Forbes estimates that there are nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States. With the unemployment rate still sitting at 6.3 percent, starting a small business is an attractive option for many people. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, here’s how you can do it.
Leverage Your Contacts
Billy Stade, founder of the Closet, a clothing store in Orange County, California, made deals with business contacts to arrange for product to sell when he was starting his business. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to afford it on his own. In 2005, he made $6 million in sales and he has three locations in Orange County.
Don’t be afraid to approach people you know about helping you with your business. If you offer them an interest in your business, they will be much more receptive.
What’s Your Passion?
As a teenager, Babak Farahi kept his ears glued to a radio scanner for information on local catastrophes, such as car accidents and fires in his hometown. Often, he would be on scene before the local news crews arrived and would videotape the action as it happened.
After high school, Farahi turned his passion for video and video editing into a video editing business. His company, Multivision, sells videotapes of news coverage to people and corporations interested in how they’re represented in the media. No matter how niche you think your passion is, don’t be afraid to find a market for it.
You can’t do everything yourself, or at least, you can’t do everything well. Take an honest inventory: what aspects of your business are you best suited to handle? Concentrate your talents in those areas and let other people take charge of the other aspects.
This is exactly what Convio founder, Vinay Bhagat did in 2003 when he stepped down as CEO and moved into the role of chief strategy officer. In 2005, the software company had projected sales of $20 million.
Plan on It
A business plan is the map to success for your business. More than just a goal-setting tool, it forces you to find the resources your business will need to operate, and how you will acquire them. A really good business plan takes into account both the present and the future. Get more information about this here.
Managing a business may require skills you do not already have. You can build your knowledge online by studying business administration courses or even enrolling in an online MBA program. Whatever you need to know, you can learn online.
Every success is built upon some failures and experience. Read about hugely successful entrepreneurs and the challenges they’ve overcome. Do not let setbacks get in your way. There are no overnight successes. Most have failed several times before they became famous – but few read about the details! Success comes through perseverance.
Innovate to Solve Problems
One of the hallmarks of entrepreneurship is innovation, and it doesn’t stop with just your service or product. When problems in your business arise, look for creative resolutions. Robin Brocklesby of Creative Coverings, a specialty rental linen provider, did just that when she realized that the process for returning the rented linens was too hard for her customers. She went to UPS and came up with the idea of a reusable bag designed for returning the linens.
Not all are born with a business-oriented mindset; however, if you have the ideas and desire, this should not stop you from achieving your dreams. You have the ability to launch your own successful small business. The only limits are those you set for yourself.