Starting Your Own Business

Starting Your Own Business

Recession blues? Afraid of being handed the pink slip? Don't worry. Read this article to learn some of the steps involved in starting a business.
They say self-employment is the best form of employment, and it's definitely true. People are known to work extra hard and with even more dedication, when they are working and making money for themselves. There may be a certain amount of risk involved in starting your own business. However, proper planning, conducting the business well, and a keen foresight help in reducing the risk involved. A lot of people these days are getting more and more interested in starting their own venture, even if it is on an extremely small scale. This trend has been on the upswing with the recession hitting many people and the realization that no job is permanent.

Steps

Once you have taken the decision, there are several important things that need to be taken into consideration.

The Idea
To start your own business, you need an idea first. This doesn't have to be a path-breaking invention or a product. It can be based on anything which you might have come across. If you know how to take that idea and improvise it for the better, then you may have a successful venture on hand. Remember that you need to have an interest in what you are doing.

Business Plan
Putting together a business plan is helpful in many ways. The plan acts as a blueprint which will guide you in your work. A decent plan is a good way to get investors interested. This plan need not be technically correct or even contain extensive research material. Basic research about your product/service, what price you will charge for the product/service, who your competitors are, and how you will compete with them, how you will market your product, how much the product/service will cost you, the legal and governmental requirements are things that you need to be definitely aware of.

Financing
There are two choices here. You may want to finance your project yourself or look for investors. In case you want to fund the business yourself, you may have to approach banks or other financial institutions for a loan, if you don't have the necessary money with you. If you are looking for investors, you will need to approach them and try and convince them of the feasibility of your project so that they invest their money. Having a good business plan in place will help you a lot in getting finances from external sources.

Location
Selecting the right location for your office/factory plays a very important role in the entire thing. It is therefore important to select a location that best suits your needs. If you want to manufacture new products, then you will have to hunt for a location for your factory. Keep in mind the availability of raw materials, the nearness to the market, and tax benefits among other things, while selecting the location. In case you are in the service sector, you will need to set up an office. Make sure that you choose a location which fits in your budget and is convenient for your target customer base.

Initial Marketing Plan
Your initial marketing plan should ideally be on a shoe-string budget. Since you are starting a new venture, it is better to keep your initial marketing budget at the minimum as you are testing waters for the first time yourself. Word-of-mouth publicity, a website, social networking sites, and mobile advertising are cheap options which you can use in the beginning, especially if you are offering any service. Your business plan will be useful in helping you with this.

Legal Formalities
There are a few legal formalities which you require to fulfill before starting up; these include two important steps, that is applying for a license, and registering your business. You must seek all required permissions from the government. You may need to hire an attorney depending upon the amount of legal work involved.

Tips
  • When you are thinking of ideas to start your own business, make sure you choose an area of your interest, as you will be self motivated and also enjoy going about the setup process.
  • Involve people who are close to you and who can be trusted. Apart from the support they provide, you can also take necessary inputs and any other monetary or technical help from them.
  • If your budget is small, you can use your home as an office for the initial period. This helps you save money and gives you flexibility in working hours.
  • If you have trouble in formulating a proper plan, there is no harm in taking professional help from outside. This is more so in case of a large business where there is a requirement of external funding or investors.
  • Do your homework (research) well beforehand, as it will enhance your knowledge about the market for your product/service, and the competition your venture is bound to face.
  • When you are looking for finance from outside, look out for institutions beyond banks which provide loans on lower interest rates and have comparatively relaxed repayment options.
  • Be patient. There may be a chance that your business may not make profit for the initial few months. Have belief that it will deliver the expected results eventually. Analyzing your business during the non-profit period is a good way to spot mistakes and improve on them.
  • There are a lot of institutions like small business development centers and small administrators, which provide assistance to small and budding entrepreneurs. Take help from these places as and when required. Use other free resources like the Internet and your neighborhood library to your benefit.
  • Always remember, customer is the king. Do not disrespect this fact. Being ethical and maintaining a clean public image is always going to benefit your business in numerous ways.
Keep faith in yourself. There may be ups and downs, but this is true for businesses everywhere. Constantly evolving as per the customer's needs and keeping them happy should help you sustain your business for a long time. All the best!
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