The how of starting your small business starts with getting yourself motivated. Understand clearly what your small business could do for you – not only in monetary terms but also in emotional ones.
You would see that starting a small business of your own could meet not only practical needs like earning a living but also emotional needs like social recognition and creating a sense of self-worth.
Next, get an overview of the HOW – the specific steps of starting a small business (and running it successfully).
Then comes a look at ‘Entrepreneurship’- the supposedly special qualities that help some businesspersons to succeed. You would find that entrepreneurship is a set of habits that can be cultivated, if you work at it. Read the article on Entrepreneurship carefully. You should get quite a few insights.
Before You Start on Business Planning
Before you narrow down on the business to start, consider three important issues:
- Does that business offer a market you can tap with your resources? There must be sufficient demand. Existing competition must also not be so much as to leave no opportunity for new entrants.
- Do you have the resources to start that particular business? Could you arrange the technical know-how and skilled manpower? Do you know the market practices and customer expectations? Would you be able to raise the money to start the business and run it till cash inflows exceed cash outflows?
- Above all, would you enjoy doing this business? Not all persons enjoy the same thing. Some might like retailing, others would find it boring. And so on.
Select a business that is right for you, after considering the above factors. In the next section, you would learn how to study markets, locate technology and arrange funds.
One more issue deserves your attention before you start on developing your business ideas and plans, the issue of Business Ethics. Unethical businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to survive in these days of an inquisitive press and wide information availability. Learn what exactly is meant by Business Ethics (and how it could even help business success) in this article (see Sub Topics list at end).
Preparing To Start A Small Business
Once you have selected a business (actually, it is still a tentative selection; you might need to select another after further study), you start looking more closely at markets, and marketing strategies. We look at Small Business Marketing (see Sub Topics list at end) in the article that comes next.
Now would come a detailed look at the technological aspects. How do you make the product or render the service? If you don’t know, where can you get the know-how? How do you obtain a competitive technological advantage? The different dimenstions of the Technology (see Sub Topics list at end) issue constitute the topic of the next article.
By this stage, you would have a lot of information. However, the information is not arranged in an actionable manner. Nor are they in a presentable form that would convince prospective investors and lenders about the profit and growth prospects. Business Planning (see Sub Topics list at end) is the exercise that creates a specific action program and a formal business plan document to present to outsiders.
Business Planning is a big exercise, as you would find in the article.
A key issue to be decided during business planning is how to fund the business. You need funds to set up the facilities. You need additional funds to start and run the business till cash revenues exceed cash outgos. We look at issues involved and the alternatives available in the article on Small Business Funding (see Sub Topics list at end).
Implementing the Plan
Your business plan would mainly focus on running the business once it is set up. However, the task of setting up the business itself would usually be complex enough to require a full-fledged implementation planning. And then this plan should be executed to set up the business by the planned completion date at estimated setup costs. This is the issue of the article on Setting Up Your Small Business (see Sub Topics list at end).
Succeeding with Your Small Business
Most of us have our own ideas of how to succeed in business. Many of these are simply not true. Those who have observed successful businesspersons have identified a few common traits (and far more differences) among these successful persons. We look at some common myths about business success and the observed similarities in the article on Success in Small Business (se