As a leader, it’s likely that your brain naturally goes from an idea to executing the plan. You jump right into the business or organization startup process.
You aren’t alone.
The leaders who seek guidance from our StartNew Course often come into the process with an idea of how they will accomplish their mission; they usually have a plan they’re eager to start executing. Sometimes, in their excitement, they’ve overlooked key components to uncover before planning the next steps.
As you process the questions listed here regarding your passion project, you’ll find yourself with an organized, practical foundation for your startup plan.
Use these links to jump to each question individually if you prefer:
Think of passion as your emotional fuel. It’s the inspiration that pulls you out of bed.
Have you noticed, when you lack passion for a project, you’re more inclined to check it off your list and forget about it? But the times you’re passionate about an endeavor, you find yourself daydreaming about the details and possibilities?
What exactly is your God-given passion? When you begin to flesh out your organization’s startup process around your passion, you will be energized, fulfilled, and enabled to lead with a clear mind and vision.
Why are you choosing to embark on this venture? What cause lives at the center of the dream you want to happen as a result of your startup?
From our experience with churches and entrepreneurs, we’ve seen that clear purpose and plans come from seeking wise counsel and sorting through these questions. Take time to personally audit your own experience and the context of your dream to further understand your “why.”
In Spokane, WA, Rev. Mike Von Behren had a clear “why”: refugees in his community needed affordable housing.
After attending a StartNew workshop, Mike and his team clarified the “how” and knew they could make this dream a reality, partnering with over 20 investors and purchasing two duplexes in Spokane.
The rentals have provided below-market rental housing for three refugee families for three years. Today, the shareholders have seen a return on their investment, and the startup is undoubtedly a success.
Innovation can flourish once you’ve articulated your “why.”
As our fearless leader, Bill Woolsey, says, “Tell me why one more time.” You can’t say it enough.
Have you thought specifically about the profile of your target audience and the neighborhood you desire to serve? Determining these elements will drive your specific steps.
In addition, paint a detailed picture of a future that’s been impacted by your enterprise. Would that picture bring your passion full circle? It should! (Pro tip: This vision statement will be critical in your team-building and fundraising efforts, so keep it close by.)
Build, fund, and launch your passion project: 3 Steps To Launch A Faith-Based Business That Reaches Your Community
Enlisting the right people will make or break your startup. Of course, the original vision comes from your passion, but networking and community are crucial in making businesses successful.
We’ve seen that startups flourish when they recruit teams who —
In addition to your key team that works directly with you, we’ve seen powerful results when teams also include —
Practice clarifying these pillars of your venture and test your value proposition. At FiveTwo, we employ a lean startup model, which means that testing and honing your plan is a critical step of the organization’s startup process before you start spending money.
We direct teams to go out into the community and get to know locals and practice articulating why you’re launching your venture.
This idea of practicing and testing was helpful to a group in the Detroit area.
This team had a passion for serving expectant mothers and wanted to start a prenatal clinic. We asked them to first meet with 25 women who would be served by their venture, inquiring why they weren’t using the clinics already available to them.
Along the way, they learned valuable information that led Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to award the group, The Luke Project 52, a $75,000 grant to support their innovative plan.
The grant funded a Mobile Antenatal Testing Pilot Project that includes an outreach vehicle that makes weekly visits to the homes of pregnant, at-risk moms. Typically, 60% of at-risk moms forgo antenatal services due to transportation, work, or childcare issues. This mobile clinic has made it possible for 100% of the women scheduled for an appointment to be given care.
The group’s leader, Reverend Brad Garrison, said: “I never imagined that [The Luke Project 52 Clinic] would be what it is today,” he admits. “Our staff’s faith has grown, and how many people we are reaching continues to grow.”
Not only did their questions and testing lead to a successful clinic, but it also sparked creative and innovative solutions to update their “what, why, and where.”
One of the critical reasons that startups fail is because the founder gives up.
Without a complete and proper training experience, leaders might be ill-prepared or misinformed about the extreme difficulty of creating a business or nonprofit.
Through our experience working with leaders in different sectors, we’ve seen the impact that awareness and preparation can have on the longevity of a leader. When you’ve tested your “product,” and you begin to anticipate the roadblocks, you lead with flexibility and adaptability that empower you to tackle the challenges ahead.
You must be prepared for challenges such as —
Ultimately, keep your eye on the vision you’ve articulated and persevere with that in mind.
Some leaders discover they’re more interested in the planning than the execution. As an entrepreneur, you should be ready and enthusiastic to forge ahead and make this plan a reality.
In our work with Christians who start faith-based ventures, we’ve seen that timing is vital. It’s unwise for startups to launch too soon, but it’s also detrimental to wait too long.
In our StartNew course, you’ll get access to our proprietary business-model process called StartNew Canvas built for leaders, entrepreneurs, and students like you to create ventures that solve problems for their audience. You can learn more at StartNew Training.