Business Tips: What It Takes To Start Your Own Business

Do you have what it takes to be self-employed? Things to consider are finances, marketing, your personality traits, the idea for your new business and your lifestyle. Other startup requirements are discussed.

In a society where the job market is always unpredictable, many people long for the security of steady work and a feeling of control. This is why so many of us turn to the idea of starting our own businesses. After all, this route holds appeal for plenty of reasons: you can be your own boss, set your own hours, and do something you enjoy for a living. However, not everyone who chooses the path of self-employment will necessarily be successful. While it is true that the majority of businesses in this country are small businesses, few start-ups make it past the three-year mark. This occurs for a number of reasons, from poor planning to inefficient marketing and poor qualifications. Therefore, if you are planning to start your own business, it is vital that you find out beforehand if you have what it takes to be a success.

The Idea

The first and arguably most important requirement when starting your own business is your idea. Before obtaining your business license, you need to ask yourself what it is that you are selling. Is it something that people want, need, and are willing to pay for? If so, it has the potential to turn into a successful business. However, a good idea will only be good enough if you can sell it to the right people in the right place at the right time. For example, if you are passionate about creating personalized business letterhead, you will need to have access to plenty of businesses that need your product. For an idea to be lucrative, it also needs to be versatile. Many people have failed at business because they could not adapt to meet changing needs. A good illustration of this would be the crafter who only sells Christmas decorations. During the holiday season, she would prosper but would not be able to give away her products the rest of the year. Your idea should be expansive so that you can sell it to a wide group of customers in all seasons.

Funding

Equally vital to business success is sufficient funding. No matter what market you are going into, there will be unavoidable costs for which you will need to be prepared. You will need money to produce your product as well as advertising materials, business cards, flyers, order forms, and record keeping materials. Added costs may appear in the form of office space fees, computer software, business-only phone lines, or rental storage space. Carefully research how much all of these things will cost your, being sure to factor in growth possibilities for the next several years. It is also important to consider what you will be paying yourself and how you will support yourself in the event that profits are minimal for a while. Do not be deceived into thinking that you will be raking in money overnight. Most start-up businesses take a year or more to produce substantial income. If you do not have the funding to provide for all of these things, you may want to look into applying for a small business loan or grant to meet your needs. Without enough money to cover everything, there is no way that your business will be the success you dream of.



Future Expansion

While many entrepreneurs start out their businesses with great success, few can maintain momentum because of an inability to envision the need for growth and change. To avoid this problem, map out a detailed plan of how you see your business growing over the next several years. Include new products, new ways to reach customers, the need for employees to help with production, and larger sales or manufacturing facilities. By preparing in this way, you can ensure that your business will neither stagnate from lack of growth nor expand beyond your desire or ability to maintain. It is not necessary to go from a family operation to a nationwide business, but you will need to prepare yourself years in advance if that is your goal. For those who have trouble considering the possibilities, there are small business organizations like the Small Business Association that offer help.

Marketing

No business will prosper unless it can efficiently sell its product to consumers. This is why strong marketing skills are a must-have for the small business owner. Begin by asking yourself this question: How am I going to get my product to all the people that want it? From there, you can make up a list of all your potential clients and where they are. You can begin by going through friends and family, eventually expanding your market through word-of-mouth. However, a systematic approach is likely to be more effective. Depending on what you sell, you may wish to contact local businesses to offer your product. Some shops will sell others' items on consignment or buy them wholesale. On the other hand, you may want to open your own store and advertise it through newspapers, flyers, or billboards. Another excellent marketing source is the internet, where you can set up your own website or advertise on those of others to get out word.

Personality Traits

Finally, look at yourself to see if you have to motivation to see your idea through. Small businesses owners can expect to put in sixty or more hours a week at the beginning, often receiving little or no monetary compensation for their efforts. This can mean less time with the family, strained finances, and general fatigue. Without enough devotion to your idea, you could find yourself burning out quickly on such a schedule. The small business owner also needs to be organized in order to keep track of sales, product lines, legal considerations, and the myriad other details of running everything. Examine your motivations carefully to be sure that you are committed to growing your business despite all the demands involved.

By preparing thoroughly in the beginning, small business owners can greatly improve their chances of being life-long successes. It may be difficult, but the challenges of working for one's self are all worth it because they offer independence, a creative outlet, and the potential for financial stability. Better yet, small businesses owners can take great pride in their achievements, knowing that their efforts have improved their lives as well as the state of the economy.

© High Speed Ventures 2011