The Prepared Entrepreneur
As an new entrepreneur are you prepared and ready
to start your home based business?
Though the rewards for working from home far outweigh the problems, there are a few pitfalls awaiting the unprepared entrepreneur. A business is a business whether from home or from a commercial establishment...
For anyone who would like to start their own business, I would like to stress the point on not only finding a need and filling it, but also the training and research needed before starting a business. You can't just simply say "Gee, I would like to start a business, and then start one." it's not that easy.
Studies show that just about half of all new businesses fail within the first couple of years. These failures probably weren't because they didn't have a good idea or that they weren't filling a need. These failures are probably because they weren't prepared and didn't know what was ahead of them.
These entrepreneurs didn't have a business plan or a blueprint of their business. They didn't have enough capital. They didn't keep proper track of all the paper work involved in running a business, or try different alternatives in getting and most importantly keeping customers. Many of them started their business on a whim, having no business sense at all, or even trying to learn some.
Don't let me scare you away from starting a business, because it's not really that hard. Just like in learning the technical skills in any trade or job, you must also learn the business skills in running a business.
- You must learn all the legal aspects of starting your business from registering your name to obtaining adequate insurance
- you must learn the basic bookkeeping techniques to keep track of your income and expenses
- you must learn how to manage your time efficiently by strategically planning and scheduling your activities, keeping organized, protecting yourself against burnout
- you must learn how to advertise and promote your business, to let people know who you are and what you do and how you can help them
- you must learn how to market your product or service, how to broaden your sales opportunities through alternative approaches to distributing and selling your products and services
- you must learn how to become an effective salesperson, how to get and keep customers and how to provide good Customer Service. One of the most important business buzzwords is "Customer Service." With so many businesses competing, keeping your customers happy has become the most important challenge in any business
- And most importantly, as a new entrepreneur you must learn how to prepare a business plan. A business plan is a blueprint for mapping out what you want to do and how to get there. It's a guide to follow to turn your idea into a business. It is a statement of your goals and objectives along with a detailed account of the step necessary to achieve those goals. Properly completed, this road map for operating your business will provide the guidance needed to handle routine business details, as well as the businesses direction for the future—enabling you to measure progress along the way
Refusal to commit your plans to paper may reflect an unwillingness to face the potential problems involved with any new business venture or may be a way of fooling yourself into believing that problems do not exist and that the goals you want to achieve will come in due time. An entrepreneur/business that has no plan, that merely reacts to events as they occur, sometimes does well, but this is more by good luck than by good management. For more detailed information on preparing a business see the following article: Planning for Success - Developing Your Business Plan
You'll have to do some market research, find out if your product or service is needed. Who will your customers be? Are they young or old, are they homemakers, professionals, students or retired, male or female? Do they live in urban centers or rural areas? What are their interests or hobbies, what do they do for a living?
You must also find out about your competitors? Who are they? How long have they been in business? What product lines or services do they carry? What are their prices like? How can you make your products or services different or better that their? Who are their customers? Who is prospering or just surviving and why? Why are some succeeding and why are some failing? How can you take advantage of these strengths or weaknesses in learning what or what-not to do?
In your business plan you will also have to do some forecasting. You will have to know where you want to be in a year or even three years. Once you know where you want to be, you must then strategically plan on what to do to get there. How many jewelry ppieces must you sell, or how much service must you provide to reach your goals.
So if you plan to start a business, EDUCATE yourself. Take marketing and entrepreneur courses, read everything you can on businesses. Find out how some have succeeded and why others have failed. Don't be afraid to ask questions, write letters, get answers. Armed with this knowledge and a good business plan, the skies the limit.
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