Deirdre Bounds,Â a self-made multi-millionaire, built up her own ethical travel business based on an idea she had when she was living in a bedsit. Ten years later the company was operating in 35 countries and she sold it to a FTSE100 company for an eight figure sum. Photo Courtesy: University of Salford
If you are thinking of starting your own business, there are some factors you should consider before you begin. Becoming an entrepreneur is not always easy but if you have the desire and the know-how, you stand a better chance of success. You have probably heard of a business that began as a start-up in a garage or dorm room. While this particular business may have been widely successful, there are others that didnâ€™t make it off the ground.
Here are 5 tips for beginning your own business . . .
1. The Plan
Come up with a business plan and write it yourself. A solid business plan can act as your playbook and be that resource you turn to in order to make sure you are on track. Even if it is only 3-4 pages long, itâ€™s important to consider the various jobs that will be necessary to run the company, market research, operating costs, operating structure, and job responsibilities. Starting a business often takes more capital than you originally thought necessary and may take longer to establish than first anticipated. Having a plan may keep your goals more realistic.
2. A Mentor
From left to right: Arzoo, Sharifa and Angela – all three striving to become businesswomen in Afghanistan with the help of NATO – Photo Courtesy: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan
Finding a reputable mentor could be an asset for your business. If you know of someone in your industry who you respect and trust, speak to this person and see if he or she would be willing to sit down with you over a cup of coffee to discuss your business ideas. A mentor could have invaluable advice and you may take away something that you could apply to your own company.
3. Your Customers
You must figure out who your target audience is and what they want. If you will be creating a product, you should already have determined who it is that will be purchasing it and what they are willing to pay for it.
4. Take the Right Classes
If you plan on going into business for yourself, you may want to enroll in college classes that should teach you the fundamentals you need to know like: entrepreneurship, marketing, business law, accounting, and technology management. If your schedule is full and you donâ€™t see how you can squeeze in another commitment, take a college course over this summer when you could have more time. You may be able to enroll in an online, college class as an elearner and take advantage of the flexibility an online education could afford you.
5. Realistic Budget
This is SoupCycle in Portland, Oregon, USA. Owned by Jed Lazar, SoupCycle employs a variety of bike and trailer options for delivering their super-soup to your home or business. Photo Courtesy: Travis
In addition to your business plan, you should have fleshed out your budget. By creating one that is realistic, you may be able to manage your money more efficiently and strategically. If you are looking for help, check out SCORE, a nonprofit business-mentoring organization that has counselors to assist you.
Beginning your own business doesnâ€™t have to be overwhelming. It can be an exciting time if you are organized to start with, have fleshed out your ideas, have chosen your sales strategy, and you are determined not to give up as soon as things get a little rough. By following the tips in this article, you may find that starting a new business venture is less stressful and you are in a better position to be successful.
Pamela Rossow is a freelance writer who works with higher education clients such as eLearners. She is a native South Floridian who enjoys photography, literature, and hockey. You can follow her on Google+.