sell fabulous products. I also loved children, clothing, communications and basically running the entire show. Et voila! It’s a brand new urban mama and baby boutique store! Basically, the idea is trying to incorporate what you love with what you want to do.Experience  So what does being a teenage cashier at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru have to do with one day owning your first business? Patience, oh Grasshopper! Remember, your training has led you up to this very moment and each business experience exposes you to:
    • the needs of your customers
    • how efficiently you can serve them with a smile (customer is always right, right? I’ll address this issue in another blog post 😉
    • how you can increase demand of your product;
    • how to get paid, because really, you deserve a decent pay off for all your hard work.

    With a varied skill set, you’ll have a broad perspective on all aspects of managing a business. You also then have a better idea of what you don’t want to do.

  • Research  I hadn’t realized before going into business that I am also a bit of an info nerd. I had not only collected a plethora of information on how to run a retail business and how to select merchandise; but I had binders full of research from the Internet, from the business section of the library, and even a box full of pamphlets that caught my attention from every type of business you could ever imagine!Fabric samples, business cards, logo ideas, creating and distributing my own surveys to every woman I met in Vancouver….I. LOVED. RESEARCHING! My tiny closet in my

    apartment became my makeshift office to house all my research and armed me with a tonne of information to help drive my concept to reality. For when you are hot on the trail of a smoking business concept, why wouldn’t you want to know everything about it? So remember, high on the list of business concept priority is research! Love it, Learn It, Know It!