The C.H.E.S.S. module is my personalized take on what I look for before I can start any venture in any realm. It must tick off all the boxes, otherwise it will not move forward as a worthy pursuit:
FBA sellers are not in control. Amazon is.
Affiliates are not in control. The merchant is.
Dropshippers are not in control. The supplier is.
YouTubers are not in control. YouTube is.
Do not be at the mercy of someone else. Do not allow your destiny be controlled by an external party. You are worth more than that.
You must have full control of your enterprise.
Is your business helpful to others? Is your product helpful for yourself? Is the world a better place with your service in existence?
While debatable, I never want to launch something that is not helpful to others, and certainly not helpful for me.
The way to profit is by being valuable. Anything of value is something that is helpful.
A barrier to entry was not something I ever thought to be a factor to consider. I believed that as long as you worked hard enough, for a long enough period, you can bring down any wall or moat of advantage your competition has laid for themselves and compete on an even level.
I no longer believe that.
You need a barrier to entry for your enterprise, however large or small it is. There needs to be some resistance for others if they are to even consider competing with you.
A barrier can take many forms, most likely as:
Whether it’s a rule by government, a certification that can only be obtained by passing a difficult test, a great deal of capital for a certain licensing/equipment, or a peculiar skill that takes years to hone — make sure you have some form of barrier to entry to ensure long-term success.
Can your business grow without the need to hire more people? Can you expand without needing to purchase more real estate?
Is your service limited to your local area, or can it be sold nationwide? Is your product available to people around the country, or people across the world?
Don’t have a retail store, have an eCommerce store.
Don’t have a gym, have a virtual class.
Don’t have a school, have an online course.
Try to leverage the internet to reach customers from anywhere and everywhere. Do not trap yourself into a situation where you must take out a loan every time you want to make moves and build your company.
Above all, make sure you can scale.
Gaining a customer is an uphill battle. Doing it on a continual basis in perpetuity in order for your business to survive is borderline madness.
There is a better way to generate, secure and predict revenue: subscriptions.
Anything we pay for on a recurring basis is a subscription:
- Cell phone
- Car payment
- Gym membership
- Online software
These models are ideal. Restaurants and barbershops are great, except for the fact you don’t know when your next sale is coming.
If you have the option, opt for the subscription model. It has little-to-no downsides while allowing you to snowball your efforts into an equitable outcome.
Not all C.H.E.S.S. models are created equal
What do you do if you happen to come across two or more opportunities that equally satisfy the C.H.E.S.S. criteria?
This is where an extra, subjective decider must be considered to draw out a winner.
It may be startup funds. It may be social proof. It may be marketing strategy. There is no correct answer, but have something in place in order to address this issue if and when it arises.
Make your move.