Thinking About Starting a Small Business?
It takes a unique individual to run a successful small business. What characteristics do successful entrepreneurs share?
There are lots of people out there thinking about starting a small business, and tons of great ideas, but few people actually go out and do it. So many people think and think about it until all of a sudden they’re fifty-something, still with that great idea, but no business.
There’s no doubt it takes a special type of person to be an entrepreneur. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It takes desire to succeed, courage, perseverance and a great deal of will power to continue to work at it in the face of the setbacks you’ll inevitably have to deal with. But what else does it take to be a successful small business owner?
Of course, it takes technical skills. That goes without saying. And, you can’t just be good at what you do. You need to be very good at it before you even think about starting your small business. So, assuming you have those technical skills, what else do successful entrepreneurs have in common?
I would think being decisive, self-disciplined and a self-starter have to be a couple of the top traits. If you want to own a business so you can stay in bed in the morning or you think you might not have to work forty hours a week, you might want to stick with your 9 to 5 job. The truth is, you’ll be working far more than forty hours a week for quite awhile, and most often with very little money to show for it.
There won’t be anyone telling you what to do, how to do it and when it needs to be done (except for your clients of course, and it seems to me they often want things done now!). So, you’ll need to be able to make decisions, and be disciplined enough to work at it every day, no matter how discouraged you might be.
And, the fact that you’re your own boss means you should be self-directing too. It also means you should be able to prioritize and plan well, meet deadlines and be able to work until the job is done, whether that takes fifteen minutes or eighteen hours a day.
How well do you deal with stress? How do you deal with uncertainty? Successful entrepreneurs need to deal with both well. Running a business is stressful at the best of times, and can be extremely stressful when things aren’t going well. And things are rarely certain. That big client you have that you think is so loyal could simply decide to go elsewhere for no reason that’s apparent to you.
Are you able to make short term sacrifice for long term gain? It might be really tempting, for example to take the first thousand dollars your companies earns and spend it on clothes or on your house or your car, but is that necessarily the best thing for your small business? Or should you be leaving the money in the company and using it to build your business?
Along with those technical skills we talked about earlier, most entrepreneurs have to be a jack of all trades, at least from the beginning. Let’s say you build the best darn widget in the country. Assuming you already leased space and have all your tools, the first thing you might want to do is find suppliers for the parts you’ll need to put it together. Then you’ll have to negotiate terms with them, so now you’re a purchasing agent as well as a manufacturer.
Customers aren’t going to come and find you, so you have to figure out ways to let people know who you are, where you are and what you can do for them. That means you also need to know something about marketing. You’re required to keep proper records, so you’re a bookkeeper too. And you’re responsible for all your small business’ financial decisions, so you’re going to have to know something about finance. You’ll probably have to answer the phones and make appointments, which means you’re also a secretary.
Since you probably won’t possess all those skills and you probably can’t afford to hire someone to do most of those jobs, you’re going to have to be willing to learn new things and be able to pick them up quickly. You won’t see any direct money for these jobs either. Are you willing to put in the hours it takes to learn these skills and perform them without seeing immediate results?
Finally, procrastination and owning a business don’t seem to go well together. If you’re the type of person who tends to put off until tomorrow what can be done today, you might not be suited to owning your own business.
Nobody is going to be the perfect entrepreneur. I doubt there’s anyone who has all the personality traits we’ve talked about. But, you should be willing to take an honest look at yourself. You should have some of the traits I’ve mentioned and you need to know how to compensate for areas where you’re weak, but that’s a subject for another day.
Robert Browning said “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”
I think he’s probably right, so what are you waiting for? The first step is making the decision. Stop just thinking about it and just do it. Don’t wait for tomorrow or next week or next year. Do it today.
Tips on Starting A Small Business
Small businesses have many challenges to stay afloat. Many budding entrepreneurs think that all they need is an idea or product, a name for their small business, and a bit of work and the product will sell itself and money will come rolling in. If you have ever run a small business – even a home based business – you will know there’s much more to it than that!
The first thing you, as a potential small business owner must always do, is research your market. Then research your competition, then the available supply for your product or service, and find your unique selling position. This alone can take weeks often months.
Once you are satisfied that there is a market for your product or service then you need to sort out your business plan and cash flow projections.
Small businesses may appear low cost but many suck up substantial capital before they turn a profit so now, unless you are very fortunate, you must sort out how to finance your small business. Do you remortgage your house? look for investment partners? borrow from friends or family? or approach the bank? Whichever you choose you need to convince others that your small business will be profitable and they will get a return on their money.
Once finances are in place the hard work starts. You may have premises to arrange, suppliers to sort out, staff to recruit and mangage, accounts to keep, products to design or source, lawyers to consult, accountants to hire and we must not forget in all of this market and get the all important customers to look at and purchase your products.
To do that you have to advertise your small business, but where and at what cost? Don’t forget you have to provide customer support and accept returns. Then there’s waste disposal … and on and on.
Who’s paying for all of this – in simple terms you, and your friends, investors and/or your bank are paying, until you are selling sufficient product or service to cover the costs – usually many months or even years away.
New small businesses rarely return a profit in the first year and frequently not for two or three years. Make sure you can finance it properly.
Is it worth doing it? That’s your decision but every year tens of thousands of people do start their own business and many are succesful and reap the rewards of all that hard work. But many also fail, and all too often it’s due to lack of preparation
If you’re about to set off on your new business venture prepare well and Good Luck. With good planning, persistence and a lot of hard work you too can build a profitable small business.
Tips on Office Rental
Renting an office space is one of the important decisions in any business. It involves a long term commitment that will affect the company profit and loss. The following are some tips regarding office rental
1) Location and Price Range
Location is this first factor you need to consider. But what is a good location? It is definitely depends on your nature of business. Question yourself the following
Is it necessary to locate your office at Central Business District or Downtown? Having your office located at prime location definitely boosts the corporate image but at the same time, it cost you more.
Does your customer need to visit you often?
If your core customers need to visit your office often, it is preferably to be located near them.
Is it convenient for your employee?
Do not forget about the benefit of your employee. An inconvenient location with poor transportation facility will not only give them a low morale but it may also affect your company in employing good talents as well as retaining one.
As office rental rate is based mainly on location, you need to strike a good balance of prime location and the rental you are going to pay month. The saving in your rental can also go to your company marketing or prospecting budget that can bring in more income for your company.
2) Get the right size and the length of rental
This may sound commonsense but it is one of the most common mistakes that most tenants make. Question yourself the following
What is the size of the conference room? How many people it should able to accommodate?
How many manager or director MUST have an individual room? Individual rooms take up quite more space as compare to open space. Generally, open concept offices optimize the office space.
Does your company expect to grow within the next few year? You will need to cater for extra space for employing more staffs. Review your company expansion plan so as to determine the length of the lease.
Paying a profession space planner to fully optimize the office space will save you cost in the long run.
3) Check out the office and surrounding facility
Spend some time and effort on checking the office building and surrounding facilities before you sign on the dotted line. Question yourself the following
Is there a professional onsite building management?
Is there banking facilities near the building?
Does the parking facility suit you?
Talk to some of the tenants in the building to check out if there is any negative factor that they need to compromise?
What is the central air conditional operating timing?
4) Get Professional Realtor help
Getting a professional realtor in assisting you finding the right office space not only save you time as well as saving money. However, make sure you get a realtor that is specializing in commercial market and NOT in residential market or a realtor that do all kind of property. A specialize realtor that is focus in the location you identified can provide you with the different price range of different buildings. The realtor you selected must also be a good negotiator so as to get a good package for you. Remember your main focus is in your own business and not real estate, so leave it to a trusted professional for your real estate needs