First Steps to Starting a Business

You have a can’t-miss business idea and you’re prepared to become a business owner. So, now what?

OK, you have your business idea. You’re fired up-ready to give up the rat race and become your own boss. What now ? now?

The vital thing you must do is choose the goals for your business. What do you personally need to get out of it? Just how many hours do you wish to work? Just how many employees do you wish to have? How much cash do you wish to make? The theory here’s to get as clear a vision as possible of what your business can look like when it’s established so you’ll know very well what has to be done to make it happen. For an extremely clear step-by-step solution to do this, I recommend an application called E-Myth.

Next, do the math. So many people-including me-have learned the hard way that the business enterprise they created isn’t with the capacity of meeting the goals they set for themselves. To greatly help avoid this issue, do some general market trends to regulate how much you can charge for your service or product and what volume you can sell. Think about just how many hours you can work per day and get yourself a rough idea of the utmost amount you will make. When you have rough estimates for all those figures, you can decide if the amount of money you will make or the time it is advisable to devote will be worth your time and effort. You would be surprised at just how many people spend years employed in a business that’s just not with the capacity of becoming what they hoped it could, even if everything went perfectly.

Many new entrepreneurs think success is about developing a great service or product, but actually it’s about selling it. Before you may spend tons of money and time developing your product, make a prototype or create a clear and concise description of what it’ll be, and do some general market trends. Work out who your potential customers will be, and go speak to them! Ask questions. Discover what they’ll pay. Consider their feedback and modify your design accordingly. Look at others that are available similar services or products. Discover what they charge, how they market and what their competitive advantage is. Get into their stores watching their customers. Discover what they are doing and just why, and how customers respond. Once you imagine you have a clear knowledge of what the marketplace wants, then proceed together with your product or develop your service.

You will also need to decide the type of company structure will best fit your plans (S Corp., LLC, sole proprietorship and so forth). Read "Choosing a Business Structure" to find out more.

When possible, work out of your house for awhile or rent the minimum space and equipment essential to run your business. It is critical to keep your overhead only possible, at least until things begin to remove. Resist the temptation to rent a good office and fill it with furniture and equipment. I used to believe that was impressive, but I found realize it had been just expensive.

Right away, it’s critical that you communicate a consistent message to potential customers. Focus on the next:

  1. Business cards. Get plenty and hand them out at every opportunity. An excellent spot to get professional-looking but inexpensive cards is www.vistaprint.com.
  2. A website. Why do you will need one? Read this article to discover why it’s so crucial.
  3. A straightforward one-page flier. Create a thing that explains clearly everything you offer and just why someone can purchase it from you. Customers want information to greatly help them make buying decisions, and frequently just knowing everything you sell are certain to get them to get from you. It is rather hard to determine what some companies are selling or why you’ll need it from them-don’t let this be your trouble.

Starting a fresh business is scary, exhilarating, challenging and sometimes downright confusing. You can get overwhelmed by the large numbers of tasks before you. When you enter that state, step back and think, "What may i do today which will get my message before my customers?" If you are thinking about this on a regular basis, the other details will fall into place.

Keith Lowe can be an experienced entrepreneur who’s a founder and investor in companies in a number of industries. Lowe also mentors new entrepreneurs; serves as past chairman of the board for Biztech, a nonprofit high-tech business incubator; and is a co-founder and officer for the Alabama IT Association.

The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer, not of Entrepreneur.com. All email address details are designed to be general in nature, without regard to specific geographical areas or circumstances, and really should only be relied upon after consulting a proper expert, such as a lawyer or accountant.

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