You have dreamed of owning a business. More than just dream, you’ve actually taken the steps to act on your business ideas.
But how can you assure that your business will be a success? You cannot. There is simply no way to predict whether your business idea will succeed or not. A million and one thing can work against you; but then again, another thousand factors will work for you! One thing is sure, though: you do not start out by giving up. And like going into battle, entrepreneurship needs extensive amount of preparation.
Here are a few weapons you need to take as you embark on your entrepreneurial battle:
Do Your Homework.
One way to succeed is to work hard at not failing by anticipating problems before they occur. This means that you must do your assignments diligently! Know every aspect of your business. That knowledge will be vital for dealing with problems as the business grows and changes. The more you know about your business, the better your chances of success.
It is a bad idea to go into a business just on a whim. You start a business because you think that there is a solid opportunity to make money. You need to look before you leap, and determine the following:
- If there is sufficient demand for the product or service to make the business profitable;
- Who your customers are and how they can be reached;
- Determine level of competition in your industry.
You can get market information from a variety of sources — attend seminars and join trade associations; read books and trade publications; ask suppliers of materials. If you do not have a business background, a business introductory class at a local college would be advisable.
Planning is Key to Your Success.
When you made the decision to start a business, you and your family’s future and livelihood depends on how well you execute your plans. Business planning is one of the few tasks that should never be delegated, no matter how dreary it may seem. You need to sit down and think really hard about every aspect of your business — even questions about who will take care of the kids when you work. Your business plan, at a minimum, should answer the following questions:
- What products or services will you offer, and who will be your customers?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business ideas, and what action can you take to eliminate or reduce the weak points.
- What is the market demand for your products or services?
- Where will you locate your business, and why is it a good location?
- What kinds of facilities and inventories will you need?
- Who are your competitors, and how do you plan to compete against them?
- What makes your business unique, and how do you plan to expand your business?
Establish a long-range plan that encompasses your business and financial plans.
Even though you work from home and think of your business as a tiny informal company, planning will help you predict when your business is going to turn a profit. You also need to be able to compare expenses to revenue as your business grows. The planning process will give you a tool for prediction, and it gives you the ability to measure the financial elements of your business. As much as possible, obtain legal or financial advice from an attorney or accountant before committing to any long range or major financial transactions.
You Must Wear Many Hats.
Small business owners over time can become experts on a variety of business areas. To be successful, you should know how to manage all of the essential business disciplines, including accounting, finance, economics, sales, marketing and operations. Particularly at the start-up phase, entrepreneurs must be willing to do everything themselves, unless you’re lucky enough to have a Daddy who’ll give you a million dollars just so you could hire a whole coterie of assistants. For most of us struggling entrepreneurs, that means you do almost everything – from the strategizing and planning, to writing communication, marketing and cold-calling clients, to even delivering your products. At the start, therefore, the most important aspect is the mindset and willingness to do whatever is necessary to make the business a success that you hope it will be.
Invest in Good Equipment.
The right equipment will make your work easier and your business more efficient. Computers and telecommunication equipments have become inexpensive that you can run state-of-the-art communications out of your den. Invest in good quality computer systems, fax and telephone equipment. Get Internet connection, as business communication online can be much quicker and more effective than phones or mail. A good computer system can put your production right up at the level of a large company for most services. To conserve cash used equipment should also be considered.
So what are your chances? The better you think they are the better they generally are, and don’t forget that among thousands of others: Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer, Domino’s Pizza, and Walt Disney all started as home-based businesses.
Recommended Books on Home Business Success:
- The Work-at-Home Success Bible: A Complete Guide for Women: Start Your Own Business; Balance Work and Home Life; Develop Telecommuting Strategies
- Work at Home Now: The No-nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business, 3E
- Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business: Solutions You Can Use Today (Home-Based Business Series)