It seems that a lot of people want to own their own business. The dream of entrepreneurship is embedded deep within our psyche. Everyone hopes they can be the next Bill Gates or Sam Walton. The real truth and real probabilities are far from those dreams.
Very few people have the knowledge, perseverance, and financing to be in business for themselves. That’s the simple truth. It takes time to build a successful business and you must be able to support your family during that process.
Being successful in a new business takes a specialized knowledge that will set your enterprise apart from the others. It also takes a lot of hard work and long hours to fully reach your potential. Only a tiny fraction of people that start their own business are able to be successful enough to actually earn a living. Only a very few will be in business for at least five years. The odds are definitely against you.
But if you do have what it takes, by all means go for it. Be sure to have a good plan of action, plenty of patience, and have adequate capital to carry you through the lean months. It usually takes twice as much investment as you initially figure, so be sure you have a contingency.
Only if you have a product or service that is not available anywhere else, or has some feature that makes it stand out from the crowd should you pursue your business opportunity. However, if you are selling a product or service that is basically the same as everyone else, without any special attribute or angle, you should save yourself a lot of time and money and keep your day job.…
So you are planning on launching your own start up or are just getting a new venture off the ground, what is the optimal workspace?
For many opening a brick and mortar office or retail store can be an exciting proposition. Going shopping for space and equipment and decorating it can be fun. However, this does not mean that you will be more profitable. In fact, the traditional way of setting up even a small sized office, with equipment and a phone system, etc. will likely put you back at least 10,000 when all is said and done. Then add several thousand per month in on going overhead, which all comes out of your bottom line. If this is an investment which provides a great return every month that is one thing, though very few start ups really need this type of set up, nor will it produce any higher profits. If you are really in love with the idea the consider whether a retail storefront is a better financial move. Though recognize that the odds are you don’t need it and this is just fueling vanity, which is fine if you have the extra cash.
Perhaps you are thinking a home office is the way to go. The lure of being able to work from home and set your own hours is certainly attractive. It definitely means being able to operate on minimal expenses so that you can maximize profits. Plus it packs in many savings that you are probably overlooking right now. This may be the ideal solution for you and truly give you the freedom you have been looking for. However, for some working from home can turn out to be a frustrating experience especially when you have a partner demanding your attention and kids running riot. With a little strategy and cooperation you can make it work, though you may still find moments when you really need to get out and work from somewhere else.
This is where the executive suite concept becomes a great choice for entrepreneurs and business owners looking for the optimal workspace solution. It provides not only a professional business address but meeting facilities when you need them and a fully connected private office when you need it. You can maintain an office full time or simply utilize the business center when you need to by the hour. This is perfect for when you need to get in some critical, uninterrupted work, the kids are on a school break, you have house guests or your home Internet goes out.
Though beyond, where you will work, creating the optimal workspace for your new venture also means creating the ideal conditions for maximum productivity and innovative thinking. This can be as simple as having your own corner of the house with multiple screens and whiteboards set up. Or investing in a standing workstation that encourages constant productivity and even helps you to keep in shape and avoiding those extra pounds that creep up from sitting down for hours on end.…
Successful business ownership is all about gathering information, picking through it to decide what makes sense, and making sound decisions based on all available data. Synthesizing information in this way can be a difficult task to master, but a little time and practice can make you an expert in no time.
Synthesis is the final step in critical thinking — after you analyze, evaluate, and organize information from different sources, this step requires you to put it all together. Many people struggle with this step, but really all you are trying to do is select the best answer, or combination of answers, from a wide range of data. In fact, the odds are that you do this on a regular basis anyway, whether you are aware of it or not.
As you may have noticed, the internet is flooded with all sorts of conflicting information on just about any subject. Trying to find the best answer by surfing the web requires that you consider the merit of a variety of sources and choose for yourself which idea makes the most sense to you. You might find yourself coming up with an entirely different answer than those you read is synthesizing.
Essentially what is happening is that by examining and evaluating a number of sources, you are identifying consistencies and relationships between and among the data. With these connections, you are better able to create a new idea that can be supported by the various knowledge you have picked up along the way. Not everyone will come up with the same solution, and your own solution may not always turn out to be right, but by starting with a wealth of data you improve the odds of missing something important.
In the context of entrepreneurship, synthesis is a critical skill for every step, from planning your business idea to growing your company. Most first-time entrepreneurs do not have a complete toolshed of basic business knowledge, much less the details of their own product, market, and competition. Gaining this knowledge is essential, but very little of it has clear right and wrong answers. In any type of business, there are hundreds of small decisions to make along the way, each of which has the potential to make or break the entire venture.
For example, a critical portion of business planning is developing your marketing plan. In order to create an effective marketing plan, it is essential to study the basic tenets of marketing, the various routes for getting your message out, and the best ways to convince your target market that your product or service is the way to go. Search for “Marketing Plan” on the internet, and you will get hundreds of results, millions of ideas and opinions, and several dozen sales messages telling you that they hold the “secret” to effectively marketing your product. The reality is that there is no right answer for every business, so you must review and analyze a multitude of information, then come up with a plan that incorporates the best of these ideas that will be most effective for your business.
The key to effective synthesis is to collect enough data to understand the fundamental concepts. Use a variety of sources and mediums to develop your knowledge base — read articles and books, talk about your ideas with those in the know, watch what happens around you. Look for opinions that differ from your own to ensure you have considered all different perspectives. The more information you have to draw from, the easier it will be to make informed, justifiable decisions to keep your startup on track and on the road to success.…
When setting up a business, it is important to know what records and accounts you need to keep from the very beginning. Starting up any business and dealing with the practicalities makes for a busy time, but neglecting your records can be costly and time-consuming. In the long run, staying on top of your records will ultimately help you to: keep track of your finances and cash flow; avoid penalties; hold accurate information about your business; plan for your business’ future.
The records you need to keep will depend on the type and size of your business, however all businesses must follow basic bookkeeping procedures.
All businesses need to keep track of two areas: incomings and outgoings. For incomings, you will need to keep hold of any accounting records, till rolls, paying-in slips, sales invoices and bank statements acquired. Important outgoings records will be: receipts, cheque book records, purchase invoices and bank or credit card statements. These are basic essentials which any business must take care to record properly and keep safe.
If you are a starting up as a limited company (i.e not a sole trade), there are further records to keep. All limited companies must keep the following: dividend allocations and payments; articles of association; details of company share ownership.
Any company which is registered limited must also complete and return a number of documents each year. These include: Company Tax Return (with form CT600); statutory accounts; Corporation Tax; return to Companies House; a signed set of accounts to Companies House.
Depending on the nature of your company, there are number of other records which you may have, such as a register of members or directors.
All businesses employing workers will need to organise their documentation relating to employee payment. This is very important as it ensures that you are paying the right amount to your employees and allows you to keep track of these expenses. You are required by law to keep the following PAYE records: payments to employees; National Insurance, Tax and Student Loan payment deductions from wages; benefits and expenses paid to employees; statutory payments (sick or maternity leave).
All VAT registered businesses are required by law to keep the following records for at least 6 years: VAT sales and purchase invoices; a VAT account; all export and import documents.
VAT registered business will need to complete and return a VAT return form every quarter (4 times a year). This will include details of the following: what you owe or are owed by HMRC; what you have paid any supplier; what you have charged any customers.
Whatever kind of business you are setting up, getting to grips early on with your records can ensure that your first year of trade runs as smoothly as possible. With modern computing and accessible data programmes, it is easier than ever to produce a bookkeeping system which works for you and your business.…
The latest figures show the unemployment rate in the US is topping 10%’s one in ten people out of work! And, the future isn’t looking particularly bright. Recent reports estimate the lack of work will continue through 2011, at least. You can’t sit around and wait for big business or the government to turn the economy around, so it’s pretty much up to you to take control for yourself. How can you get your financial life back on track? Put yourself to work!
Starting a business of your own is the best and only way to take complete control of your work life. Working for yourself means no layoffs, no wage freezes, no begging for a day off, no hoping that the big bossman will grant you a meager year-end bonus. When you work for yourself, YOU set your income goals and work as hard (or not) as needed to reach those goals. YOU develop a company culture that fits your personality. YOU establish your own work hours. And YOU decide when it’s time to grow.
Of course, starting a business requires a good bit of time and effort, but at least the work you do is just for you. When you want to earn more income, you put in more work. When you want a little time off, you take the time you need. Because it’s all on you, you will do the work to control the risks and because you are taking control of your worklife, you are more likely to stay motivated.
For many new entrepreneurs, the toughest part of independence is taking the first even figuring out what that first step would be. If you’re just not sure where to start, start here:
Define Your Goals
Take a look at where you are now and where you want to be. Write it all down and cover all areas of your life.
Make the Tough Decisions
If you are drowning in debt, decide how to handle it. If you hate your job, set a deadline to make the change. If you don’t have any startup cash, figure out how to raise it. Look at the gap between where you are and where you want to be and create a concrete plan to close up that gap. If it seems like it will take forever, don’t let that bother you. If you start today, you are one day closer to where you want to be!
Pick a Startup
Brainstorm business ideas, find a modified version of your own big idea, talk to your friends and family about startup opportunities. It really doesn’t matter where you start with your independence, just that you get started. Most wildly successful entrepreneur change direction a number of times before landing on the perfect opportunity. And, more opportunities seem to appear once you’ve taken the first step.
Entrepreneurship is its own separate profession. Becoming an expert requires that you learn the fundamentals of a bunch of other professions, including accounting, marketing, financial management, sales, logistics, even secretarial and janitorial duties. Beyond that, you will learn to incorporate all those basic skills and add the key ingredient to success – innovation. Innovation is finding a new, better way to get things done. It might be a change in the product, the sales process, or even in administrative functions, but innovations are the one factor that will make you a success. To be able to identify those innovations, you have to know the basics.
Watch for opportunity
Once you have taken the first leap into entrepreneurship (which might even just be making the decision to go out on your own!), you will begin to see opportunities all around you. Don’t be afraid to pursue multiple opportunities. As long as you manage your time well, having a bunch of hooks in the water will multiply your odds of catching some fish!…
Starting a business from home can be both scary and exciting at the same time. In today’s economy many people are going into business for themselves and want to be the boss and earn the money that they deserve. This Article focuses on 9 important tips that can help you have success with your new venture.
Tip #1 – Check with you local business agencies or the sba to see if you need any license or permits to run a venture from your house. Some states do require these licenses and without them you can face fines and have your business shut down.
Tip #2 – Build you venture around the skills that you have, if you are a great graphic designer, then make sure to offer that as a service. Trying to learn a new craft and making a living off it is very difficult and it is not recommended at all. Your goal is to start making a living right away from your new venture, use your skills that made you some money in your former job.
This may sound funny but some folks try to build a new business around new skills that they have not polished yet and it ends up costing them their business, clients will leave you quickly and the complaints can build up quickly too.
Tip #3 – Make sure to have a website with a catchy domain name, if you are a graphic designer then make sure to include those keywords in your domain name. This will tell your clients what your business is all about, this builds branding right away.
Tip #4 – Build or have someone design you a professional website or blog. Image is everything and a sloppy looking site or blog will simply tell your clients that your business is sloppy too. If your site looks like a site from the 90s, then forget about having clients take you and your venture serious.
Tip #5 – Check on your competition and see what they are doing and how they are running their business. You will want to do this for sure, see how their site looks. Look at their products and services, see how much they are charging and what their unique selling propositions are.
Smart business owners do this all the time, they get tons of information from their competition and use it to their advantage and build a stronger more profitable business.
Tip #6 – Make it easy for your clients to order from you, do not make it an obstacle. If you plan on selling online then simply add a PayPal button to your website and make sure that your shopping cart works without any problems.
Tip #7 – Make sure that your site is not too heavy on the graphics and flash banners, slow loading sites will drive visitors away and this can reduce your sales drastically.
Tip #8 – Offer great customer support and make sure clients can contact you if they have any problems or issues. Having great customer support was how Dell became such a success.
Tip #9 – Delegate your weakness to someone who is stronger. If you strength is at graphic design, then make sure someone else does your marketing for you. If you are bad at accounting, then hire a cpa. This is very important, you can’t do everything by yourself and need help at times to make your business run smoothly.…
There are nearly unlimited points of view about how to most effectively use Facebook for marketing. A lot of the suggestions are trendy and devoid of substance, which means they won’t make you much money. The following advice will show you how to succeed.
It is important that your posts are always professional. Social media often has a relaxed or casual tone, but you still need to present a professional attitude. If you keep it professional, you will gain the respect and trust of your clientele.
You may want to try Facebook ads. Normal posting only adds so much when it comes to promoting services and products. If you want to reach a lot of people all at once you should try buying an ad on Facebook. They don’t cost a lot of money and they can make quite the difference.
Facebook Offers give you a way to promote yourself. Create the offer and then make sure to post it on the wall. If it’s a good offer, it can be promoted to non-fans.
Answer any questions and respond to comments on Facebook. Thank them for contacting you, and try to give helpful answers to their questions. Do not hesitate to share a link to your site if an article or page perfectly answers their question.
Allow interested parties to sign up via your Facebook page. Make a connection to communicate with visitors by asking them to sign up or register and offering them something in return. Consider holding a contest or sweepstakes.
Don’t share irrelevant updates. While current events, political issues or personal problems might be tempting to talk about, you may alienate your fans by discussing them. Your personal account should be used if you have personal things you want to talk with people about.
When making a decision, ask your fans for input. People enjoy being on the “inside.” A great way to do this is by getting them involved in business decisions. For example, if you run a blog you could ask them what kind of posts you should make.
You should post relevant and useful information regularly on your business Facebook page. This does not mean posting 5 times a day, but it does mean regular updates. Make sure you post content with important information that your target audience will find useful.
Always allow comments on your Facebook page. Turning off commenting may prevent inappropriate comments and spam, but it also makes your business seem anti-social and uncommunicative.
Do your best to get your customers to interact on your page. If you find a conversation that was started on a post you’ve made, let people continue it. If you delete something or ask people to stick to a topic, you risk offending them. Only intervene if the thread could offend someone.
Many people tend to follow “trends” they read or hear about in regards to Facebook marketing because they are lazy. This article should give you some great advice about Facebook marketing. You’ll have a successful Facebook marketing campaign by applying what you’ve learned here.…Read more