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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Small Business Know-How

 

It is not uncommon to daydream about the possibility of working for yourself. There are typically two types of people who start their own business; those who seem to be born entrepreneurs and others who come to the conclusion that running their own small business is a venture worth pursuing. 

 

If starting your own business is something that sounds appealing to you, make sure you're well-informed as to what it entails to make your business a success. You should choose an industry you are both passionate and knowledgeable about. It makes sense, for example, if you have experience and know-how with heating and cooling, looking into the HVAC sheet metal industry could prove worthwhile.

 

Do Your Homework

Make sure you know going in that running your own business will be much more involved than simply working a typical Monday through Friday 9-5 job. The success of your business depends heavily, not on the quality of the product or service you provide, but instead your own diligence. Most new businesses fail because the owner did not realize how long and hard you have to work to make your business successful. You have to be ready and able to make improvements and adapt as the market changes. 

 

Research your chosen business venture market. Is there enough of a demand to support the service or product that you are hoping to provide? Market saturation can pose a significant deterrent to any new business. 

 

Dollars and Sense

Before starting any new business venture, anticipate needing more money than you thought you would require; typically twice as much. Also, understand that you will need more time to be up and running than you expected. When starting any new business, the first couple of years will be unpredictable and possibly volatile. It is imperative to have a solid customer base before launching.

 

If you have less than ideal credit, make sure you get that cleaned up before you try to start a new company. The sudden need for credit while you are starting your new entrepreneurial career will prove useful during the highs and lows of your startup.

 

Advice

There are certain tried and true tips and advice that those with more experience owning their own companies can provide you. Heed the wisdom of what they learned along the way. It can prove to be priceless and useful information that you may not be aware of. One such tip is to make clear goals and stick to them. In order to achieve your goals, break down a bigger goal into smaller, more concentrated goals that will land you where you need to be. 

 

Remember, you are the boss; that means you should delegate tasks whenever possible. You have countless tasks to stay on top of, whenever you have the opportunity to lighten your load so your efforts can remain concentrated where they need to be, take advantage of it. 

 

Evaluate your overhead and keep those costs as low as possible. Overhead is one of the biggest expenses when running a business. If you are paying rent on brick and mortar office space, consider the feasibility of having a virtual office and cutting your expenses tremendously. When you have lower overhead, not only do you have more flexibility with your pricing but when a recession hits or business ebbs, you will not feel the pinch nearly as much.

 

Whereas the excitement of working for yourself can be very rewarding, you have to be sure you know what it takes to make that business a success. If you go in knowing what to expect and you think you have what it takes, the possibilities are endless.

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