When you work for someone else, they typically have a system in place for you. When you start your own business, you’re in charge of creating the system. Dozens of ideas and possibilities tend to float around in the entrepreneur’s head, but these unguided thought processes can become overwhelming without an anchor. Starting a business can feel like rolling a large stone up a hill. There are many irons in the fire that it can become difficult to keep track of everything you need to stay on course.
Count the Cost
In Luke 14:28-30, Jesus makes it clear that we should count the cost before we step into something new.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish” (ESV).
Jesus was referring to a life of discipleship. He made it clear that being a Christian takes our entire being, and we should prepare ourselves accordingly. However, the metaphor still stands when it comes to starting a business. Because I believe in God’s heart for business, I see the opportunity to start a business as a mission field that we get to walk into with divine direction. There will be a cost and a level of risk associated when you start your own business, so it’s important to ensure that it’s something that you feel equipped physically, financially, and spiritually to undertake.
So, how do we access divine direction? The first two verses in the Bible give us a hint.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters,” Genesis 1:1-2 (ESV).
I love that word— hovering. It creates a sense of anticipation for what’s to come. From something that was absolutely without form, God created intricate systems of art and life. Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV) puts it this way: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” It was all original.
When God hovered, I like to think that He imagined everything that He was about to set into motion. He underwent the process of ideation. And get this— we’re made in the image of God. That means that He endows us with the capability to create order out of the chaos, too.
There’s an excellent tool that can help you sort out your ideas before you start your own business. It’s called the Lean Canvas, and it helps you transform intangible ideas into actionable planning steps. This model provides specific nuggets for your mind to chew on as it considers a business idea.
Before I show you the steps, remember to consciously invite God into this “hovering” process. After all, He invented it, and He invented you! I am certain that the Holy Spirit wants to reveal certain ideas to you through this process that you wouldn’t come up with on your own.
Use the Lean Canvas
The Lean Canvas is split into two parts— the product portion and the marketing portion. Before we get into that, you need to consider your unique value proposition. A unique value proposition is a single, clear, and compelling message stating why your product or business is different, needed, and worth paying attention to. If you don’t know your unique value proposition right off the bat, that’s okay. Answering the following questions from the Lean Canvas should give you a clearer picture.
1. What are the top 3 problems you want to solve with your product or business?
2. What are your top 3 solutions?
3. Can you determine your cost structure?
4. Are you able to list key activities that you will measure to track progress?
1.What’s your unfair advantage? The thing you have that puts you over the edge?
2. Who is your key audience or target customers?
3. How will you reach your target customers?
4. What are the different ways you can make money (revenue streams) from your product or business?
I encourage you to engage with these questions whether you’re 100% going to start your own business this year or you simply have an idea. It works for writers, pastors, tradespeople, and skill sets of all kinds. As people made in the image of God, we really do have the awe-inspiring ability to create something out of nothing. So, will you take the step to start your own business today?
If you want to continue to learn how to start your own business with in-depth instruction and teachings, WealthBuilders University offers courses on business, entrepreneurship, and more!