Do you work on designing, planning and making out plans for making a success? Are you restless to make your dream come true? You don’t want to wait any longer to put it in to action, right? Hey wait a minute!! Before taking this big leap into the big world of business where everyday people like you and me come with all our savings and loans only to end up bankrupt within a year or two. Don’t lose your heart yet. After all, you have an excellent idea and a great business plan that cannot fail. But, before taking a step, let us check some points and assess ourselves.
A known devil is better than an unknown one. This applies in business too. Just because a certain business is successful doesn’t mean that it could work for you too, and you should risk everything. The first step to enter into a business is to assess yourself by knowing what you like, what you don’t, and which are the things you are good at. For example, if you have excellent public relation skills then entering the service industry could be a good option. Explore your potential and weakness as an outside person. Don’t be biased or harsh to yourself; you may not be an expert in doing the things you like to do. So make a SWOT analysis. Know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Then make a list of things which you think could be your options.
Design your product. Test whether it works with some of your friends and family. See what the needs are rather than want. Try to solve the need and add features that could attract customers. Take opinions and criticisms from others. Re-analyze your product based on feedback.
Write up a good business plan which explains your product, plans, marketing, finance and other things. Make a plan for one year. Prepare a balance sheet for the first year. Make it as attractive and realistic as possible.
For a small business, people invest their lifetime’s savings, or house equity loan, loan from family, friends, banks, or angel investors. Strike a balance by putting half of your savings and try to take the other half from an outside source. Make sure that you are planning three years ahead of your financial needs. Be pessimistic and prepare for a backup for running your business without profit for at least three years.
If your business is online, then explore the web. Tie up with other niche businesses and market your website through these websites and search engines. With the wide access that is available on the internet, it is tough to make a name in online business, so try to reach out as much as possible. If your business is not online, maintain good rapport with people, and maintain a good quality of service which brings publicity through word of mouth. Try to get some quality certifications which could impress people. Remember that for a small business you need tough marketing to surface among giants.
Once your business is setup you need to be very careful to control costs. For a startup firm it is essential to control costs and meet the break-even point. In addition to the internal costs, a small business may need to pay tax, insurance and other unavoidable costs. This is a critical area where most of the small entrepreneurs fail to succeed. Cutting down prices instead of costs to attract customers, is the main reason that cause business failures by not meeting the breakeven even while the production is at full capacity. Thus it is very important to control costs instead of prices.
Last but not the least; meet your obligations and expectations. Failing to meet the financial commitments, loans, may result in a bad credit record which may cause problems in future when you need financial aid. Maintain a healthy financial record, accounts, and try to meet the breakeven point. For the first two years be aggressive and do extensive marketing of your product, maintain quality and good relations with your customers. Success will surely follow.