Starting A Business

Starting A Business

Thousands of people are starting a business every year. Some do it because they want to work for themselves and others because they have a great idea and have spotted a gap in the market. Of course there are those that do it because they are totally convinced they will make a fortune.

These are all valid reasons for starting a business. Commitment and motivation are vital and whatever it is that drives you to make your new business a success.

While it would be handy to have a step-by-step description of how to build a business at your fingertips, it does not work that way. Entrepreneurship is not a linear process that starts at point A and ends at point Z. Think of your business as a story with a plot and characters that evolve as you go. You will encounter lots of surprises along the way and the mystery unfolding is often the fascination for many business owners. You cannot count on any one road to success.

Your successes and failures will build into the story of your enterprise, and your life.

Throughout the entrepreneurship process, take every opportunity to sell yourself, your team, and your idea. You can never predict the benefits that such salesmanship will gain for you down the road. Even if the person you’re talking to has no use for your ideas at this moment, a positive impression about your brains, enthusiasm and professionalism may make that person think about you when a future opportunity strikes.

Although enthusiasm is important, good planning is a must. Without a good business plan you could struggle to make a go of it.

Finding and refining an idea that you can turn into a successful business is the first - and often the biggest - stumbling block for budding entrepreneurs. Many people want to run their own business and have the aptitude to do it but struggle to pin down a viable idea.

All businesses either meet a need or provide a solution to a problem for a customer so you need to start thinking in practical terms about the products or services you could offer, and the business opportunities that may be open to you.

Starting A Business

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Use existing skills to supply a specialist product

Could you modify the skills and experience that you acquired while working for somebody else to meet the needs of a niche market?

For example, a former joiner could concentrate on manufacturing a limited range of quality furnishings such as beds, instead of competing against well-established trades people doing joinery work in people's homes. A mobile hairdresser could specialize in styling the hair of brides and bridesmaids in their homes so that they don't have to rush into town to get their hair done on their wedding day.

Turn your hobby into a money maker

Could your hobby form a basis for a business?

Do you like gardening? Could you set up a landscape gardening firm?

Do you enjoy cooking? What about a catering service for people having parties at home or a specialist cake making business?

Don't write off your hobby just because you do it for fun; somebody may be willing to pay for it. Besides, a lot of your business' success will come down to the amount of work and enthusiasm you put into it, so it helps to base your idea around something you enjoy doing already.

Social trends

Think about changes in society that might lead to new business ideas. For example, more people are starting social enterprises with a community focus to improve the quality of life for people in their area. Organizations in sectors including the arts, education and healthcare often operate in this way and funding for these kinds of organizations is growing.

What type of person are you?

Does your personality suggest any business ideas?

If you have persistence, skills of persuasion and the gift of the gab you might be a good salesperson. There are frequent openings for self-employed salespeople to sell other people's products. If you are good at dealing with people, you might be just the person to take up a retail franchise, party planning opportunity or multi-level marketing scheme.

If you are one of the thousands of people who enjoy selling their surplus household items at car boot sales, you could start a legitimate business trading over the Internet by opening your own online shop. Specialist suppliers such as businesses selling vintage clothing to a niche market are often particularly popular.

What's missing locally?

Look around in your own backyard. Think of the problems and difficulties that you have experienced in getting things for your home, or at work, or in your leisure activities:

  • What problems cause you most inconvenience or cost you most to correct?
  • What service was not available locally when you most needed it?
  • Which parts, or products, were hard or impossible to obtain locally?
  • What do you and your neighbors and friends most frequently complain about?
  • What could you offer to local businesses - for example, a sandwich delivery service to isolated industrial estates?

Listen to people talking in the supermarket checkout queue. Find out what they have difficulty obtaining. Is there any way of providing a local service or product for any of these markets, which somebody will pay for? You can research local businesses by checking out directories like Yellow Pages as well as your local Chamber of Commerce.

Are there any opportunities for tourism or leisure businesses in your area?

Is there a ready local market looking for leisure opportunities? A business like a tea shop, for example, may thrive in an area with a high population of pensioners and a high influx of tourists. You may want to consider opening an outdoor activity centre in a rural area.

In the business world, good ideas come down to one thing: can they generate a profit? No idea is good, ultimately, if it can't meet this test. This means that someone, somewhere has to pay you more money for your product or service than it costs to produce it.
Really, it's that simple, and that challenging. Perhaps the most important part of any business plan is an articulation of the customer.
Why will they buy it? When? Where? For how much? Of course other characteristics are important too: does the idea have a social good or at least do no harm? How challenging is it to make? Is it within the capabilities of the team?

Sometimes people have great ideas but no way in the world of executing them. You may want to save your great idea until you've had a little more experience with something that's more managable. Can you raise enough money to finance your idea? Often great ideas fail this test: simply put, they require too much capital.

Starting Up A Business

Look at the ways in which people live their lives in the 21st century and see if you can think of exploiting new habits to build a business. For example, almost everyone now has a mobile phone and businesses are now springing up to enable busy people to send text message gifts.

Social networking is also popular and sites such as YouTube and Facebook can be used for marketing and networking purposes.

Blogging is also growing very fast and can be used to launch new ideas or get yourself noticed. A blog is a website maintained by an individual with regular entries on a particular subject. Some bloggers have been given large advances by publishers to write books based on their blogs.

Research large firms, local authorities and other public bodies in the area

What do existing businesses in your area make, and what do they buy in from outside the area? In many cases they will be buying goods from outside the region because there is no one to supply them locally. Similarly, local authorities, schools and organizations like the Police are purchasers of equipment and services.

Think about selling other people's goods

Many new firms start off by selling goods that somebody else makes. A number of opportunities exist to distribute foreign goods. For example, the United States of America Department of Commerce (US Commercial Service) publishes a regular magazine listing businesses looking for facilities and distributors (this is available from all US embassies and consulates).

Watch the news

Newspapers, magazines, online discussion forums, blogs and e-zines are all fruitful sources of new and emerging trends and problems that need a solution. Scanning the small ads section of your local paper is a good way to get a feel for local patterns of supply and demand and you should also read the business opportunities sections in the national newspapers.

Before you start any marketing, carefully think about the answers to these questions:

  • Do you want to improve your image?
  • Do you want to increase sales?
  • Do you want to increase profits?
  • Do you want to attract new customers?
  • Do you want to sell more to existing customers?
  • Do you want customers to spend more money when they buy from you?
  • Do you want them to use your services more often?
  • It is important to be clear as to exactly what you want people to do or think as a result of your message.
  • Decide your objectives and stay focused on achieving them.

It's a whole lot easier and more cost effective to get more business from a satisfied customer than to sell to a new customer. After all, they already know and trust you and will be more likely to buy from you again.

By continually delighting your customers, they will usually refer their friends, family and associates to you.

Keep asking your customers, how you can serve them better. You'll be amazed at the number of simple, profitable ideas they'll come up with.

You jave to have a lot of confidence when you are starting a business. The risks are deep and plentiful. Perhaps you have the strength and determination but your business concept is fatally flawed. You may falter when the pressure’s on and there are no clear indications you will be able to produce sales fast enough to keep up with expenses. And no matter how successful you are at raising seed capital, it won’t be enough. To succeed, nearly everything has to go right. There are a lot of moving parts ready to crack at any given moment, bringing the whole line down.

Some people are naturally unafraid of risk. They’re daredevils. They’re aware of danger and they’re willing to strike out anyway. Serial entrepreneurs are not typically daredevils. Daredevils don’t start businesses after business – it’s too much work. Entrepreneurs are usually people who simply don’t believe their business idea is likely to fail. So they plunge ahead, usually unprepared and under funded. When they get into trouble, they’re usually very surprised. By then, there’s no time for introspection. You’re into the hard scramble.

Starting A Business

People are always using the phrase "entrepreneurial spirit” like it is something that you either have or you do not. Only those that have struggled and made it as entrepreneurs understand the level of sacrifice required, and acknowledge the intense energy they have found within themselves to make those sacrifices. Entrepreneurs describe themselves as hard-nosed and aggressive. They accept no obstacles to their success, but get up after each fall and carry on. They are consummate optimists and problem-solvers, who temper their enthusiasm with bucketsful of common sense.

At the same time, entrepreneurs do not have to use their energy and ambition exclusively for making money and killing the competition. Many use entrepreneurship as an outlet for creativity, and a means of challenging themselves and developing specialized skills.

Start A Business

When developing your business ideas you must clearly define the type of business you are pursuing and the goals for your business venture. Once you have a well-defined business idea and specific goals, you can establish the method by which you are going to make your profit.

First, identify your business type. Is it a product, a service or a business? If it is a business, is it a service business or a product business? Is it a lifestyle business or a high growth business? A lifestyle business prioritizes lifestyle issues such as independence, location, and hours. Growth and expansion are the main priorities for high growth businesses.

If you have an idea for a product, do you have the means to produce and sell this product or do you plan to license it to another company? Ask yourself if your team is capable of getting the product or service to market. These questions become relevant when you’re figuring out how you are going to make money with your venture.

Business Start-Ups

Starting a business will change your life. It will change the way you think, the way you work, the way you spend money and it will change you. It will be one of the most demanding challenges you will ever be likely to take on; and if you do it right, one of the most rewarding.

You will work every hour possible to get your business going; then you will work even longer to keep it afloat during the early days. You probably will not have another holiday for a few years and your entire life will seem to become focused on making your business succeed.

This is the perfect time for doing great deals from land and equipment to commercial office space, personnel and labor. As property prices have steadied there is no better time to get into the property or financial markets, or even heavy equipment and construction. Some people have waited years to find value in these markets, and now that time has come.

Start A Home Business

As a home-based entrepreneur, you will not have all of the disadvantages of your more traditional competitors: no office rent, equipment or expense; no employees to pay salaries and fringe benefits for; no time wasted on meetings, employee problems, paid sick leave, etc.

All the money your competitors spend on heating the office and buying furniture could better be spent on the actual marketing itself.

As a home-based business, you will be already positioned where the traditional business is currently struggling to move: toward the lowest possible overhead and the greatest possible concentration of dollars on products/service development and product/service marketing.

So, a home-based business takes full advantage of three major goals of modern business success:

  • Vastly reduced overhead
  • Easy access to a global market
  • Full advantage of telecommunications.

Government Grants To Start A Business are a financial award given by the federal, state or local government to an eligible grantee. Government grants are not expected to be repaid by the recipient. Grants do not include technical assistance or other forms of financial assistance such as a loan or loan guarantee, an interest rate subsidy, direct appropriation or revenue sharing. There is typically a lengthy application process to qualify and be approved for a government grant. Most recipients are required to provide periodic reports on their grant project's progress.

Grants are non-repayable funds disbursed by one party (grant makers), often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, to a recipient, often (but not always) a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual. In order to receive a grant, some form of "Grant Writing" often referred to as either a proposal or an application is usually required.

Start Making Money

Many business owners achieve their greatest successes in unexpected areas. They start a business and then they find that it is not as profitable as they had anticipated, so they change direction, using their experience and their momentum, and strike paydirt in something else. The most important thing is to start, to take action, to move forward one step at a time, learning and growing as you go. There is enough information available in virtually every field for you to become knowledgeable enough to achieve success. But action is necessary.

Be good at what you do. This is critical. Do not just 'do' what you 'do'. Keep learning and studying so that you do it better. Become a master of your craft and you will do well.

Be good at promoting what you do. For many of us, this is the part we'd like to forget about. However, it doesn't matter how good you are if no one knows about it. And the converse is true as well. We all know people (possibly less qualified than others) who do quite well because they have highly developed this skill.

Increase Your Revenues

In order to increase your revenues , care must be taken to make firm, workable plans to achieve it. With a well thought out marketing plan, you will be able to create a business that generates multiple streams of revenue for you. In fact, many businesses quickly collapse because they are not well planned and do not get enough revenues. Gradually, the business owner will not be motivated and it turns into a failure.

The crucial point of planning your business is optimizing it for revenue if you want to gain any income . When you have a broader, better-defined business it will soon bear results and start tapping revenue streams that may not have occurred to you when you started the venture.

What's the first thing small business owners say when they want to increase sales and revenues? "I need more customers." This is actually the most expensive and time-consuming way for you to grow your business!

Starting A Blog

Here is a summary of the general process of blogging:

  • The blogger writes a blog entry.
  • The blogger posts the new entry.
  • The blog software uploads the new entry and fits it into the Weblog chronologically. Part or all of the entry is placed on the blog’s index page (the home page of the site), and the entire entry is also archived on its own page with a unique URL.

In the context of blogging, content management almost always means organizing the site by backwards chronology. In this way, your most recent writing appears first. As visitors continue reading your updates, they work backwards in time. Each piece of content is called an entry. When you write a blog, you post entries, and those posted entries are sometimes called posts. (The word post derives from Internet message boards, where online communities chat by means of publicly posted messages.) Each posted entry is stamped with a date and (usually) time. The front page of the blog contains recent entries, with the most recent at the top. Many blogs are organized with big daily headers that group each day’s posts.

Great Businesses were planned that way!

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