The key to starting a business is preparation and planning. This article will provide you with helpful information, tips, and links on getting started and being successful in your new business venture.
A few items that we want you to know before we get started:
More than half of all small businesses don’t survive more than five years.
If one-third of small businesses go out of business within the first year, it follows that two-thirds eventually fail or sell out.
Only about half of all U.S.-based companies that have been in business for at least five years are still operating under their original ownership (source).
WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING!? CAN I DO THIS? WHY THE HELL NOT!?
Even with a business plan, there is no guarantee you will survive an initial start-up period. But if you have the necessities- desire, dedication, and a well-thought-out plan of action- starting a business has an excellent chance for success.
If you are one of those driven individuals who just can’t stand working for someone else or if your idea is something that you simply can’t keep bottled up inside, then it’s time to launch your own company.
Deciding what kind of business to run depends upon many factors, including having skills related to the product or service offered, geographic location, personality traits, and financial resources. You may even want to work part-time at first until your business is established.
The very first step for starting a business as per William D King is to search for, find and test your market—research where your product or service will be sold. You must have faith in your vision, but you also need hard facts: researching the competition, surveying consumers, and asking people who have experience in the same field about their preferences are vital parts of gathering data. Once you know how to collect, analyze and implement this information, you can move on to the next steps toward forming your company.
Before developing your idea into a working plan, several important issues should be addressed:
After deciding upon an appropriate business structure (see below), it’s time to start writing up a description of what you want your company to offer and be known for. A simple product or service isn’t enough to build a business on- you need a clear idea of what the business will accomplish.
What kind of business entity do you want? How much money is available for a start-up? Who is going to help run the operation? What are your roles in this venture? If you have partners, all involved parties must be fully committed and willing to assume responsibility for their areas of expertise.
Every person who helps run your business needs an agreement spelled out in writing and consideration by each party before starting operations.
In most cases, it’s best if only one person takes on all responsibilities at first, but individuals can quickly share tasks over time as the business expands.
Don’t make the mistake of placing too much emphasis on one individual (even if they are a marketing whiz) and ignoring your weaknesses.
Your plan must provide direction for short-term and long-term concerns such as financing, market research, product or service development, and growth strategies.
The plan should include:
Developing a concept and finding potential customers is all well and good, but you also need to formulate solid marketing and advertising plans that will generate interest in your idea; test your ideas with focus groups; figure out pricing; estimate costs of goods; keep records; find suppliers; solve legal issues such as taxation, contracts, patents, etc.; hire employees… And don’t forget to take a breather and enjoy your success!
Steps to take before starting a business:
Research potential market says William D King (cost, competition, tastes, trends)
Develop a working plan (create a description of what you want the business to accomplish)
Formulate marketing & advertising plans that will generate interest in your idea; test with focus groups; price it; estimate costs of goods; keep records; find suppliers; solve legal issues such as taxation, contracts, patents, etc.; hire employees… And don’t forget to enjoy your success!
The Small Business Administration offers free information on how to start and run a successful small business. Many other organizations around the country provide this kind of advice and access to expert mentors who can help guide new entrepreneurs in their ventures.