Step-by-step instructions to beginning your own business
To start your own business takes a certain amount of initiative and courage. Although, there is no one set plan on how to begin there are specific basic steps that can help you get started.
- When beginning a small business the first thing you will need is an idea. It does not necessarily have to be a unique or unusual idea. You idea could simply be about improving on an existing service.
- Prepare a plan for your small business. The plan should include research, the price of your product/service, the amount of money it will cost you make and/or deliver your product. This part should include variable and fixed costs. Also, how much of a market do you actually have, before marketing your services you need to spend time doing some research.
- Take a look at your competition. Determine the number of businesses you will be competing with. Also, see if it will be relatively simple for you to enter this market. Ask yourself, “What are the problems in entering this market.?”
- In your business plan, have an area devoted to financing. Decide if you need financing? If not, how will you bankroll the start up cost of your business? How will you run your business? If you need financing, ask yourself, “Can I get a loan from a bank? Can I use credit cards?
- Figure out how much you need to live on if you are not going to have a job outside of the business. You will need to pay yourself enough to live on until you are better established.
- Prepare a tentative marketing plan. It is important that you know that marketing does not necessarily have to cost you a lot of money. Some business can survive and prosper by word of mouth. If you decide on this approach, ask for referrals or network by becoming involved with an association that can help you market your business. Your business plan will help you decide what marketing action you should take.
- Start early in keeping all your records up to date. This is called having a solid infrastructure. Your records should include precise information on your customers, your books should be updated continually and be clean. Above all have a definite technological foundation. A mistake many small businesses make is not keeping these kinds of records. You don’t want to be one of those business owners who are want to sell their business at a profit but can’t because of poor bookkeeping. If you decide to sell your business later on, your records can be all that is standing between you making a profit or not.
If you look around you will see that there are plenty of free available resources that the novice business owner could benefit from. Join associations such as the Small Business Owners Association. Do research on the internet about different groups. If you are a African-American, Hispanic, or a woman find business associations that can cater to your concerns. These groups offer sound advice to beginners, plus materials, networking strategies, training, and even financial help.
- Look up SCORE, it is a group of retired executives that provide novice business owners with advice.
- Do understand that starting a business takes time. Sacrifices will be made, but don’t neglect your private life.
- Do realize that you will probably bring your work home with you. Starting a business is an all-consuming project. Set aside time for routine exercise, and schedule time with family and friends.