When starting a business, there are questions you must ask yourself in order to get an idea of what your business is going to be. What am I going to do? What will it take in money and skills to do it? What will it give me in terms of money and satisfaction? After you know the answers to these questions, learn all you can about the kind of business you are starting. Talking to business owners in similar fields may help greatly. When you feel you have a good grasp on what your business is going to be about, create a business outline, answering the questions below.
The most important aspect of owning and operating a business is positioning. Not just the location, but also the position in the community. Where, and how a business is positioned, reflects what kind of attention it will get. When contemplating your business position, take into account these factors; where is your largest potential market, what is your position with your target market going to be, and what kind of image do you want your business to have.
Another important aspect is knowing exactly what your product and service mix is going to be. What will you be selling to your consumers, or what service will you be providing. Your product will sell best if you can convince consumers that the purchase is a necessity. Emphasizing good characteristics about your product or service is a good way to sell it. Promotion is the best way to inform your consumers of these characteristics, and reasons why they need this product. Advertising through TV, magazines or billboards informs people of your products availability.
A major requirement when owning a business is liability risk. This is concerned with tort liability, legal immunities and privileges, risk management (including insurance and self-insurance), and preventive legal techniques to reduce potential liability. In other words, in the event of an injury at your business, or a natural disaster, all legalities and costs will be covered.
Now that you have your position, you know what your business will be doing, and all legal aspects are covered, your ready to purchase materials and products that you’ll be selling. Depending on what you plan on selling, you’ll need to find a manufacturer, or wholesaler that distributes your product. Some good resources are www.business.com, or www.purchasing.com. Some other materials may be office supplies, or interior design for your building.
After stocking up on the product your be selling, you have to decide on prices. This also depends on what you’re selling. Although to make a profit, you must make your price higher than the one at which you purchased it at. Also take into consideration any competition, and try to stay lower then them, in order to get more business. A good resource for pricing is www.pricingsociety.com. You’ll also want to have sales, discounts and promotions at one time or another. These can be based on several factors, such as the time of season (i.e. right after a holiday season, products usually go on sale), or product demand and availability. The best way to accomplish all this is to a create a buying plan, a description of the types and quantities of merchandise you expect to purchase for delivery within a specific period of time. This helps to set a limit on the amount of money you spend also.
Your next step in starting your business is hiring people to help you. After that’s all taken care of you should be able to open your business, and begin sales. The best thing to work on now is customer relations, and advertising. Once you have people interested in your products, profits will soon show. Patients and thoroughness is the most important key to a successful business. Remember to make sure you’ve covered every aspect before opening your business to the public. Most of all though, enjoy the freedom of being an independent business owner, with all of its many perks.