Dreaming Of Starting A Small Business? Some Tips On How To Get Started
Whether you are a recent college graduate, a middle-aged person seeking a new career opportunity, or a recently retired senior looking for your next adventure, it’s a great time to start your own small business. This is thanks in large part to the recovery of the economy, the availability of capital, and the number of helpful and supportive small business organizations out there. The biggest challenge for most people is deciding what type of business to start and how to begin.
As a new potential business owner, you have the advantage of getting it right the first time with the four Ms common to all businesses, regardless of size: Model, Management, Marketing, and Money.
To help determine what kind of business would be best for you, ask yourself these questions:
Q: Do you have a hobby or personal interest that could be turned into a home-based business?
Many new businesses are based on an entrepreneur’s personal interests or situation. For example, there are a number of new home-based businesses around gluten-free foods, many of which were started by entrepreneurs who themselves are gluten sensitive. And did you realize that eBay was started because of the founder’s passion for collecting Pez candy dispensers?
Q: Do you believe in a product or service that you might like to sell?
Passion is contagious. If you are passionate about your product or services as compared to just wanting to “sell” a product or service, that passion will come through to the customer.
Although there are millions of sole proprietor entrepreneurs out there, at some point, in order to grow your business, you will have to hire employees. You cannot be the founder, CEO, CFO, salesperson, and marketer forever.
As good as you think you might be at everything, there are people out there who can bring their specialized expertise to your business to help it grow. Choose your employees carefully and focus on building a positive company culture that instills a sense of commitment in your staff and retains them.
Marketing is critical for any new business. Unless you have a killer location, how will customers know you exist? Focus on a marketing niche and a specific type of customer. Consider new ways of growing the business, such as using social network marketingto draw traffic toyour website and raise brand awareness (start with the biggest ones first: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter). This form of marketing is essentially free and can help you to market your business for very little cost.
Small businesses are a very diverse group (ranging from zero to 499 employees), and as a result their financing needs vary greatly. But to start any business, you will need to raise capital, manage that cash, and budget for costs.
The most common sources of startup money comesfrom the personal savings of the founder and/or their relatives. In general, startups tend to depend on both the founder’s own funds along with bank credit (in about equal measure).
New business opportunities are being created every day as a result of consumer trends and demands, technological advances, and economic changes. No matter what age you are, there has never been a better time to start a business than right now.
Read full article on Forbes.com