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January 6, 2018

Getting started with a small business

I love starting businesses because it gives me the opportunity to make money from things that interest me, and admittedly, gives me complete control I need to have over the process. I’ll explain what I believe are the most important considerations before starting your small business. There is no shame in starting out small, as long as your aspirations are big!

First of all, I’m going to make the assumption that you already have a business idea in mind. I hope it is something you genuinely have an interest in, because it will make this journey a lot more fulfilling and interesting. This is how I started my first furniture building. I signed up to teds woodworking, made some tables with what started off as a hobby, and then began to sell my finished pieces when I realised I could be paid for something I just enjoyed doing in my free time.

Research heavily into your business idea; is it needed? What is the competition like? What is the market like and how will you fit in? When you have this figured out, create your business plan so you have a guide through from the start-up phase through to growth. This is a essential part to consider before starting. I once knew of a guy who tried to sell room scheduler software, but he was marketing it businesses, which had no use for it, such as small independent stores. This inevitably failed and was an obvious example of poor planning.

Planning your finances is another step that is surprisingly underestimated. You should always have a financial buffer in the event that you go over budget. While starting a small business doesn’t mean spending a lot of money, you will need an initial investment and it is crucial that all your expenses are accounted for, and not coming back to bite you when you least expect it.

Going back to my furniture business, I had not planned on it becoming a solid source of income and therefore I hadn’t full planned for it. I had no prior business experience or acumen, but it was something gained (with some harsh lessons) along the way. However, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made as it kick started my business career and route to financial independence.

Once your business has been planned, choose a name and procure all the necessary licenses and permits. Choose your location- if a bricks and mortar business, and prepare your employees. You will find you are always on your toes and that you must always be prepared for a variety of situations. Be proactive rather than reactive and you will find your business will benefit no end. The last thing you would want is to have a stagnant business so soon after opening.

All that is left now is to open for business. You make choose to offer some introductory discounts for your first few customers to generate interest. Don’t forget that small businesses rely more heavily on customer service, so keep your standards high and watch your business benefit and grow!

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