To be a successful business, it is important to have a vision and build systems.

That was the message of Aaron Brauch, a Lenexa business owner who was the keynote speaker at an all-day workshop Friday, Aug. 11 at Kansas City, Kansas, Community College.

The 50 or so persons attending the workshop included those wanting to start a business along with staff members of the college’s Entrepreneurial Innovation Center.

Brauch defined a successful business as one that has a collection of systems that solves problems for people at a profit. He said it is important for a potential business owner to first determine what the end result should be and then work backward.

“Start small and dominate a niche,” Brauch said. He cited the example of Mark Zuckerberg who started working in his dormitory room at Harvard University in 2004. He put the photos in the Harvard yearbook on the internet to meet women and get dates. That was the launch of Facebook. Today, Facebook has more that 2 billion active users worldwide.

The visioning process is very important, Brauch said. He cited the vision of Bill Gates of Microsoft, one of the wealthiest person in the world, who had a vision of a computer on every desk. Now Gates wants to find a cure for malaria.

Brauch warned potential business owners not to count on just a 40-hour week.

After determining a vision, it is important to build systems. He said the marketing effort is reaching the customers that need solutions. He said that all sales decisions are made on an emotional basis.

Brauch is the chief executive officer of Rebus Digital Marketing. He has a bachelor’s degree in software engineering from Evergreen State University, Olympia, Wash., and a Master of Business Administration degree from Cornell, Ithaca, N.Y.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.