Friday, May 2, 2008

Business Success Basics 101

Many people dream of owning their own business. A percentage of these people will actually start their own business. A percentage of these (often a big percentage) will fail in their businesses. Here are some pointers to consider when starting your business:
  • Have the lowest overhead possible. Home-based businesses are popular for this very reason. When you lease a suite of offices, lease a company vehicle, and lease everything else (furniture, etc), you start your business at a distinct disadvantage. The fewer bills you have coming in at the beginning (actually at any point) in your business life, the better.
  • A one person business limits liability. With employees comes taxes, benefits, and the possibility of employee-related lawsuits. Consider hiring contractors instead of taking on the liability of employees.
  • Have plenty of financial reserves prior to starting your business. Most businesses fail due to lack of funding--basically the funding runs out before the business has a chance to develop and become lucrative. Being frugal and having the money to back up your business decisions will put you on the road to business success.
  • Have a business plan. A business plan makes you consider all of the basics (demographics, finances, marketing, etc) before you get started. Flying by the seat of your pants may seem exciting in the beginning but it is a very real hindrance to business success.
  • Take care of business necessities. Things such as permits, licenses, and insurance may seem extraneous but they are necessary if you want to run your business professionally. Paying taxes is also a necessity. If I had dime for every business owner I know who got behind the eight ball due to not paying their taxes...
  • Add incentives. Add extra value to every service you give your customers. Do excellent work so that your customers will recommend you to others. Make your services invaluable to your clients.
  • Continue to refine your business. Every month, look at what has been successful in your business. Also look at what has not been so successful in your business and figure out how to turn these challenges into successes.

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