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Tired of working for someone else? Starting your own business from scratch isn't easy, but millions of small business owners make it work everyday. Here are some tips that will help you reach their level of success.
1.Follow your passion. It is impossible to survive the rollercoaster of starting a new business without absolutely loving what you do. Passion for your business will keep you focused, confident, and thorough. Creating a successful small business will take a lot of time, so be dedicated and prepare for the hard work that lies ahead. Don't worry, it will pay off.
2.Take little steps: Don't strive for the penthouse office just yet; people who start their small businesses on the cheap have the luxury of making the inevitable rookie mistakes on a small scale. This is a learning process, so don't expect to be perfect from the get-go.
3.Get money. Many experts advise starting a new business while continuing at your current job.The idea is simple; save up, and then save more. However, if that isn't a feasible option, refinancing a home or taking a line of credit are both relatively low-cost ways of generating capital. Depending on your credit rating, you can also get time-limited low-interest loans from credit card companies. Research your possibilities to make sure you don't dedicate your whole life savings to this endeavor.
4. Have a clear plan. A business plan is a must. For most small companies, the key portions of a business plan are the break-even analysis, a profit-and-loss forecast, and a cash flow projection. A good business plan can help you develop a clear vision for your business, outline your earning potential, help you plan for potential pitfalls, and in a lot of cases, help you obtain funding. If you don't have the experience, rely on ready-made business plan templates or examples from the web to get started. Business planning software, such as Palo Alto Business Plan Pro, are able to walk you through each step of the process. For those short on time, web-based writing services such as PlanYourIdea.com also offer affordable, professional business plans already written for you. Another tip to try out is to study an online MBA to help your business acumen.
5.Develop a network of reliable people. Please don't try to do this alone. Rely on family and friends for emotional and/or financial (if need be) support. Recruit trustworthy employees who share the same passion as you do; a single responsible and dedicated employee is much more valuable than a team of ambivalent volunteers. Likewise, don't be afraid to ask for professional help. If writing or design isn't your forte, then ask people to help you. Nothing says "I don't want your business" like bad grammar or amateur design.
6.Know the competition. What makes you more unique than other companies already out there? To beat the competition you need to become the competition. Always stay one step ahead and offer something that your competitors are not, whether it is a better price or an improved service.
7.Be professional. Don't promise what you can't deliver! People are trusting you to give a quality product or service, so don't jeopardize your business by selling short. Bad news or reviews can spread in a heartbeat through word-of-mouth or the internet, therefore be realistic on what you can achieve. Always remember to put yourself in the shoes of your potential client -- what should you expect from your business?
8.Create an image. A picture can speak a thousand words, so make your logo worth it! First impressions make a huge difference, so project it to your advantage. Your business brand will define your product or service, and in many cases, determine whether or not a client will be inclined to buy from you.
9.Make people know who you are. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there! Research advertising sources that fit your budget and will be able to market your product to the niche you need. Take advantage of local PR and the internet; both are avenues of affordable brand awareness to create buzz about your company.
10.Persevere. No one ever said following your dreams was going to be easy. Think positive, and don't let doubt or apprehension interfere with your goals. With time and careful planning, you can build a strong and profitable organization.
Cheers to your success.