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  • 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

    Global B2B buy sell website: www.bytrade.com



    Deciding to start a business can be an exciting and terrifying time all at once. You can alleviate your fear by being well prepared and not rushing into anything. There are seven steps all soon-to-be business owners should complete before that all important opening day
    1. Scope out your industry.
    Or, if you're just starting to think about entrepreneurship in general, find the best industry to fit your style and talents. For example, this year's burgeoning industries include interactive technology (from mobile app design to tech-savvy translation), wellness (healthy beverages), and little luxuries, such as baked goods. When you start honing in on a specialty area, seek out counselors and talk to industry veterans. You can go to SCORE, the SBA, the Women's Economic Development Agency, or scores more. The Internet, your local library, the U.S. Census Bureau, business schools, industry associations, can be invaluable sources of information and contacts. For instance, you might approach business schools in your area to see if one of their marketing classes will take on your business as a test project. You could potentially get some valuable market research results at no cost.
    2. Size-up the competition.
    Study your competition by visiting stores or locations where their products are offered. Say you want to open a new restaurant. For starters, create a list of restaurants in the area. Look at the menus, pricing, and additional features (e.g., valet parking or late night bar). Then check out the diners those restaurants appeal to. Are they young college students, neighborhood employees, or families? Then, become a customer of the competition. Go into stealth mode by visiting its website and putting yourself on its e-mail list. Read articles written on them. Sign up for e-mail alerts about search terms of your choice on Google News, which tracks hundreds of news sources. After you study it, deconstruct it using Fagan Finder, a bare-bones but very useful research site. Plug the address into the search box. You will be able to quickly learn, for example, the other sites that link to it, which can reveal alliances, networks, suppliers, and customers. Business data aggregators such as Dun & Bradstreet and InfoUSA provide detailed company information, including financials, although the services are not cheap. Your aim is to understand what your competition is doing so you can do it better.
    3. Second-guess yourself.
    "The biggest mistake I see these days is thinking that a business idea will automatically turn into a viable business model," says Terri Lonier, president and founder of Working Solo, a New Paltz, New York-based business strategy consultancy, and author of Working Solo: The Real Guide to Freedom and Financial Success with Your Own Business. Then again, what if the idea really is viable? "A lot of people start with a kitchen table idea," says Marla Tabaka, a business coach who writes The Successful Soloist blog for Inc.com. "It's a great idea you come up with your cousin at dinner. But then the business booms, and your growth gets out of control. You need a plan." Another important consideration is your personal financial resources. Make sure you have a considerable amount of capital set aside, especially because in a sole proprietorship you assume personal liability for all activities of that business. If you borrow money and can’t repay it, your personal assets are at stake.
    4. Think about funding. A lot.
    Can you bootstrap your company? Or are you going to need a small business loan? Might an entrepreneur in the family be able to invest, or should you look for venture capital or an angel investor? Money is a big topic for entrepreneurs, and you'll want to know your options early on. In order to get investors to open up their checkbooks, you’ll need to convince them that your idea is worthy and also be willing to subject yourself to increased scrutiny and give up a percentage of your company. That’s why it’s a good idea to first ask yourself whether you really need a professional investor at all, says David Henkel-Wallace, a serial entrepreneur who has raised $60 million from VCs. "If you’re starting a web software or mobile software company, you might be able to bootstrap it, which has the advantage that you get to keep all the money you earn," says Henkel-Wallace. "You could also look into borrowing from friends and family – or even take out a second mortgage – for the same reason." If you decide your business can only get to the next level with the aid of a professional investor, then you need to figure out what a potential backer looks for in a budding company, says Martin Babinec, who raised six rounds of funding through the business process outsourcing firm he founded, TriNet, which now boasts annual revenues in excess of $200 million. Start doing your research now, and don't talk to investors until you have a strategy that involves foreseeable future liquidity
    5. Refine your concept.
    Adrienne Simpson initially intended to run a traditional moving company out of her home in October 2002. The idea came to her after relocating her mother from Georgia to Michigan. "I thought I'd put everything in a box, put it on a truck and send her on her way. Oh, no! Mom started walking me through her home, pointing at things saying, 'I'll take that, let's sell that, and I want to give that away,'" she recalls. By the second year of operation, Simpson shifted gears to make her Stone Mountain, Georgia-based company, Smooth Mooove, specialize in transporting seniors—and their beloved pets—and providing such value-add services as packaging, house cleaning, room reassembly, antique appraisals, estate sales, and charity donations. Her crew does everything: put clothes in the closets, hang d****s, make the bed, fill the refrigerator. But even still business was stalling. "I knew how to run an existing company, but I didn't know how to run a start-up," says Simpson, who worked 20 years for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and 10 years with Cigna Healthcare. Seeking money and marketing advice, Simpson went to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) office in Atlanta and was connected to SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) counselor Jeff Mesquita. "When you position your company you have to think outside of the box in terms of what makes you different from the competition," says Mesquita. "Adrienne described that what she does is move seniors from A to Z, so, when they arrive to their new home it is like walking into a hotel room." The only thing her clients have to bring is the clothes on their back (and maybe their pet under their arm). That's when Mesquita suggested the business name change to Smooth Mooove Senior Relocation Services. That same night, Simpson went to a networking event. When people asked 'what do you do?' and her response was 'I have a senior relocation service.' Right away people said 'Oh, you move seniors." The business took off from there.
    6. Seek advise from friends, mentors … or anyone, really.
    A mentor can be a boon to an entrepreneur in a broad range of scenarios, whether he or she provides pointers on business strategy, helps you bolster your networking efforts, or act as confidantes when your work-life balance gets out of whack. But the first thing you need to know when seeking out a mentor is what you’re looking for from the arrangement. What can your mentor do for you? Determining what type of resource you need is a crucial first step in the mentor hunt. Lois Zachary, the president of Leadership Development Services, a Phoenix, Arizona-based business coaching firm, and author of The Mentee’s Guide: Making Mentoring Work for You, recommends starting with a list. You may want someone who’s a good listener, someone well connected, someone with expertise in, say, marketing, someone accessible. Ideally you could find a mentor with all of these qualities, but the reality is you may have to make some compromises. After you enumerate the qualities you’re looking for in a mentor, divide that list into wants and needs. Who's best as a mentor? Look within your family, friends, business community, academic community, and even at your competitors – well, not your direct competition, but you get the idea..
    7. Pick a name.
    Naming your business can be a stressful process. You want to choose a name that will last and, if possible, will embody both READ MORE: http://lindazengyuanqun.typepad.com/...-business.html
    Global B2B buy sell trade marketplace www.bytrade.com

  • #2
    Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

    If you're going to be a business owner you need to start thinking of cost effective and strategies you can use today to increase your company's exposure and profits.
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    • #3
      Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

      It's also a great idea to start thinking about setting up your website as well.

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      • #4
        Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

        I have found that most markets for photographers are over-built. Take a look at your market. How many competitors do you have and how much demand is in your market for your specialty. This one bit of information may save you a lot of time and money, or alter your plans if you're doing it to make a profit. On the other hand, if you're starting a photography business for fun, as a hobby business; I suggest being unique. Find a style or process that is difficult for your many competitors to copy, because they will all be copying you. Originality is hard to find today. Do something completely different. So different that it will be talked about by your target markets.

        For additional pointers I suggest reading everything Seth Godin ever wrote. He's a marketing genius. Marketing is like the engine that pulls the train, if you want to go somewhere. Read the E-myth too. I found more helpful photography business building ideas on www.yodelmarketing.com and www.digital-photography-school.com for the how to shoot tips.

        I hope you have great success and a lot of fun.

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        • #5
          Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

          Originally posted by jordencorey
          The things are as bellow :

          1. Think about your goals.
          2. Why are you setting up in business? What do you ultimately want from your business? Write down your exit strategy.
          3. Find a good accountant, someone who is proactive and forward thinking.
          4. Find a mentor. Either your accountant or other business advisor, someone in the same field who has done it already or perhaps someone from the local enterprise agency.
          5. Research your market.
          6. Write your Business Plan.
          7. Decide where you are going to work.
          8. Make sure you know how you are going to finance your new business.
          9. Open a bank account. Keep all your business transactions separate from your personal ones.
          10. Read The E-Myth Revisited By Michael E Gerber.
          That is a very good conclusion. Thanks jordencorey.
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          • #6
            Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

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            • #7
              Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

              Thanks for sharing 10 thing .........
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              • #8
                Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                Great ideas. thanks.
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                • #9
                  Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                  Well,
                  All above informations about starting business are great.
                  Thanks for sharing.
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                  • #10
                    Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                    10 Things one should do

                    1. Prepare a complete business plan for any business you are considering.
                    2. Use the business plan templates furnished in each session.
                    3. Complete sections of your business plan as you proceed through the course.
                    4. Research (use search engines) to find business plans that are available on the Internet.
                    5. Package your business plan in an attractive kit as a selling tool.
                    6. Submit your business plan to experts in your intended business for their advice.
                    7. Spell out your strategies on how you intend to handle adversities.
                    8. Spell out the strengths and weaknesses of your management team.
                    9. Include a monthly one-year cash flow projection.
                    10. Freely and frequently modify your business plans to account for changing conditions.

                    10 Things one should not do

                    1. Be optimistic (on the high side) in estimating future sales.
                    2. Be optimistic (on the low side) in estimating future costs.
                    3. Disregard or discount weaknesses in your plan. Spell them out.
                    4. Stress long-term projections. Better to focus on projections for your first year.
                    5. Depend entirely on the uniqueness of your business or the success of an invention.
                    6. Project yourself as someone you're not. Be brutally realistic.
                    7. Be everything to everybody. Highly focused specialists usually do best.
                    8. Proceed without adequate financial and accounting know-how.
                    9. Base your business plan on a wonderful concept. Test it first.
                    10. Skip the step of preparing a business plan before starting.
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                    • #11
                      Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                      1. Legal Base: This includes such factors as your licenses, insurances and setting up your company.
                      2. Your Market: You need to decide who you want to market your services to and where they will be.
                      3. Your Services: You now need to decide what services you are going to offer to these people, how you would like to package them and what prices you wish to charge.
                      4. Your Premises: Look around for your new premises, preferably in the middle of your potential market. Remember that central to your success is the position you choose for your business. Foot traffic past your door and many potential customers within a short journey from your new business is vital to you finding customers.
                      5. Web Site: Most businesses have them now – so even if you don’t want to set one up now – at least buy and hold onto your domain name – in case someone else gets hold of it.
                      6. Your Business Plan: Whether you are looking for funding or not – a business plan is the foundation of a new business.
                      7. Your Funding: You should now take your business plan and look around for funding, starting with your Bank.
                      8. Your Staff: Good staff that reflect your business ideals are vital so spend some time spend some time finding the best staff you can.
                      9. Marketing: So important and so difficult to get right. Start with a good marketing strategy and go from there.
                      10. Grand Opening: Make sure you make a splash and attract as much curiosity as possible
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                      • #12
                        Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                        10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                        1/ Write a Business Plan
                        The first thing that you should do when starting off on your own - is to write a business plan - this should set out the way in which you intend to operate your business, your financial forecast and your plans for success. Get your plan checked out by your local business advisor or Chamber of commerce - following a well thought out business plan will help you avoid pitfalls.

                        2/ Get yourself an accountant or financial adviser

                        Having the right financial support is vital - running a business is a difficult at the best of times and trying to get a handle on complex financial issues and mandatory business returns is nigh on impossible without the right people behind you - Don't try and do all of this yourself.

                        3/ Organize yourself

                        Sounds simple but generally when your starting a business you'll be all things to all men from Managing director - salesman - secretary - by making sure you set time aside for all your tasks and prioritizing what's important you will ensure that you don't sink under a mountain of paperwork

                        4/ Join your local business advice center or trade organization

                        Joining your local business advice center when starting out will give you two things - firstly being part of a peer group will provide the support that you'll need - share concerns and advice with other business people who are going through similar challenges - secondly local business groups offer an excellent opportunity to network and find sales for your business

                        5/ Get the right legal structure

                        There are a variety of ways that you can setup your company - each has respective pro's and con's and this requires careful consideration - seek some advice and research your options before starting out.

                        6/ Choose a business name

                        Ensure that your business name is unique, make sure that you cant' be confused easily with other companies, make sure an internet domain name is available that matches your choice.

                        7/ Check out your competitors

                        Researching your market is vital - knowing what your competitors are offering, their pricing - their sales techniques will help you pitch your products correctly - spend time to check out their websites - visit them at trade shows. Where you lose sales - try and follow up by asking why - what did your competitor offer or provide that you didn't - getting a good understanding will help you win that next sale.

                        8/ Open a business bank account

                        Ensure that you separate your personal finances from your business finances - get the mixed up and you'll get yourself into trouble! - make sure you set up a business bank account and has a suitable filing system to manage your business accounts.

                        9/ Develop a marketing plan

                        A marketing plan is a key step for any business. Including your market research, your competitor analysis and your pricing plans - this document lays out your approach and gives you a plan to follow.

                        10/ Understand your customers

                        It may sound obvious but spend time with your potential clients - understand what their problems are and how your business and products will help solve them - understanding the needs of your customers will give you the crucial edge.

                        Bizbodz.com provides business advice, articles, free business resources from General Management, HR, Finance and Supply Chain.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                          If you're going to be a business owner you need to start thinking of cost effective and strategies you can use today to increase your company's exposure and profits.
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                          • #14
                            Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                            1 / business plan writing

                            The first thing you should do when starting your own - action plan to write - and to determine the cause of your business that you, and your chances for financial success of your project run intended to do. Plan your business adviser or your local Chamber of Commerce to check out by - the following plan of action and thought of you will help avoid damage.

                            2 / herself an accountant or financial adviser to get

                            The existence of appropriate financial assistance is necessary - the best in business management time is difficult, complex financial and business problems should return to near impossible to try to get people behind you without the right is - all this for yourself is not to try.

                            3 / organizes itself

                            Seems easy, but usually when you start your own business Managing Director of all things to all people have - Sales Representative - Secretary - sure you allocate time to work priority by all of you will not believe something important is sinking under a mountain of paper.
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                            • #15
                              Re: 10 Things to Do Before Starting a Business

                              The most important thing before starting a business, is to make a Plan, A good Planning strategy is really necessary for the success of any Business. You should have all the information about the Market conditions, Your competitors, Potential Customers etc. Also, Do every thing to Promote Your Business.
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