Starting A Business
Are you unsatisfied with your current job? If you are, you may be interested in changing employers. While it is more than possible for you to find, apply for, and be awarded a new job, did you know that is not your only option? Have you ever thought about starting your own business? If this is a thought that has yet to cross your mind, you may want give starting your own business some serious consideration.
As nice as it is to hear that you should examine starting your own business, you may be curious as to which points you should take the time to examine. If you are serious about starting your own business or at least learning if running your own business is something that you are capable of doing, you will want to continue reading on. A few important points that should be taken into consideration by those who are interested in leaving the traditional workplace to start a business are outlined below.
One of the many points that you will want to take into consideration, when looking to start your own business, is the startup costs associated with doing so. Whether you would like to open up a gift shop or if you would like to sell your professional writing services, it is likely that you will need to make some startup purchases. The startup costs associated with starting your own business will all depend on the opportunities that you choose. Although there is likely to be some variance, it is likely that you will need to purchase a computer, internet service, a business phone, business phone service, a fax machine, a copier, an office desk, and other office furniture. If you have an ideal credit score, you may be able to receive financial assistance to get your business up and running.
Another factor that you need to take into consideration, when looking to determine if you should leave your current job and start your own business is time. Should you be interested in starting your own business, it is important to remember that you will likely not see success right away. Many businesses, no matter what the type, take time to see profits and success. You have to market your business to the general public, set up your online website or your storefront location, and do so much more. That is why it is important that you not only have enough money to get your business up and running, but you will also want to make sure that you also have enough money to support yourself and your family until you are able to start making a profit with your own business.
Another one of the many factors that you will want to take into consideration, when trying to determine if you should start your own business, is insurance. At your current position, do you have health insurance? If you are married, would you be able to get health insurance through your spouse? If you would be unable to do so, health insurance is something that you will want to take into consideration. Even if your health is fine right now, you never know what could happen, especially if your health insurance is also used to help cover the rest of your family. Should you decide to start your own business, you should be able to purchase insurance for yourself or for the rest of your family. With that in mind, it is important to remember that insurance costs money, quite a bit of money to be exact.
What is nice about starting your own business is that you, literally, have an unlimited number of options. For example, did you know that you can sell a product or a service? Popular startup businesses include gift shops, cleaning services, accounting services, and so forth. In addition to the type of business that you would like to start, you also have a number of different options when it comes to operating a business. Many entrepreneurs run online businesses, storefront businesses, or even both. In all honesty, the decision is yours to make. With that in mind, the decisions that you do make can have a huge impact in determining whether or not your business, should you decide to start one, is a success.
How To Write A Business Plan
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One of the challenges of planning and getting a new business off the ground is to establish what your start up costs are going to be. At best, it’s going to be a stab in the dark or a wild guess, but there are some specific steps you can take to make your costings more realistic.
Why Estimate Your Costs?
But, before we look at where you can get help, we should consider why you need to get your estimate of start up costs to be as close to reality as possible. Firstly, if you are seeking bank finance the dreaded Business Plan is required! The Bank Manager is not going to be impressed by a comment such as, “I think my start up costs are going to be around £10,000 but hey, who knows!”
Secondly, you need to go into any new venture with your eyes open. You have to be as sure as you can on how much it’s going to cost to get your new business started. There is nothing worse than getting 90% of the way there, only to fall at the last hurdle because you didn’t cater for one major expense.
Lastly, as a start up you are likely to only have a limited pot of money available. You have to prioritise which costs are essential and which can be delayed until the business is more established. You can only do this if you have researched and understand what your costs are going to be.
Where Can You Go For Help?
It’s easy to think that you have a good idea of what your start up costs are likely to be, but do you really? Once you think about it, a whole can of worms starts to open! But there are sources of help you can turn to, which will ensure that you don’t face oblivion within the first few weeks.
A good starting point is your country’s government support and business advice agency. These are government funded organisations which are there to provide free and impartial advice on all aspects of running a business.
Call and book an appointment to see an advisor. They will have a wide range of material and experience which will give you a good grounding in the costs you will have to cover. The service is usually free, so that’s one cost you won’t have to worry about!
Chamber of Commerce or Local Business Club/Group
If you have a local arm of the Chamber of Commerce or any formal or informal business group, then they are a good source of knowledge and information. Within the group you will find a wealth of experience and people who have been through it all – good times and bad times! You may be lucky enough to attend a meeting when a speaker is there on just the topic you are looking for.
Colleagues and Other Business Owners
If you don’t have a club or group you can attend, then seek out business people yourself. Ask all your contacts to tell you about their start up experiences. What costs they budgeted for; what costs they didn’t budget for; where they overspent. Genuine business people are usually happy to share their experiences and give you advice. Listen to what they have to say and take note.
If you don’t have a circle of business contacts, put the word out to all your personal friends. A few of them will have friends or relatives who are in business on their own. Ask for an introduction or referral. This will ‘warm’ them up before you ask your searching questions.
Bank Business Guides
Many Banks provide comprehensive brochures on starting up in business. They usually contain a Business Plan template which will include a section on start up costs. Some go further and produce guides for specific industries and sectors. They provide in depth analysis about the business, the market, the competition and estimated start up costs. Call in to your local Bank and ask to see the Small Business Manager/Advisor.
If you are looking to cost your raw materials or partly finished stock for buy in then, as a key part of your financing, call your potential suppliers and ask for quotations. Tell them that you are starting up and they should be more than helpful, after all you could be a potential customer!
Examples of Start Up Costs
If you haven’t got the time to try any of the above (and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t find some time!) here are some of the key costs you will have to cover:
- Fixtures and fittings
- Initial stock
- Legal and other professional fees
- Specialised computer software
- Up front rental payment
- Initial cash float
- Cash to cover trading for the first month or two until the payments start rolling in
The list is by no means exhaustive but it will provide you with the first step to finding out how much it will cost you to start up.
Who Said It Was Going To Be Easy?
Getting a new business off the ground is difficult enough, even if you fully understand what it’s going to cost you. Doing it with no idea is not a recipe for success. Devote some time to this exercise and you will be amply rewarded.
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Start Your Own Work At Home Business
Starting a home business is not tedious. In fact, there are many advantages in starting a home based business. You can enjoy the fun of working in a home atmosphere and can work at your convenient schedule. But running an own business requires lot of dedication and effort. You must know how to manage time for work and family. However, your hard work and effort would be rewarded well.
Before starting work at home business, consider the following:
- Whether you would have the freedom to choose when and where to work?
- Whether the home business would allow you continue your current job and work at home?
- Would the business require publicity or gimmicks?
- Would the home business require heavy investment?
- Are there any risks in starting a home business?
- Do you have complete training and support to improve the home business?
- Do you have acquaintance with any successful home business owner who can help as a mentor to you?
If your answer is positive to most of the above questions, you can start work at home business. Another important consideration in starting a home business is to do what you are really passionate about. This is because of the fact that you can put greater effort without any difficulty because you really love it.
Starting a child day care center, candle business, decorative gift baskets, wall paintings, fashion jewelry, photography, party rentals and some other home business is really inexpensive and straight forward. However these businesses may be time consuming and require lot of effort. But once your business is up and running, you can get better rewards for your efforts.
If you have a pc at home with an internet connection, your home business opportunities are vast. You can start work at home internet business if you have adequate knowledge and excellent communication skill. You can start your own online dating site which can provide more profits from every member that joins you site.
However you would need some investment. The dating website can earn you handsome profits when members subscribe for premium membership and when existing members renew their membership. The main benefit of this business is that you need not have any previous experience for this.
You can start work at home business if you want to enjoy the fun and freedom of working at home. However take the time to get an organized plan for your business. This helps you speed up and improve your home business.
You can allot a room in your home for business purposes. Then arrange the essential things like a chair, computer, cabinet, phone etc. A comfortable chair is very important if you have to work for hours at the computer. Also consider filing the essential paper work in a cabinet. Keep it organized!
If you need to spend more time on your home business, then schedule your household routines accordingly. Time management is very important to start a home based business. You need to have the ability to prioritize your work so that you can achieve success.
Forecasting or Planning
When you're starting a home business, it's all too easy to make mistakes -- after all, you've never done this before. Fortunately for you, though, you can learn from others' errors, by making sure you don't do any of these things.
So you have no idea how to keep records and accounts, or you don't know how to maintain a mailing list. You need to learn these things! Too many home business owners just do the things that they know how to do, and assume that they can probably get by without everything else.
You need to realise that when you're running a home business, you're going to need to do as much as you can for yourself, especially when you're starting out. This means that you can't get by if your business skills are lacking. I always say that everyone who is thinking of starting a business should take an inexpensive and quick local business course, and I stand by it -- even if you think you'll be fine, it can't hurt, can it?
When you're used to working nine to five, an easy trap to fall into is not managing your time effectively. Your home is full of distractions, and there won't be anyone there to tell you to get on with it. If you're prone to daydreaming or procrastinating then this can be disastrous -- whole days can go by with only tiny amounts of work getting done.
You need to be sure that you have a schedule, and you stick to it. Draw a clear line between work and non-work time, and don't cross the line in either direction. Apart from that, the word to remember is 'prioritise': appreciate that you won't always be able to do everything, but make sure you get at least the important things done.
There are many home businesses where clients might need to visit your home -- but make sure it's fit for visiting! You can't lead them into a messy office, or be holding your dog back from barking at them when you first meet. Remember that professionalism is important, and it's too easy to end up looking silly if you don't plan how you're going to make a good impression when you invite people to your home.
If you can't afford a 'business annex' to your house, then consider hiring someone to look after your dog or children for a few hours while you have a business meeting there. It might also be worth paying a cleaner to give the place a quick once-over, if you haven't had time to clean up for a while.
Too many home businesses, when asked who their target market is, say 'well everyone, silly'. Your target market is never everyone -- if it is, you will fail. You can't just choose an industry and advertise your new-found profession to everyone, in the hope that someone will work out that the fact you're an electrician means maybe they should ask you about re-wiring their house.
The key to success is this: think about what you can do, and then market that to people who will want it. Advertise in places where these people are. If your business has no target market, then you have no business, period.
Finally, too many people overestimate how much money it's going to take to start a home business. Do you really all brand-new equipment? If you're spending thousands of dollars before you've made any sales at all, you're setting yourself up for a disappointment.
Start your business on a shoestring, work hard, and expand gradually -- otherwise you're setting yourself up for a big fall. However much you might think you ought to do things 'properly', you need to make sure that you're minimising costs and maximising profit every step of the way, otherwise you're failing yourself as a home business owner. It's when you start to get some bigger clients and better cashflow that you can start paying a little extra to make your business life more comfortable.
If you are thinking about starting a home business, your first question is usually where to start looking for ideas. The answer is simple – look to yourself. Look at what you can do and where your interests lie. The biggest problem with a regular business is starting. Home business is no different. It is just that your operation is home based and although what you do may be different, the bottom line is you want to make money. So if you are looking at starting home business, then what do you like to do?
There are loads of ideas for starting a home based business and each of these carries certain expenses. Whether you are planning on giving up your regular job and starting a home business where you will work full time, or you just want something on a part time basis, you have to consider your cash flow. Every business takes time to build to the point where your business ideas are starting to make a profit and you need to have enough reserve money to carry you through this period.
You also have to consider the expenses involved in actually starting the home business. If, for example, you have an idea for starting a home based business where you have customers coming to your home, you have to consider the extra cost of insurance. You also have to make sure that your zoning regulations allow you to operate a home based business and then you need a license before starting a home based business.
Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may or may not have to invest in inventory. This could be costly and you will have to see the products before you realize any profit at all. Did you know there is a way of starting a home business where you do not have these expenses. Why not explore the Internet for an idea for starting a home based business? Here you will find many ideas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get started working at home.
If you have a product that you can sell online, you can reach more customers by setting up a website. This is how millions of people get started with operating their own home based business and the start up costs are minimal. Starting a home business using the Internet only requires buying a domain name and web hosting. Then when you use the tried and true idea of starting a home based business by using affiliate links, then you won’t have any problem starting a home business and keeping it going.
Starting home business? Once you think a little about what you like to do there’s lots of ideas.
Starting a home business is the dream of many people; in fact, it has become the ideal for millions. If you are reading this article, the chances are high that you are one who believes that there is much more to life than just waking up each morning and working the rest of the day for a wage.
Running a business from your home is no joke. There are a lot of details that you will need to keep track of if you aspire to be successful. Keep in mind that a home business is in essence not much different from traditional ones. The aim of your business is to make money, remember that. It has to be as efficient and as profitable as you can make it.
If you are thinking of working at home, then you must first consider all the variables that will be involved in your potential decision. Working at home, like working outside, carries its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It would be good for you to scrutinize each argument, and examine how much weight such arguments should have on your decision.
There’s nothing wrong with working for a wage, mind you – especially if it pays the bills! However, an increasing number of people are finding that working for someone else is not very rewarding. After all, as an employee it is not likely that you are being compensated according to your real value to the company. In other words, you only get a small percentage of the fruits of your labors – your boss gets the lion’s share.
Now, working at home is not a financial cure-all. In fact, you can expect to have a rough time, especially at the beginning. However, as long as you stay disciplined and do the work that you have to do, you can expect your venture to grow, and your profits to grow as well.
If you are serious about making money online, then you cannot ignore the possibilities that are offered by home businesses. These days, however, there are so many opportunities available that sifting the wheat from the chaff can become a real problem. Everyone who wants to earn some serious money must acquire some skill in evaluating home business opportunities.
In evaluating home business opportunities, the lesson is this: choose the opportunities that suit you; in areas that you love and have talents in. You will never go wrong by following this path. If you are interested in plants, start a plant nursery. If you are a book lover, consider starting a book club. If you are passionate about beauty products, consider setting up a small shop, maybe even mixing your own concoctions. The possibilities are endless and infinitely varied. Whether you want to sell goods or to provide services, you only have to make sure that you provide a quality product at a reasonable price. As long you as what you have to offer is useful, you should be able to make your own opportunities, not wait for them to come by!
Starting your new business opportunity online can become very stressful just because of the amount of time and work that goes into it. But if you want to see results you have to have a plan to get your business opportunity off and running on the right foot. Here are a couple of suggestions that I feel will help you get your new online business opportunity started and maybe relieve a little of that initial stress.
- A good start-up plan - The first thing you will need to do is outline a plan of attack. Having a good plan will make the beginning phases of your new business a whole lot easier. There are numerous things that you will need to do to start your new business, but having a good plan will help relieve some of stress. Your plan will need to include at least the items listed below along with your written goals of where you want your new company to be 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 5 years from now. With out goals success in any business will be much more difficult to achieve because you have not plan on how to get where you want to be.
- Picking a good Domain name - Now pay attention to these next few sentences. The domain name you choose can pay HUGH dividends in the success of your online business opportunity More and more businesses are being created every day, and it is becoming a lot more difficult in finding a legitimate domain (business) name. You need to try to find a domain name that is short and sweet and relates to your business or the theme of your business. Remember, this is a very important step in setting up your online business, so take you time, give it plenty of thought, and do it right the first time.
- Web Site Design - How do you want to present your site to a customer when they click onto your home page? What is it that you are trying to say or relate to this customer? This is what goes into the thought process of a web designer when they are creating a web site. Your web site should address the following issues; “WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN & WHY”. There are more web site designers out there in the internet world than you can “shake a stick at”. You can join online business sites that will teach you how to build your own web site or you can pay a company to design and build one for you. There are also internet Business’ out there that if you join their internet business and promote their products they will provide you with your own web site already set up and ready to go. Do a little research on this subject before you make your final decision. It could save you a lot of money down the road.
- Hosting your web site - The hosting company that you choose is going to be the company that keeps your website up and running for you. You want to make sure that the company you choose is reputable and has a good online performance record What you do not need is for you web site to go down and become inactive and your customers not being able to get in touch with you. Also you need to know who to contact in the case of a problem, and to get that problem fixed ASAP. Again take your time to do the research and find a quality Hosting company. You can’t make sales if your site is down and no one can contact you.
- How to market the site - As soon as you have obtained your domain name and get your website up and running, you want to begin promoting (advertising) your online business opportunity. There are numerous ways that you can market your new web site. There are sites that will let you submit advertising for free, and then there are those that charge a fee to advertise also. There are Classified Ads, Ezines, Solo Ads, Articles, Press Releases, Pay for Click and lots of other on line and off line ways to promote your site. There are tons of free publications online that can down load and print that will help you get started in the right direction. Just get started and do it. I think you will find that the free advertising campaigns are a little slower in response but they are a lot of fun and a great way to learn how to advertise and promote your new business. Plus the only thing it costs is your time.
- Goal setting - One last item that I want to stress on (sorry for the play on words) is GOALS. Setting written goals for yourself and your new business is like driving down a highway headed for your predetermined destination when all of a sudden you see road signs and distractions that want you to pull off of the highway and make right or left turns when going straight is the only real way to arrive at your predetermined destination. Goals are what keep you on the straight path but only if you write them down and make them attainable. The short term goals will get you to the mid term goals which will eventually get you to your long term goals. Write them down and look at them every morning when you get up and every night before you go to bed and you will be successful in what ever you set yourself out to accomplish.
The world of internet marketing has no boundaries. You can build any kind of web site that you want, promote any product that you can dream of and start a business that not only is for your local area but also be seen and distributed world wide. It is the best venue in the world to advertise and promote a business in and I wish you great success with yours.
How do you find a business that is right for you and has a great probability of success? There are two steps that you should take.
- Pick something that interests you. Better yet, pick something that you are passionate about. If you are not interested or you don't like it, the work rapidly becomes drudgery and you will likely quit after having invested a lot time and money.
- Find out if there is a market for you business. This is important because if there isn't a market, you could spend months developing your product and if only a couple of people care about it, and no one else is interested, you just wasted a lot of time, money, and potential income.
How do you find out if there is a market for what you want to do?
- Do a search on Overture http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/ and enter one or more words that describe your business. The suggestion tool tells you how many people have searched for your term in the past month. Multiply that number by five to figure the approximate number of searches in the past year. This will tell you how many people are searching for your product or services.
- Look at the top 20 returns for your product on the search engines (Google, Yahoo, and MSN) to see what competition you have. Review your competitors' sites to see what they are doing well and to see what they are doing poorly. You may be able to see at what price they are selling a product or service similar to yours.
- Look at the ads presented by the search engines. They are usually located above the search results and to the right of the search results. If there are a lot of ads for your search terms, then there is probably a market for your product or service.
- If you have found that there is a lot of activity, go to http://uv.bidtool.overture.com/d/USm/search/tools/bidtool/ and enter your search terms to see how much people are paying Yahoo to advertise your keywords using Pay Per Click. To use PPC you bid for placement on the Yahoo search engine pages. The higher you bid, the higher your placement. If your competitors are bidding $1.50 or more it is a good indicator that there is a real market.
If there is little activity, then you probably won't do well and should look for something else or reframe your product or service.
If there appears to be a lot of activity for your product or service, then go for it!
A strong Business Plan may not guarantee success; but it could certainly prevent failure!
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