Have you ever thought about starting your own small business? If you have, you’re not alone. According to the Small Business Administration, more than half a million businesses were started in 2006. But not every business becomes a success. In fact, many will fail within their first five years. Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals and rise to the top when you start your own business.
1) Research your chosen industry. Find out what the annual income is for other businesses in the industry, how many employees they have, how long they have been in business, and how much start-up capital they needed.
2) Come up with a way for your business to stand out from the other businesses in your industry. When you start your own business, you need to stand out from your competition and give people a reason to do business with you over anyone else. Will your service be faster? Will your product be less expensive? Will you offer a special bonus that your competitors don’t offer? Make your business unique and people will want to do business with you.
3) Give your business a descriptive name. Clever names are fine as long as they give people a sense of what you do or offer. For example, Morrie’s Restaurant is a poor choice for a business name. A better name would be Morrie’s Fine Italian Dining. Not only is it descriptive, but it gives people a sense of what to expect when they dine there.
4) Decide how you will fund your business. Even if you are offering a service, you will need business cards and possibly letterhead and envelopes. You may need postage and special tools. If your business will provide a product, you’ll need funds for product research and development. Funds can come from your savings, your current job, or loans. Loans can be provided by banks, many of which are business friendly, or from friends and family. Tell your friends and family that you plan to start your own business and that you will take responsibility for paying them back. Set up a payment schedule just as you would through a bank so your friends and family will see that you are serious.
5) Start slow. Don’t buy anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Keep your business on a tight budget. When you start your own business it is easy to get excited and want to buy things such as a new computer or other office equipment or furniture. Stick to the bare necessities until your business can afford to buy the extra things.
6) Make marketing and bringing in customers your top priority. Many businesses fail because they don’t market themselves up front. Learn all you can about marketing and find out where your customers are so you will know how to reach them.
When you start your own business, you’ll face many challenges, but you’ll also have many successes. Stay focused and you will achieve your goals.
Dr. Edward J Files is an accomplished website developer and author.