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A practical guide for starting a small business

Starting Up A Small Business

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What is your motivation for starting up a small business?  Are you tired of that rotten boss?  Is this something that you have been thinking about for a long time?  Did you get laid off and you’ve had it with the corporate world?  To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to truly understand your own reasons for starting up a small business.

Personal Objectives for Starting Up a Small Business

The first step to starting up a small business is understanding your personal objectives:

Here are some typical ways that Entrepreneurs come up with their business ideas:

  1. Your hobbies and interests - you have a natural skill for flower arrangements.  Do you want to open a flower shop?  You love to bake.  How about a local bakery?  You have an eye for photography.  How about a photography service for children or for pets? The ideas are almost endless.

    Finding inspirations through your personal hobbies and interests is a common way that entrepreneurs get their great ideas. Does your business have to be your hobby for you to be successful? No, not necessarily but if you are going to spend many hours building a business, why not start with with what you know and love?  
  2. Do your own thing, your 9 to 5 job.  Many successful Entrepreneurs have become successful by doing their own thing.  They built their skill set for their 9 to 5 job.  They are tired of working for someone else.  If you are in a services industry, this is a great launching pad to your own business.

    You are in design or marketing?  People love you.  Well, do your own thing.  You work for a day care center but you don’t like your boss. Do your own thing.
  3. Start something totally new.  A lot of entrepreneurs made it by learning something totally new.  They either took classes or became an apprentice for a position of interest.  You can be an apprentice of a trade for instance.
  4. You have a great idea for an invention.  You have this wonderful idea for a device that makes it easier for seniors to get in and out of the bath tub?  You can bring this idea to market.
  5. Branching off what you know.  You work for a large company specializing in making and selling toys.  You want to take what you know about toys and become an entrepreneur.  You want to learn about starting a toy import business by importing goods from China.

Starting Up a Small Business - The Inspiration for Business Ideas

Starting Up a Small Business - Resources

Here are some good websites to explore for starting up a small business:

The U.S. Small Business Administration has programs, research, and service to help you navigate through the small business process.

The Wall Street Journal website has a section especially for the small business owner.  There is some good advice on financing, building your business and technology.

Starting Up a Small Business by Launching your Business Idea

Once you have a business idea, there are three ways to launch it:

  1. Create it yourself - This is the most satisfying for the creative types who want to build something from the ground up. This option will take the longest but it gives the owner great flexibility in shaping the business.
  2. Buy an established business - You look for a ready made business with a solid customer base. You pay for everything the office, the furniture, the supplies, goodwill etc.  This will take less time to start once you find a business to purchase. You often gets leads to businesses for sale through networking and via small business associations. Beware of the reasons why the owner wants to sell.  You don't want to throw money at an already bad business idea.   Here is an online source on business purchase options.
  3. Buy a franchise - When you invest in a franchise, you are buying into a prepackaged business which will increase your chances for success.  Your business name, product, pricing, promotions are already predetermined.  While franchises increase your odds for success, it is never a guarantee.  To the creative types, this option might not be feasible.  They want the control of building a business from scratch.  This website will give you an idea on what franchises are currently available.



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