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    10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 17, 2016 6:25 PM by moderator_lisa

    Advice for Starting A Small Business

    Moderator BethM Navigator

      There are so many cost factors involved when it comes to owning a small business. Payroll, renting/buying space, utilities, insurance, and much more. This can seem frightening to someone just starting out.

       

      What are your best words of wisdom for a small business owner who might be starting to get overwhelmed?

       

      What worked for you? What didn't work for you?

       

      Beth

        • Re: Advice for Starting A Small Business
          bizquest Adventurer

          Starting a business is a mind challenge.  First, you have to have a passion for the business you're starting.  If you have a passion for the business when things gets busy you'll be willing to sacrifice sleep and other activities you used to do.  When it's going down you'll find a way to put it back up.

           

          Second,  be logical.  Although it's your passion make sure you control your overhead.  Building a business from the ground up will give you a better feeling of self fulfillment rather than getting a loan and you'll end-up with a big headache on how to make the business work but with your overhead running 24/7 you'll be stressed to act past.

           

          Third, it's not bad to practical.  You have to do your homework.  Vendors, offices other materials you need for your business can be checked online.  Compare their prices and ask for a good deal.

           

          Forth, make sure you create a system. I believe that time is money.  Planning, organizing and implementation is something that will keep you on top of any business.  Here's an example, remember the car manufacturing line?  They have a line to where they planned how the car will be made, everything organized and they implement the idea by having a manufacturing line.  Your business may not be car manufacturing but think on a micro level on how you can manufacture your product in such a way you get the result with the best possible time.  This is a result of a system you created.

           

          Five, think of product positioning.  Your product may be ideal for all ages, but in my opinion it's better if you have something that will attract a certain segment of the market.  For example, McDonalds has "happy meal" for the kids. This is another example but in a different way, I don't know if you're familiar with Febreeze.  The first they came out to the market they want to position their product as something you spray to your clothes after drying to smell good.  Right away I told myself, this product isn't going to work.  Imagine, how would you waste more time to squirt Febreeze to your clothes wherein after drying you simply want to fold your clothes, right?  Besides, if you want your clothes to smell good you just pour downy before you load your clothes.  Later, Febreeze tried to re-position their product as a room freshener.  Here I believe they did better.

           

          Six, don't forget marketing.  Always try to be unique, I believe marketing is everything in a business.  In marketing there's what we call it's not the song but the singer.  This means it's not the product but the person marketing the product.  I have observed that a business without marketing looses in the industry.  Marketing involves sales and promotion.

           

          Seventh, respect your earnings.  You work hard and smart and have grown the business due to good business ethics.  But don't forget to respect the money you made.  If your goal is to have a stable business, stay away from any type of vice.  After you've grown your business and have continues money coming-in I firmly believe that you have to take care of your money.  Gambling is the worst that will wiped all your hard earned money.  Watch-out, if you got involved in gambling one day you'll wake-up without a roof on top of your head.  Success doesn't happen to everyone but when you have it you have to share it.  Gambling is greed which is a result of self glorification.

            • Re: Advice for Starting A Small Business
              Moderator BethM Navigator

              Hi bizquest,

               

              Thank you for your response. Those are all sound words of advice.

               

              Sometimes it seems the focus tends to only be on the product and the bottom line. You're 100% right about needing to have a Passion for the business about to be started.

               

              Great examples with Positioning. The last one was definitely interesting. What a way for a company to turn themselves around in such a successful manner!

               

              Every point is spot on. Thank you again for such a great contribution.

               

              Beth

            • Re: Advice for Starting A Small Business
              pross Adventurer

              When starting a new business we usually tend to forget the very small stuffs that actually means a lot. For example, the custom sign boards that you use for your company has lot to do in promoting and executing your business. Make sure you have the apt one.The building and surroundings of where your planning to set your company and the modes of promotion you use, are also quite important factors to consider. Then off course your hard work and patients pays the rest.

              • Re: Advice for Starting A Small Business
                parasush Adventurer

                When starting a new business, I think location is the great opportunity to reach potential customers. So, I suggest you to choose your business location accordingly. 

                  • Re: Advice for Starting A Small Business
                    Moderator Cath Guide

                    Parasush, location is most important and I think everyone would agree with you.  What do you look for when you are considering locations for a business?  And how do you go about deciding whether to be a brick and mortar business as opposed to an online one?  New people who are reaching for advice may well find your answers most helpful.

                     

                    Thanks in advance,

                     

                    Cath

                  • Re: Advice for Starting A Small Business
                    mirright Scout

                    When I started up my business, I had no capital. I prepared a bank business plan and managed to get a loan. To save my money, I didn't outsource any tasks. I tried to do all things by myself, and creating a website wasn't an exception. I took one of the premium responsive wordpress themes and customized it to my needs. Now my business is 2 years old and it brings me good money:)

                    • Re: Advice for Starting A Small Business
                      m2c capital Newbie

                      Get Back up....

                       

                      Don't Try & Wear 2 Many Hats - Contrary to what you make think, you cannot do it all. Part of being a good business owner is knowing your limits and what to delegate to your team. If you have done your homework and put a good team, trust that they have the ability to do the job.

                       

                      Verify Don't Assume - Assumptions is the tombstone you build, for the death of your business. There is no one thing that is as important when running your business. I think a lot of business owners make the mistake of assuming a situation is OK when it may not be. If something seems out of line you should take the time to verify. I realize this is a broad term but it applies to almost ever aspect of your business. I don't know or I assumed is not a good look.

                       

                      Prioritize Productivity or Plunge -There are a million or at least it seems that way things to do on a daily basis when running your business. You have prioritize your day and delegate the things that you cannot do so that you do not get so caught up in the details that you miss the overall goal. Running a business is a marathon not a sprint. It's more like hiking in the mountains than it is Cinderella. Losing a slipper for one of these is not like the other.

                       

                      Having Good Data & Keep Good Records - This applies to every aspect and department. Personnel, Client, Financial, Historical, Analytical, Reporting. Setting aside the fact that as your business grows, so do the needs of everyone involved in your business cycle. Having good records and data while being data driven allows you to see trends that affect your overall business and gives you time to react and adjust the cycle accordingly.

                       

                      Honesty in Self & Take Time for Yourself - Again at the end of the day, what matters most is taking care of yourself. Having a good circle of people who truly care about you and a stable support system. They know you and it's really important for you to just be able to be you. As much as we all want to, we can't please everyone all the time, but if you be yourself at least people know what to expect. because in business, your word is still your bond.

                       

                      If you have those things in place and you have put together a team you can trust.

                      If you don't take things for granted and you verify what does arise.

                      If you prioritize your productivity

                      and if you respect the power of a dollar and have a plan for the future.

                       

                      You already have a good roadmap. All I can say is be in it for the long haul. Keep family first and if all else fails know when to exit in a smart manner. For the most successful of business owners they failed many more times then they won. Just remember what they did and get back up.

                       

                      Best,

                      DC Sanders

                      M2C Capital