Tips for start-up success
You have the perfect home business idea. You can’t believe no one has thought of it before. Or, if someone has, he or she doesn’t have your vision, skills or passion. You are convinced this new business is the key to your successful future.
Now what? The best way to improve your odds of success is to move slowly and carefully in starting a business. Do so, and you can join the 70 percent of businesses that succeed in their first two years, according to the SBA.
Not all home businesses need an official business plan, but every home business owner must spend some time planning. Before you put out your shingle, sit down and determine how much money you need to invest (and in what), your goals (short- and long-term), your marketing plan and all those details (For example, do you need a separate checking account?).
You may know someone who has successfully created a home business and feel comfortable asking for advice. Seek help from other small businesses, vendors, professionals, government agencies, employees and trade associations. Be alert, ask questions, and learn everything you can.
Don’t quit your day job just yet. For those of you considering the full-time freelance plunge- set up a savings account with enough funds to cover at least six months’ worth of bills. This will give you a buffer to help with your budget. While hunger might be a good motivator, it’s easier to work when you have electricity and your house isn’t being repossessed.
Begin with a plan. Find a mentor. Money in the bank. Keep competitive.
Even if you think your business is unique, you need to conduct a competitive analysis in your market, including products, prices, promotions, advertising, distribution, quality and service. Also be aware of the outside influences that affect your business. Know what makes the difference between you and your competitors. Is it service, price or expertise? Whatever it is, capitalize on it.
Word of mouth is the best way to grow your business. Ask your satisfied clients for referrals, offer free consultations to new referrals, and consider a referral or finder’s fee. Get your name out to build your brand. Go to industry events-conferences, association meetings and seminars. Go to events in client industries; socialise, and always have your card ready. In addition, do some pro bono work for a charitable organization with industry links.
Culled from www.entrepreneur.com
All systems grow.