Running your own business is a stressful but good career and life choice. It demands your time and focus. Start by expecting to live your work until it is established so it can get off the ground. There are many different opinions about how to start a business. Read below for some basic ideas and guidelines to get you started.
1. Come up with an idea. You will need an idea for a business before you do anything else. This should be something you are passionate about, since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.
- Come up with business ideas by identifying things people need which no one else currently provides, that isn’t provided in your area, or which you can provide better than anyone else.
2. Consider if it is plausible. Before going too far, think about how plausible your idea is. Is it something that people would actually pay for? Will it turn enough of a profit to be viable? You will also need to be sure that it is possible to implement. While it would be great to have a computer which makes food magically appear out of thin air, this is simply impossible.
Be sure it’s unique. Whatever your idea is, be sure it’s as unique as possible. This will help you eliminate or significantly combat competition, which will make your business more successful. Simply putting a small spin on a currently existing product (making blue Redvines or something like that) is not usually enough to build a business on, so push the envelope!
Make A Business Plan
- Determine your cost of operation.
You will need a solid business plan to present to any investors and the
best place to start would be with determining your basic cost of
operations. This will outline and help you determine how much money is
needed to produce the product or offer the service you intend to offer
or produce. It includes production costs, shipping, taxes, worker’s
wages, rent for workspace, etc.
- Knowing your cost of operations will be vital to determining if your business will be profitable, since you will need to make more than this baseline in order to remain in business.
- Determine your potential market. Be realistic. How many people will realistically use your business? How much will they pay to use your services? If either number is too small in comparison to how much it will cost you to stay in business, then you should reconsider or change your plans.
Determine impediments. You will need to plan ahead for all of the problems which can get in the way of running a business.
- Evaluate your competition; if their market share or product offering is too strong and stable, then you will have a very hard time breaking into the market. No one will want to buy an equally priced or more expensive version of a perfectly good product or service which already exists.
- You will also need to explore the associated regulations and laws, especially regarding taxes. You should ask your local state authorities, as well getting information from the IRS.
- Make sure there are no prohibitive costs, such as equipment which is too expensive to make the business profitable. For example, cars didn’t take off until Ford figured out how to make them cheap by building more efficient equipment.
- Write up a budget. Once you have a general idea of how much money you have to work with, write up a budget for marketing which indicates how much money you have available to spend on advertising.
- Create ideas fitting your budget. Once you know how much money you have, research the costs of different types of marketing and come up with ideas which fit those methods and are effective for the price range. If you have a lot of money to spend on marketing, for example, you can consider shooting a commercial. If you have almost none, you’ll want to think about ways to use social media effectively, which is very effective for requiring little money.
Plan timing and location of marketing.
Once you know what kind of marketing you intend to do, think about the
most effective places to advertise and what time of day, month or year
are going to work best to reach your target market.
- Talk with your bank. Talk with a bank with whom you already have a positive relationship. Ask about what kind of business start-up loans they offer and how they can benefit your business. By using a bank you already know, the bank will have easy access to your financial records and will be more confident in investing with you.
- Get local investors. If the bank loans will not be enough, look into local investors. There may be a local business tycoon or other similarly wealthy person who would have a vested interest in seeing you succeed. Research people in your area who may have the funds and motivation to help you.