One of the most exciting things is to start a business and often once the dust settles, aspiring entrepreneurs have to determine what they should do with all the energy and excitement. For some entrepreneurs this is their first business and it is imperative they take the correct first steps to ensure that their ventures are successful.
Hearpreneur asked a few entrepreneurs for their advice.
Identify the Type of Business
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Step One: Identify the type of business you wish to start. Step Two: Do a complete research on the specific type of business, desired customer demographic and make sure to take a survey of the market profitability, need for your business and location viability. Step Thee: Determine the financial obligation and feasibility of starting said business Step Four: Identify other financial and nonfinancial support you will need to start the business Step Five: Write a well thought out business plan which would include all information found in step one to four, marketing plan and make sure your business plan includes plans for growth and an exit strategy should you ever need one. Why did you start your business? I started my own business because I felt that all my years of working a 9 to 5 I was building someone else’s dream and vision and not mine. Over the years I have used my knowledge and expertise to benefit someone else and grow their business and I felt it was time for me to direct that energy towards building my future and the future of my family. The reason I opened a bridal boutique is working in the bridal industry for 15 plus years, I saw the necessity for a bridal boutique like shop for brides who wanted the price point of the larger salons but the boutique like atmosphere.
Thanks to Marie Crawford, CEO of Marie Crawford Bridal!
Chat with Friends and Colleagues
Under-taking anything new is daunting but my advice is to do what you know and like and go for it. Chat to friends and past colleagues as you’ll be amazed what insight they can offer and what skills they have that you never knew! There are also some great groups out there for mums who have their own businesses – so join – you won’t feel as alone and you can pick up loads of free advice. Why did you start your business? I set up my business out of my own frustrations with not knowing what to do or where to go with my kids. I would only hear about places and activities by word of mouth. Despite Australia being a great place for children, I found there was a surprising lack of local information on the internet for parents. I wanted to help other mums, so the idea to create a word of mouth website was born.
Thanks to Sara Wright, Founder of Babies and Toddlers!
Ask if There’s A Market
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Learn to ask if their is a market for what you offer, and what the market is willing to pay. I always tell my students “Let The Market Speak,” before they commit funds or effort toward building a business. Why did you start your business? I’m a retired US Army Officer, I had several part time businesses before and during service time. I saved countless millions of dollars for the military, and received thousands from my suggestions. It was time to cash in in a bigger way and simultaneously make a difference with me being in control of all aspects of my businesses. Having my own biz that allows me to help others build their biz gives me a felling that brings tears to my eyes.
Thanks to Joe McNamee, Owner Absolute Investment Training Company!
Research & Test
A good new idea is often the basis for starting a business as an entrepreneur. However, the first step is to research the idea and test how economically viable that idea is. Some of the questions to help you do just that are: – Is it a solution to a specific problem? – Can I offer something different from what may already be in existence? – Is what I want to offer going out of fashion, trend, or being taken over by new technology? – Can I produce the item or provide the service at a reasonable cost? – Are people willing to pay for it? – Can I make a profit at the acceptable price or price people are willing to pay for my products or services? Why did you start your business? I started my business to help inspire and challenge people to become financially independent by starting and creating new businesses, helping give new lease to existing ones. This also inspired me to author the book “The Business You Can Start – Spotting the greatest opportunity in the economic downturn.” A book that challenges the notion that the economic downturn is all doom and gloom. But rather highlights the many advantages the downturn offers, with 30 ways to identifying business opportunities anywhere in the world, start and growing them into profitable and successful ventures.
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Thanks to Victor Kwegyir, CEO and Founder of VIKE Business Services!
Understand Your Target Customer
Understand your target customer and be sure you’re addressing their pain points. Why did you start your business? Hera Hub grew out of my personal need for flexible work, meeting, and event space. I found myself pushed into entrepreneurship after being laid off from a Marketing Director position with a San Diego based high tech company in 2003. I launched a marketing strategy consulting firm, Perspective Marketing, and found it convenient and cost effective to work from home. Yet, after a couple years I found working from home to be, at times, distracting and isolating. Shortly after launching my consulting practice, I took on a leadership position with several professional women’s organizations, Women’s Global Network and Ladies Who Launch, San Diego. In this role I found myself consistently challenged to secure cost effective, fitting event and workshop space for monthly meetings. I was turned on to the concept of coworking in 2008, when I hosted a networking event at San Diego’s first coworking space, the Hive Haus. It wasn’t until a couple years later when I was triggered to revisit the model after seeing a banner ad on Ladies Who Launch for an “all-women” workspace in NYC. I began to really study the model, visiting coworking spaces in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It took me approximately 12 months from the time I decided to move forward with the launch of Hera Hub to the point where I completed my business plan, secured financing (which came from my personal savings and a loan from a close family member) and solidified my first location.
Thanks to Felena Hanson, Founder of Hera Hub!
Tell It to the People
I think entrepreneurs should always tell their idea to people they think will potentially be their users. My personal goal is that if I can tell 12 people, and more than a majority say that they would “buy it, or use it, or recommend it” then I know I can go on with the next steps. The idea stage is the easiest (and cheapest) to pivot, so always make sure you can pitch the person and create some excitement around the idea before spending more finite resources in the tangible realization. Why did you start your business? I saw a problem that I knew we could fix. I think for many people, starting a business is not intentional (at least not entirely), rather they see a problem or they have an experience that they believe they could make easier or better and they take action to do so. I know in my case, I asked around, found nothing I was really satisfied with so I did it myself. For context: I am part of the founding team for a company that makes complex applications for investment banks and law firms. About a year ago, I heard from a colleague that the law surrounding the Family Medical Leave Act was difficult to navigate. We quickly created an application that made it super simple for employees to see if they qualified.
Thanks to Leo A P Giannini, Employment Law HQ!
Do A Self-Assessment
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Do an honest self-assessment on time and talent. Starting a business takes a great deal of time and energy, especially the ability to pick yourself up and persevere in the face of obstacles. Will you devote the kind of time needed to sustain a business or are you hoping for a get-rich-quick scenario? (Because that won’t happen.) Then really look at your talents and passions. You may love the subject matter, but hate the idea of writing a blog every day. Or you may love to write, but don’t have a point of view that will sustain a blog. Whatever the subject and the abilities required, self-assess to decide if you have what it takes or will end up resenting work/subject you were once passionate about. Why did you start your business? I have always needed to work. But I started my business in lieu of working for others to have greater control of my work schedule. As a work-at-home mom, I need the ability to set deadlines and adjust according to the needs of my family.
Thanks to Shelly Hunter, Founder of Gift Card Girlfriend!