5 Things To Consider If You Want To Start A Business

If you’re thinking about starting a business you need to have a clear plan and strategy on how you will achieve your objectives. All too often new entrepreneurs jump in head first without any real plan on what they are going to sell, how they will sell it and who they will sell it to. Here are the 5 basic steps to starting a business in 2016.

1. Get Online

First, if you’re starting a business, you need to get that business on the internet. The growth in the number of people buying online is growing each year. Over 3 billion people has access to the internet and more people are coming online everyday. These are all potential customers. When your business is online you can be selling your products and services 24/7, 365 days a year.

2. Get Some Start Up Capital

Although the cost of starting a business in 2016 on the internet is considerably lower than starting a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ business, you do still need some money upfront to start an online business. The main reason that most businesses fail is because of the lack of capital. Have a plan in place to allow for financial resources whether it’s from sales, external investors or your own personal funds.

3. Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition

What will make your business unique? The internet is big marketplace and when starting a business in 2016 you need to establish an unique selling proposition (USP) for your product or service. Why should people buy from you, rather than somebody else? If you don’t know, how can you expect your potential customer to know?

4. Know Your Ideal Customer

No business can sell everything to everyone. You need to be clear on who your ideal customer is so that you can create your marketing messages to appeal directly to them. What are their needs, wants, worries, problems or desires? How can your products or services help them?

5. Implement A Proven Business Model

Use a proven business model that will work in your market. If you don’t have one, look at your competitors and see what they are doing. Get a business mentor who can show you how to build your business and move a prospect into a customer. Very often you can learn a lot from people who have been before you in your chosen industry. They can help you to avoid the pitfalls and make your journey to success easier and quicker.

How to Start a Business – The First Steps in Starting a Business

The internet has made starting a business from the comfort of your own home more possible now than ever before. Although there is nothing easy about being an entrepreneur, it is common knowledge that the outcome of starting a venture is very rewarding. The most difficult part is actually getting started. Some people have business ideas that never leave their notebook. Others just want to own a business but don’t know where to start. Here are some steps to take in your early planning stages.

1. What are you good at? Not referring to what you would like to do but what are you good at now? Do people like your pumpkin pie? Are you a really great accountant? Do you have team building skills that are out of this world? Sometimes we take our own talents for granted because we use them everyday. However, talents can turn into marketable skills that people will pay for.

2. How do you intend to fund your business? Nothing in the world is free. It takes money to make money. Starting a business will need investing. Don’t let having a small amount of capital or not having any capital at all stop you from moving forward. You will invest lots of time when there is not that much money. Having large amount of money to invest still requires time in due diligence to make sure you are hiring the right team to get the job done.

3. Dead set on becoming an entrepreneur but don’t think you’re good enough at anything? Everyone has a skill set, you just haven’t identified yours yet. Think about things that you like and consider start a home based business that offers these things. Home based businesses, also known as direct sales or network marketing, link personal development and growth directly with success. With a small investment, usually less than $500, you can have a ready-made business and become profitable in days. The hugely successful in direct sales usually venture off and start businesses of their own after discovering their hidden talents, learned how to run a business, and now have earned enough money to invest in themselves. Direct sales is a great place to start.

Becoming an entrepreneur is not a journey for the faint at heart. It all starts with an idea, just like anything else. Figure out what your skill set is and focus on turning something that you’re good at into a business. Decide how you can invest into your business. Be it time or money, you will have to invest something. If you do not think you have any business ideas, start with a network marketing company to jump-start your business juices.

6 Reasons Why It Makes Sense To Start A Business Online

The internet has made it possible for people from all walks of life to start a business. Regular people can succeed online just as well as the big worldwide business that dominate the offline world. Here are 6 reasons why you can start a business online and be successful.

1. Anyone Can Do It.

When starting your own small business online, it does not matter about your age, your background or where you live. You can benefit from, or leverage off, other people’s knowledge, time, ability and experience. As long as you have access to a computer and the internet you are ready to go.

2. Low Set Up Costs.

The required funding to start a business online is considerably less than a conventional bricks and mortar business. You will need to purchase a domain name and some hosting for your website but you will not have the high costs of renting a physical building to operate from or the costs of inventory or staff.

3. You Can Reach A Huge Audience.

A conventional bricks and mortar business requires somewhere that potential customers within their regional area can easily get to. However, with the power of the internet, you can market your online business to customers from around the world to buy your products and services online.

4. You Can Operate 24 / 7.

A physical business can only function for the period of time that are able to keep the doors to your premises open. It’s not possible for one person to do this all day and all night. However a website is online continuously, and with automated systems you can sell products even while you are asleep.

5. You Can Expand Into New Markets More Easily

As your business becomes more established, you can start to diversify and sell products and services that will appeal to your target audience. This is much easier for an online business because you can source these other products and sell them as an affiliate without having to stock or deliver them yourself.

6. You Can Start It In Your Spare Time

Starting your own business is a big step for any new entrepreneur, especially if you already have day-to-day living costs, like a mortgage or other domestic bills, that all have to be paid. When you start a business online, you can do it in your spare time whilst still working at your normal day job. Then, as your online business grows and becomes more profitable you can start to work on it full time.

Top 5 Advantages of Starting Your Business Online

Starting a business is risky. It’s the reason why everyone doesn’t have one. It can require thousands of dollars of investment just to get off the ground. 9 out of 10 of all new businesses fail in the first year. Before any profit is made, things like product inventory, incorporation, advertising, employees, accounting, insurance, licenses, commercial space etc. have to be paid for.

Enter the internet..

The digital world has taken away a lot of the risk of starting the business of your dreams. There are still start-up expenses involved in the beginning but they are not nearly as high as starting a brick and mortar business. License and incorporation fees are going to have to be paid online or offline but most of the other expenses can be avoided in the early stages by starting with your online presence.

If it can be sold in a store it can be bought online and shipped to the customer’s home. At the very least it will add an additional revenue stream for the business. There are plenty of advantages to starting a business online but here are my top five.

1. There is no immediate need for full-time in-house employees.

What makes online business so powerful is its scalability; meaning you do a little bit of work for a greater result. With automation tools you can have a lot of your tedious data entry tasks done without you even thinking about it. With PayPal you can accept payments online through your website without you even knowing a credit card was entered.

If you are selling digital products that are to be downloaded then there is no need for pre-ordered inventory or commercial space, thus eliminating the cost of rent.

For when you actually need the assistance of a real human, sites like oDesk.com and Elance.com make it possible for you to outsource work to people on a for hire, monthly or even a full-time basis.

Things like insurance and security are needed for online as well as online but securing intellectual property stored online in the cloud is a lot less expensive than doing the same for merchandise in a store that is susceptible to theft or fire

2. You have the freedom to travel.

There is no need for a physical location in most cases so there is no need to stay in one place. If you need to pack up and move your company to another state where there is more opportunity, it can be as simple as packing up your laptop and accessories and leaving. With a physical ‘brick and mortar’ business, it would be a little more difficult to relocate. You will most likely be constrained to whatever lease agreement you may have in place.

As you know, business and tax laws vary from state to state. Having your operation online gives you the freedom to choose where you want your business to be incorporated. You would have to have some sort of address established in the state but it doesn’t have to an actual store. There are a few states who’s laws work best for the traveling internet entrepreneur. *I am not an accountant or a business lawyer so please consult one before getting started.*

3. The whole world has access to what you’ve got to offer.

You aren’t limited to your immediate geographical area anymore. You aren’t limited to ANY geographical area for that matter. Offering your products and services online opens your business offering up to the edges of the world. The internet doesn’t sleep and there are billions of people online looking for solutions to their problems, while YOU are sleeping.

4. You are at the fingertips of a growing online market.

The internet definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as more and more people are gaining access to an internet connection or a smart phone every second. E-commerce is following the same trend as more and more people are becoming comfortable making purchases online and from their mobile devices. From a consumer’s standpoint, making purchases from the comfort of your own home can save you a lot of time, and for certain products, shame or embarrassment.

5. You can inexpensively test your market.

Not every brilliant idea translates into a consumable product or service. And as you know, the failure rate of new businesses is very high. Another advantage of starting a business online is the ability to gauge interest without actually having the product readily available for sale. One example of this that I’ve seen a lot is a preview or ‘beta’ page with a prototype of a product where people can sign up to ‘be the first to know’ when the product is made available. This can be done with a food product, a clothing line, an app, pretty much anything. It’s a great way to gauge interest before you go all in with a final product.

You don’t need $10,000 to start a business anymore..

There are hundreds of ways to make money online and frankly, who can afford NOT to open up shop to the billions of people on the internet. There are still a lot of traditional brick and mortar businesses that are not providing their products and services online, constraining themselves by business hours and management of on premise staff.

All you need is a website, a product or service and consistent potential-buyer traffic to that website. No permits, no city council meetings, no weather constraints and depending on where you live, no off duty police officer.

How to Start a Business and Follow Your Dream

Owning your own business is a goal that many people dream of, but not everyone realizes this dream. In order to make your dream come true you must a plan. This plan will lay out the steps you need to make your business a success. Many small businesses fail for lack of planning and resources. Use these tips to start a business and follow your dream.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan is the first place to start. In your business plan you need to state the nature of your business, a company description, organization and management structure, marketing plans, your target audience, and a budget. Depending on your business you plan may contain more items; each one is different because each business is different and has different goals.

Get Training

The Small Business Association has free training seminars you can attend if this is your first time starting a business. Their courses cover all aspects on how to start a business. If you’ve never had any financial training you may want to consider taking accounting or bookkeeping classes. These classes will give you a deeper understanding about the financial structure of your business and how to keep accurate records.

Location is Important

If you are going to start a business and have a physical storefront you need to give location a lot of thought and research. Scout out locations in your town and talk to other business owners in the area. Ask them about the traffic flow, if the area is safe, and if they would rebuild there again. Enlist the services of a commercial real estate agent. They will help you navigate the complicated process of purchasing commercial property, or find the perfect location for building your storefront.

Research Financing Options

You have several options to explore when you start a business. The Small Business Association offers loans at competitive rates, and they have several types of loans and loan structures set up to help people start a small business. Banks are an obvious choice, but you may want to explore venture capital, personal loans, and grants.

Obtain the Proper Licenses

In order to do business you will need to register your business’ name with your state. This is known as “doing business as” or DBA license. You must get a tax identification number from the IRS, and register for any state or local taxes. You will also need to get any local and state business license and permits.

Hire Your Crew

As an employer you have certain legal responsibilities to your employees and to the government. Contact OSHA to find out the safety concerns pertinent to your business, and get an employer identification number so that you can file taxes. Don’t forget to deal with the three types of withholding taxes; federal, state, and social security. Keep excellent records so that when it comes time to file your quarterly taxes you will be ready.

It may not sound easy to start a business, but if you have a passion and want to see it become a successful business it will take planning and organization. Use these tips to get started and build a business you can be proud of.

Focus On The Walk Not The Talk

Leading by example is precisely why leaders focus on always doing exactly what they say. Your actions should be aligned with what you are saying. Although, it’s tough to practice what you preach; you need to model the change in behavior you want to see. The core of focusing on the walk not the talk is to be the change you want to see in others.

In other words, you need to assess your own behavior first before communicating these changes to your fellow because changing habitual practices isn’t as easy as simply making a choice. It’s very important for a leader to be consistent with their actions. The single most essential component to effective management is trust. Everything will go out the window when trust is lost. And in the eyes of most people, a lie is a lie.

Too often leaders want to run and/or hide from their mistakes. Don’t make excuses, but be clear that you recognize where you went wrong. Being sorry isn’t admission of defeat. It revisits the human aspect that people screw up for a superfluity of reasons. You are not an exemption. It is a great start to admit your mistakes and apologize. However, be clear in asking for support in moving forward. If you choose to ignore it than acknowledge it, don’t be flabbergasted if things don’t get better.

Show people what the organizational values mean through your behaviors. People learn by observing their leaders. You must focus on your walk more than your talk. Bringing values to life is a behavioral issue because you are a role model for your people. Your values can be seen in terms of your behavior, where you go, what you say, how you spend your time and how you deal with problems and crises.

Actions speak louder than words. Everyone has lapses. Make sure that you acknowledge whenever you find yourself off track and in breach of values. When problems catch you off-balance, your immediate reaction might be contrary to your personal or organizational values system. Remember, subordinates follow your lead.

As a leader, you need to help your people succeed. You must smooth the way for them because there are always impediments and obstacles to achieving goals. You must identify these barriers, remove or lessen them, or show your members how to deal with those that can’t be removed.

People desire for recognition. The main reason why people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated. Recognizing a worthwhile behavior is the single best way to ensure organizational commitment. Although none of us would work for less money than we feel is fair, money alone isn’t enough for encouraging long-term high performance. People cannot be motivated when they feel that what they are asked to do is worthless or contrary to their fundamental values.

Most of us want to feel that we are valued as people, not just mere staff. We want to be respected for who we are, not simply for what we do. We also respond positively to be with others who share similar beliefs and with whom we can build relationships. That’s the very reason why we need to focus on the walk not the talk.