New Business Advice
Has this crappy economy got you thinking about starting your own business? Do you have an idea for a business but don't know how to take the next step? If so, I believe you will find this hub beneficial for you. I'm going to describe the steps necessary to plan and create a successful small business.
With more and more folks becoming fed up with the 9-5 grind of being bossed around, or that long commute to work, more people are looking to self employment as the answer. They all want the freedom of being their own boss and defining their own hours.
However, leaving the safety blanket of a full time career can be a scary concept. The regular income and benefits of a standard job may seem to let go. Many people have opted to stay within that comfort zone and not venture out with their business idea, thus never knowing what that business could have grown to be.
Others, on the other hand, are more than ready and willing to take that risk and leave that grind of making someone else rich.
After you have created your idea and began developing a business plan, you should think of a name to call it. I suggest keeping it short so the public can remember it more easily. Obviously, the name needs to reflect the business niche you are entering, which I'm sure you already knew.
Next, you need to decide how much money you have to dedicate to the start up. This can be a daunting task, but is essential. Use as much as necessary to be successful, but at the same time don't use so much personal funds that you can't pay your light bill or feed your kids. In the short run, I suggest keeping start up costs as low as possible. After your idea takes off and income starts rolling in, you will be able to update your equipment, expand, etc.
After you decide upon the initial capital needed, you must find that money. You may have enough in your savings, but most people won't have that luxury. You could try to raise the funds from friends or family, visiting the bank for a personal loan, or trying the SBA for a small business loan.
After start up funds are realized and your business is set up, it's time to start marketing your product or service. Here are a few areas available for cheap/free advertising:
- Websites (think Craigslist)
- Newspaper Classified Ads
- Direct Marketing (leaflets, flyers, etc.)
- Yellow Page Ad
- Trade Fairs
I suggest looking at where your successful competition in the industry are advertising. They most likely have tested the waters and figured out what works and what doesn't. You should also check out the book Guerrilla Marketing for tips on cheap marketing procedures.
You also need to work out how much to charge for your product or service. Ideally, since your start up costs are low, you should be able to offer low prices in the beginning. This should help attract buyers from the competition as well. With any luck, word of mouth advertising will help create buzz about your new company. As business increases, your prices will have to increase to keep up with demand.
Keep in mind that business is a learning experience. Even if you make a misstep, don't get discouraged, but learn from the mistake and improve for the future.
Self-discipline is one of the keys to your success. Being able to choose your own hours of work may seem like a dream but it can prove to be many peoples downfall. We have to ensure that we work the required amount of hours. It is far too easy to stay in bed for that extra hour or to arrange yet another game of golf. These things are fine once you are established, but this is a long way off at this stage.
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