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Here are a couple of key points that I recommend.
1. Find a mentor(s). If they are in the same industry, great. If they aren't, do they still have experience launching their own businesses. Launching a new business can be a frustrating and challenging experience. It helps when you have mentors that can motivate and guide you through to success.
2. Have a professional(s) review your business plan. Whether you're seeking outside funds for your business or simply have a plan in place to give you focus, have other seasoned professionals review your plan. We are often too close to our own businesses to see errors in what we are creating. It helps to have an outside review to give clarity.
3. After you accomplish the first two items, I recommend you check out a site, Business Money Today, for insight into different options for finding financing.
I hope this helps.
Funny, I was just helping a client an hour ago who is starting a league and wanted to sell T shirts. I discovered that one of my own suppliers allows you to design your own t shirts and many other items and sell them online in a personal store (with a title of your choosing) that is set up by the supplier. You receive 15% on everything that sells. This is an exellent option for someone just starting out because there are no upfront costs. You design the apparel and the supplier makes it and sends it out as it is ordered. This eliminates having to purchase large amounts of inventory that might or might not sell. You can find them at thatsitforless.com near the bottom of the Goodies and Services page. Their ad says something like 'design online'. They are a good company that I have used for promotional items several times before. I just never noticed until today that they offer this service. Great for someone to dip their toes in without losing their shirt.
Definitely find the local SCORE office closest to you and ask to be set up with a mentor. This is a completely free service where you can get advice from a retired executive in your field or a related one.
Talking about business plan and mentoring - It is advisable that you build your plan on a common business plan template like SCORE or SBA. Also, an efficient way to go is to make use of an online planning tool that has these templates already built-in. When your plan sits on-line, mentors can easily review it and contribute.
(one of these new web-based biz planners)
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Hello. I am in need of advice and guidance. I looking to start a christian clothing line (first t-shirts) and then roll into a christian cafe'/bookstore. This has been on my heart for years and now I am ready for the task. I have a plan, I just need the funding and advice on how to proceed with these ideas.