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    7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2009 12:38 AM by IntConsultant

    Starting a new business

    The_bull Newbie
      I am trying to start a new business in the Home Improvement business. I have created a web_site, advertising and blogs to promote this business but so far I have had only two customers ask about my services. I have just stared this business there for I have no capital to fund any jobs or even get my licenses yet. My question is: How can I take a better approach to making this business sucessfull with_out any capital or credit?
        • Re: Starting a new business
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Starting a new business, Welcome

          Who are you?? Where are you?? Have you developed a business plan??
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          • Re: Starting a new business
            CleanGreenGuy Wayfarer
            Here's some advice on starting a new business along with a Business Start-up checklist you can use: http://www.cleangreenguy.com/thought-leadership/logs/nikhil/journey-thousand-miles-starts-single-step

            Good luck and keep us posted
            • Re: Starting a new business
              Tracker

              Christopher:

               


              There are a couple of options that you can use that will cost you little to no money.

               


              First, I recommend that you create a business plan. I have a free page on my site that gives the details of a formal business plan with information about what to consider and include for each key element. Here's the link to my Planning page:

               


              http://thesologuide.com/planning/

               


              You may not have to create a detailed formal business plan, but you should consider at least creating the following:

               


              Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) - Why should customers hire you as compared to the other local home improvement contractors? Define your specialty.

               


              Your target market - Your USP will play a big part in deciding your appropriate target market. Realize that "everyone who needs home improvement" will lump you in with "all the other home improvement companies". Unless you are extremely well know in the area for being the best (which it doesn't sound like you are - well known that is), then you may have a tough time competing in this broad market. Carve out a specialty.

               


              Your competition - Know what they offer and what you offer that surpasses their service.

               


              Joint Venture partners - See the third item below.

               


              Short-term goals - Without goals, you put yourself at risk of chasing opportunities instead of creating opportunities. Chasing opportunity introduces a greater degree of luck than having planned targets. Goals will also help you define business decisions - especially with marketing - saving you time and money.

               


              Second, I recommend that you check out VistaPrint.com. They offer a wide variety of promotional products - web pages, logo creation, business cards, post cards, t-shirts, lawn signs, car magnets, etc... - at very reasonable prices. I was able to get 250 business cards for only $8.99 and that included the shipping costs. So check them out to see what deals they have so you can have promotional products to hand out.

               


              Third, I recommend that you determine who may be good joint venture partners that you can build a relationship with to expand your business. Instead of trying to pick up customers one by one, it is far more effective (time and money) to build relationships with people that can refer you to groups of customers. Some people to think about connecting with can include:

               

              • Realtors
              • Business brokers
              • Interior designers
              • Home insurance agents
              • Banks for REO properties
              • Property managers

               

              The key for this to work is to have something of value that you can give back to them in return for promoting your business.

               


              For example, I offer consulting / copywriting services. Instead of paying for advertising seeking out customers one by one, I established a relationship with La Comunidad Online, one of the nation's leading online Hispanic communities. We developed a PR program partnership that we will be launching Monday. In addition to an increase in my business writing press releases, articles and interviews for their customers, La Comunidad gets roughly 800,000 hits per month on their site. They will have a couple of areas on their site with my bio, info on my business and a link back to my site, increasing the visibility to my business - excellent visibility at zero cost to me.

               


              I hope these ideas help. Please let me know if you have any questions.

               


              All the Best,

               


              Doug Dolan

               

              The Solopreneur's Guide

               

              http://thesologuide.com/
              • Re: Starting a new business
                corgee Newbie
                Go pick up the book "<a href=http://www.bootstrapbusiness.org>bootstrap business</a>". This takes you through the steps of starting a new business with limited capital. The author teaches from experience as he has started nearly 30 businesses now. It is a quick read and very helpful to anyone thinking of or have already started a business.
                • Re: Starting a new business
                  IntConsultant Newbie

                  I agree with you, some of the reasons why people got derailed in their quest for success when starting a new business include some of the following: It would take them too long to create the product, writing the sales letter to sell their product was too hard, it cost TOO much to drive traffic to their websites, building a website was too "techy" and complicated. I found a very powerfull site, to help you on how to better market your product and services. Lean more information at the website below.

                   

                  Hope this help with your question!

                  Ulises

                  http://mymicrocontinuity.com/