Fifteen Rules for Starting a Business

Starting a business can allow you to gain freedom in your life and choice in your lifestyle. If you dream of doing work you love, earning more and creating a working environment that meets the needs of you and your family it could be your ideal solution. Here are 15 rules for starting a business:

It has to be a ‘BIG’ idea that you, your team and your customers ‘get’ in one sentence and a matter of seconds.

When determining your price point, aim to provide at least ten times (and more like 1000 times) the value to your customers. Remember value is what your product/service provides to the customer not what it costs to make it.

In the planning phase make sure you have a reason why customers should do business with you and not your competitor. You need to be unique in some way and offer something new to the market.

Ideally get paid before you provide your product or service. And if possible add recurring income to your business model.

Create your new business around your life rather than having your business dictate your life to you. After all, one of the reasons you are starting a business is probably so you have a better life.

Get your idea out there as fast as possible even if it is not quite ready by setting must hit deadlines. Your market will soon tell you if you have a winner or not. If it isn’t a winner then move on and get the next thing out there and try again.

When finding partners and team members, find people who are strong where you are weak so your skills complement each other

Your reputation is always important. Ensure that you honor your obligations and agreements.

Never ever get paid based on number of hours worked. Always get paid on achieving a goal, completing a task or providing a good.

Know from the outset that you will never have a perfect business and you will never be totally ‘done’.

Provide a meaningful guarantee with whatever you are selling. This takes away the risk from your customers and will lead to more sales. If you can’t guarantee what you are providing then maybe you should not be selling it in the first place.

Develop and build your business personality that stands out. People want to buy from people not from corporations. Just look at Steve Jobs and Apple.

Go the opposite direction to where your competitors are headed. You will stand out, have something unique and more than likely have more success. If you want average results do what average people (and competitors do). If you want outstanding results do the opposite of what most people (and companies) are doing.

Make your business fun and also doing business with you fun. If you are not enjoying life and your business then stop and do something else.

Above all, make sure you have a life. Business and making money are important but your life is the sum total of your experiences so go out and create experiences. Create adventures. Do something new. Then come back renewed, inspired and ready for the next big thing.

These 15 rules on starting a business are maybe not the typical ‘rules’ you see around. But do not dismiss them because of their simplistic and general nature. If you already ‘knew that rule’ are you actually implementing it? Go back and re-read the article. Stop after each rule and actually think about what it is saying and how you can incorporate it into your business. If you do this the results will be profound! If you go to the effort and commitment of starting a businessthen make sure it is a success.…

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Starting an Internet Business: Rules to Follow

More often today than ever before, people are realizing the dream of earning a living at home and firing their bosses for good. The internet is making this possible for both savvy business people and new entrepreneurs. The truth is that anyone can make a living on the internet if they have the right information and are willing to work hard now for a payoff in the future. Starting an internet business today is a great way to achieve financial freedom tomorrow.
There are some important rules to follow when starting an internet business and people who know and understand these rules will always do better than those who don’t take the time to learn them before venturing into the land of internet business.
When starting an internet business, especially if it’s a first online venture, the most important thing one can do is to learn from those who have already been a success on the internet. Becoming successful on the internet has required a lot of trial and error for a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to anymore. Many people who have been successful in starting an internet business now help others do the same thing they have done. People who invest in their business by seeking out help are far more likely to succeed faster than those who enter the world on online business blindly.
Another rule to follow when starting an internet business is to set aside time every day to work on your business. This can be difficult for those who work a full-time job and have other obligations, but taking time every day to do something to further an online business will ensure success in the long run.
When starting an internet business, it’s important to understand that patience is key. Things don’t always happen overnight and getting a business off the ground can be hard work. The key is to remember the reasons for starting an internet business in the first place. Keeping those goals in mind will help to keep the online entrepreneur motivated during the start-up process.
Another great rule to follow when starting an online business is to learn from mistakes. Savvy internet marketers and business people learn from their own mistakes, but they also learn from the mistakes of others. Taking the time to learn what’s worked and not worked for other people can save time and money. Investing in an online business by taking courses and reading books is a great way to avoid many of the pitfalls associated with this type of business.
The bottom line is that starting an online business is a great way to make money. Many people have realized their dream of making their own schedule and being their own boss. Anyone can reach this dream with a little bit of hard work and by utilizing the information provided by those who have already done it.…

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Defining the Distribution Channels For Your Business Startup

Whether you are still developing your business idea or already know exactly what you want to do, it is important to define the best distribution channels for your product, for your customers, and for you. The distribution channel is the way your product gets to your customer. Traditionally, businesses relied on a single distribution channel. These days, the most successful startups use multiple routes to reach a broader customer base.
For some products, the route to getting it into customers’ hands is self-evident. For specialized, service-only ventures, you or your employees will personally deliver to the client, either on-site or at your place of business. Selling retail products, on the other hand, allows multiple options for distribution — online sales, brick-and-mortar storefront, direct sales through sales reps, etc. Consider the distribution routes used by your closest competitors. Are they using the most effective channels? Is there any way to modify or improve on the standard methods that will still be appropriate for your product?
Your target customers also play an important role in the distribution channels you select. If you are selling directly to the end user, you probably have more options than if you are targeting distributors to market your product. Think about it from your target market’s perspective. What is the easiest way for them to access your product? Under what circumstances are they most likely to be looking for what you offer? If it is easier for your customers to buy from you than your competitors, they will come.
Your own work style and personality are also relevant in considering distribution channels for your product. If the idea of spending your days chatting up strangers is distressing to you, then a brick and mortar storefront is probably not the best option. If spending countless hours in front of your computer sounds agonizing, avoid any wholly web-based options. Be honest about your preferences — one of the greatest advantages of starting your own business is the freedom to choose how you get work done. Don’t sabotage yourself by choosing a business that requires you to be out of your comfort zone for every sale.
Many modern startups have a broad range of choices about how to distribution their products. Consider all three factors — your product, your customers, and yourself — before deciding the best routes for your business. If possible, consider developing multiple distribution channels within your startup, even if you only start with one initially. The more ways your product can get to your customers, the bigger your potential market.…

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Common Mistakes Made When Starting a Business

It is estimated that something like 20% of new businesses fail within a year of starting up, and 50% within the first three years. These are grim numbers, especially for anyone who is considering starting up their own business. Fortunately, there is an upside, looking at those figures in a slightly different way, 80% of all new business survive their first year and 50% make it to at least three years.
What anyone looking to start their own company needs to do is to analyse what the businesses that succeeded did, that the ones that failed didn’t. There are in fact a number of common mistakes that failed businesses have made and knowing what they are will give newcomers the necessary knowledge to help them avoid falling into the same trap.
Business failures are often blamed on insufficient start up capital or not hiring the right people. The truth however, is that the failure of many new businesses comes down to something far closer to home, a failure to thoroughly research the potential viability of the business in the first place. Believing you have a great idea and throwing money into getting it up and running, without first having undertaken proper market research is the number one killer for the majority of new businesses. Fortunately there are ways to avoid this by carrying out relatively simple surveys yourself, without breaking the bank on expensive market research organisations before you have even begun.
Test out the viability of your business by asking the opinion and advice of your own network of contacts. Take a look at government data on such things; it is almost always available completely free of charge. Take a look at businesses operating in areas similar to yours and see if they are succeeding or failing. If they are profitable take a look at why, and find out whom they are selling their products or services to. One of the most common mistakes made by new businesses is that of over estimating the market impact that they will have. Setting up in a larger than necessary office or shop; hiring too many people and purchasing unnecessary and expensive equipment based on cash flow projections that have more to do with hope than reality, are the quickest ways imaginable to send a new business to the wall.
The importance of accurate market research and enforcing a strict cost control regime cannot be overstated. Never be afraid to seek professional, expert advice on financial issues, preferably from an experienced business accountant or financial adviser. Make sure you have enough money to get your business idea up and running and have contingency plans in place should it fail to take off in a short period of time. Also be aware that situations can arise that are entirely beyond your control, such as interest rate rises, for example. Having healthy cash reserves to get you through an unforeseen crisis is an absolute requirement in this day and age.
A professional business plan is an essential tool for starting up a new business successfully and it is highly advisable to draw one up, or have one drawn up for you, before you embark on your new business venture.
If you can avoid these common mistakes, your business will have a much greater chance of becoming the profitable success you obviously expect it to be.…

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Kill the Starving Artist!

“I’m going to do it. I’m going to start my own business.”

Chances are you said that or something like it at some point in your career. And here you are, a solopreneur with your own company, reaping the rewards of having control of your own career. Ain’t it great? Or maybe not so great? Perhaps things aren’t quite how you had pictured them. Or it’s taking longer than you thought to get traction. Or there are loads of tasks and decisions that you have to attend to that you hadn’t anticipated.

It is pretty common for a different reality to hit us once we take the leap into solopreneurship. Often it’s a deep passion that motivates the transition, and with our heart leading sometimes the head needs time to catch up. Too bad this isn’t all there is to it.

In all the years that I have been a solopreneur and I have coached solopreneurs, there is one obstacle that keeps cropping up. No matter who, no matter what, no matter where-this obstacle is the single biggest hindrance to the forward progress of the solo business owners around the world.

In short, the biggest obstacle to your success . Not you, the person who believes passionately in your business and who is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. Not you, the one who knows you can do it. I’m talking about the part of you whose beliefs will keep you spinning your wheels or taking two steps back for every three steps forward.

This is the part of us that I call the Starving Artist.

The Starving Artist whispers things like this in your inner ear:

You have to earn your success, and it takes time to do that.

It’s going to be hard, but stick to it and you’ll get there eventually.

There’s no gain without pain.

Suffering is what brings out your creativity.

Let go of your suffering and you’ll lose that creative spark.

Money corrupts, and wanting to make a lot of it is not a noble goal.

Any of that sound familiar? Essentially, the Starving Artist embodies all the limiting beliefs you have about your own knowledge and abilities. They may have come from parents or teachers, from siblings or peers, or from decisions you made about yourself and about how the world works. Wherever they come from, these beliefs will sabotage you and the growth of your business.

What does your Starving Artist say to you? If you have a hard time answering that, try this: What repeating patterns in your business have held you back? Here are a few examples that indicate the influence of the Starving Artist in your business:

Your only clients are people who can’t pay your standard fees or who pay really slowly after a lot of follow up.

You seem to have a portfolio comprised only of “difficult” or high-maintenance clients.

Every time you have a big, exciting success, it is followed shortly by something that limits or negates it.

You go through frustrating up and down cycles that end up keeping your business in the same place or, worse, slowly eroding.

What can you do about your Starving Artist? Well, it may sound extreme, but you’ve got to KILL the Starving Artist to be successful. Unless the Starving Artist is killed, or at least silenced, there is no action or strategy that will have a lasting positive impact. That inner saboteur must be eliminated before breakthroughs can happen. This is why whacking the Starving Artist is the very first thing we tackle in my coaching program.

If you have not bound and gagged or, better yet, killed, your Starving Artist, I strongly urge you to get to it. You will be amazed at how much faster and more effortless your business growth becomes once that pest is stifled!…

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Entrepreneurship Test – 7 Questions For an Aspiring Entrepreneur to Ask Themselves

I did not always have an entrepreneurial mind; as a matter of fact, when I graduated college, I was very lost. I was working at a software company and for a few more thousand dollars, took a job at a large public company (you would laugh if I told you the name). I was doing account management for their financial clients. Because it was a work from home position, the only thing I managed was the couch and DVR. After trying to ruffle a few feathers and really make a difference in the company, I was gradually ousted from “the group” and was eventually pushed out. I wasn’t fired, but I was put in a situation where it was either / or.
Though, at this firm, I learned the true definition of the word “complacent.” This brings me to the first question which I will put forth to get your brain in gear. Please keep in mind that these questions are here to help you as they will give you some guidance as to whether owning your own business would be right for you.
1. In twenty years, one day your son or daughter will be asked about you. More likely than not, the first thing that will come up is your career. How do you think they will describe your career and your job? Does that answer resonate well with you?
If the answer is fine with you, there are two presumed scenarios. The first is that you were very successful and enjoy reading about entrepreneurs on the web. Thus, I am flattered you are reading my article. The second is that you, more likely than not, do not have an entrepreneurial frame of mind.
2. How much would you invest in yourself? If you had to put a net worth on your brain, would it be more or less than what someone else is paying for it? Also, is that someone even using your brain?
If you’re like many and are in this situation, you have to work harder to become an entrepreneur for a few reasons. The first is that your brain is not being put to work on a daily basis, so you have to get that going. Additionally, because of the economy, it is very scary to go off on your own. So choose your time wisely, but don’t put it off too long.
3. If somebody put you out on the street and gave you $10,000 – everything else is gone. How much of that money would you spend on books?
If the answer is less than $1,000, you probably are good where you are at. This is a great test as entrepreneurs don’t create something out of nothing, they create something out of learning. Books are such an important factor of business success. Remember, in this case, you do not have the internet which shouldn’t be relied upon too heavily anyway.
4. If somebody offered you a million dollars to never work again, would you?
Entrepreneurs like the game. Entrepreneurs get a rush out of the results they product. Ever wonder why Brett Favre didn’t retire when everybody told him to? He is a competitor. He obviously was not doing it for the money; it’s the game that is important to the entrepreneur.
5. Do you understand the concepts of bad bets?
Don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur or risk taker because you sit at a blackjack table in Atlantic City. If you do now, during your next game of 21, look around you and the subsequent people. Forget about their fancy watch and attire. They are not that successful. Stamp my guarantee on that statement. I learned this as I used to look up to these people in my early 20’s.
Every now and again, you may see somebody playing who is, but they are not the “crew” that is typically at the tables. Entrepreneurs take calculated bets. Though, the blackjack frame of mind may help you open your own business; entrepreneurs need to be risk takers. Hey, you might as well save that money that you’re going to give to the Trump Plaza and invest it in yourself.
6. Would you buy a nice car on credit?
With regards to this question, the answer should be either “no” or “not again.” Entrepreneurs, or good people for that matter, do not need to show off their wealth. If they would like to buy something nice, they do not buy it on credit and they surely do not invest in a car.
7. Is television your hobby?
I’ll never forget one of the bankers at my bank telling me that he had 7 months off with pay after getting laid off from his previous job. I asked him what he did with his time. …

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Tips That Video Marketers Can Really Use

Video marketing should be considered if you want to make a big impact on your business. But, in order to really get the best results, you need to learn about the methods others have used to be successful. This article can help you do that.

You should make as many videos as you can. This encourages viewers to keep checking your channel for new content. This will also help broaden your audience as more people can find your links through a general search.

YouTube is the most popular sharing site, and is worthwhile for its video editing features and analytics alone. Annotations are a good example of what you can add to your videos. You can share links, give more details about your product or even provide a coupon code.

You need a link to your site built into your video. This technique will allow your viewers to see your website in action. This is also useful in how-to videos. Try saving a copy of the screenshot and then use some video editing program to include it into the video.

You should always have interesting content for customers. Your video should catch people’s attention. If you have boring videos, even the video marketing powerhouse YouTube can’t help you. A lot of people want to watch videos that are relevant. The more interesting and engaging your videos, the more likely you will be to see sustained growth and increases in traffic.

Talk to your colleagues and seek their assistance in helping your video marketing ideas. You need to have articulate people who represent the business. You should not hesitate to feature more than one employee or colleague in your videos.

The truth will set you free – and get you more viewers. If you want to make videos, make sure the topic is really interesting to you. When you speak the truth to viewers about something you are passionate about, they will not only enjoy it, but they will appreciate it and come back for more.

Do not take the whole burden upon yourself. It can be very hard to brainstorm by yourself for a video. To help come up with ideas, ask friends and co-workers for thoughts. Have sessions such as these on a regular basis to make sure that you remain abreast of advertising and what is happening in your niche.

Video marketing can get the word out about your website or your social media page. Someone that comes across your Youtube videos might not know that you are on Facebook, too. Publicizing your sites are going to attract visitors to them and vice versa. Social media links to your video hosting sites can really boost traffic and business.

After you have read the comments and looked at the statistics of your video, begin making more of them. Analyze your results and use them to create an even more effective video the next time. Make adjustments to the content, polish dialogue and upgrade equipment if possible. Each version will be better than the one before it!

Anyone hoping to realize great gains in profitability should consider video marketing. You need to know what you’re doing to be successful. Utilize the tips you’ve just read whenever you begin your video marketing campaign, and you can succeed.…

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