Some analysts are declaring that the recession has ended, indicating that good times are now upon up. Indeed, after bottoming out this past March, the stock market has reversed course and is up by nearly fifty percent for the year.
Whether we’ve truly seen the last of the downturn remains to be seen as ongoing bank failures and a troubled real estate market could force the market down once again. But for many Americans they’re not waiting for everything to shake out, choosing instead to launch a new business and take charge of their lives.
Let’s take a look at seven of the hottest tips for today’s business start ups, ideas which can help you succeed in your new endeavor:
1. Financing – Do you have enough money to launch a business? At home businesses generally have a low overhead, thanks to in home office space, utilities and the sharing of an internet connection. But for businesses set to launch outside of the home, expenses surge which means money will be needed in order to keep things flowing. Unless you already have a large stash of cash to tap, you’ll probably need the help of angel investors or venture capitalists to help fund your endeavor. Interest rates can be quite high or you may be required to cede a portion of ownership in exchange for funding.
2. Real Estate – Relating to the first point, financing, how much room do you need for your business? And, if needed, can you gain additional room without having to relocate? Your physical location may be of extreme importance, especially if you rely upon foot traffic. How much will you pay per square foot? What will your utilities run? How long of a lease will you sign?
3. Planning – Do you have a business plan in place? If so, do you have contingencies built in should you fail to meet certain expected criteria? Lots of new businesses quickly fail because their owners do not consider possible negative ramifications that can arise. If expected sales don’t materialize within a certain period of time, what will your response be?
4. Marketing – How will you tell people about your business? Advertising costs can be costly and not every method is effective. Newspapers, internet, radio and television time are standard ways to advertise as well as sponsoring events, road signage and industry networking.
5. Networking – Marketing is geared more toward reaching your customers while networking is teaming up with other businesses through various associations including the Better Business Bureau. Through networking, you can meet people who can help finance your business, share marketing tips, provide tools to help your business succeed, etc.
6. Purchasing – Where will you get your product from? What sort of costs will you incur and when will payment be expected? Payment terms can trump price especially if the terms prove to be unfavorable. Look at a variety of supplier sources and compare payment terms to come up with the best arrangement for you.
7. Pay Yourself – Unless you are independently wealthy, you’ll need to tap your business at some point to live on. You may have savings set aside for one or two years, perhaps longer, but at some point you’ll need to pay yourself. Prepare well in advance for the day when you need to withdraw funds for your own use.
Running a business can be tremendously rewarding, but time consuming. By putting a sound business plan in place before you launch, you can reduce your stress, increase your income, and ensure that your entity gets off on the right footing.
Adv. — If you’re interested in buying an established business, then visit the National Association of Certified Business Brokers (NACBB) and check out their current listings.
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