Entrepreneurship 101: Begin With The End In Mind

In this series we examine questions that each business owner, rookie or otherwise, must answer as he/she begins the process of opening a new company.

What is it That I Really Want Out of a Franchise and This New Business Opportunity?

Recently on The Gents Blog we discussed Stephen Covey’s classic Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of those habits is “begin with the end in mind.” That’s really the approach you need to take if you want to properly consider this exciting new step in your life. Let’s examine four different ways you can


It’s logical to start with the money question. How much do you want your business to earn? Are you looking for a great annual income? Are you looking to build something to hand on to a family member? Are you looking to build quickly and smartly, leading to a liquidity event? All of these questions have answers attached to a monetary amount. Divide those amounts by what you hope to clear annually. Take those annual amounts and make sure that they are correlated to a realistic growth rate and conservative base year. As a side note – you should start to build a team of advisors who you can bounce these numbers off so you make sure that you aren’t dreaming this up in isolation. We’ll discuss how to build that team in a future article.


What do you want your days to look like? In the early stages of a business you’ll get to wear all the hats – from chief janitor to CFO. What’s your plan to get to the stage in which you will be spending the majority of your time on what you’re best at AND that you really enjoy? Is the business you are getting into something that you can live, breathe, eat, sleep, and think about 24/7/365? It better be.

Don’t be like Alice.

Don’t be like Alice

Excerpt from Alice in Wonderland


What will success look like? Will it be jet-setting, public speaking, and appearing on magazine covers and on television? Or will it be a relative “four-hour work week,” with time spent mostly in pajamas, and some spent at the golf course, but all spent quietly banking a lot of cash from systems and staff you’ve put in place? There’s no correct answer here, just your answer. Make sure that it is truly yours, not just something you’ve simply copied from others. It is this vision of success that will drive you on those long nights as you build your business.


What is it that you want (you and) your business to be known for, not just in the community, but nation (and world) wide? How do you want people to describe the experience they have had with your company? These are the answers that may outlive you more than any other category we’ve discussed, so some might argue it’s the most important one. We may build businesses to earn money, but it can’t be the only reason.

These are not easy questions, and while some of them, like the financial questions, may have short answers, those answers will be long in considering and refining. If you begin with the end in mind you’ll save yourself the wasted time of many entrepreneurs before you who mistook activity for productivity.

Do you feel that any of these categories are more important than the other? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.