If you are planning to start your own small business and do not know where to start, here is a little help for you to get you started. This is not an all-in-one solution or answer to every question you may be have but it will give you some basic tips about things you should be thinking about.
Small businesses are usually started by small corporations or individuals like you. Some are owned by couples looking for a new way to make income while some are started by friends, pooling their resources together. You can also make a go at it by yourself but going solo can be very difficult. Depending on which country you live in, starting a new business can be as simple as logging into the government website like irs.gov in the USA, or as complex as needing attorneys and a lot of cash as it is in France or Spain. I’m confident however that as more countries realize that small businesses are the driving force to economic recovery they will all make starting a new business a relatively easy task to do.
Online or Brick & Mortar
Once of the easiest kinds of businesses to have today is an online business. Amazon.com and Zappos proved that you can essentially sell anything online. Your challenge will be to decide what products or services you would like to sell and to build a website that allows you to sell it. You can normally run most online businesses from your home and will typically have a low overhead compared to traditional brick and mortar businesses.
A brick and mortar business has a real physical location and requires a lot more investment upfront. You will need to pay for retail space, employees, inventory and other overhead items. A core advantage of brick and mortar businesses is localization. Starbucks proved the value of this and so does MacDonalds. Their physical location, next to your office or on the way home, gives them a marketing advantage when compared to someone needing to go online to find an online business.
rSitez – Create your own Social Network
If you’re starting a new business and your belief is that ‘there are no competitors’ then you haven’t done your research. Competition is a good thing so embrace it. They validate your market space. If you truly have no competitors (very doubtful) then you should question the viability of the venture. But in virtually every case, with the appropriate research, you will find that there are people already selling similar products or services, but possibly in a different way. Your job is to learn about what they are doing and find ways to either do it better or do it different. Only by understanding the clear difference between you and your competition can you effectively offer a clear choice for your potential customers. Being the best is great, but being different is essential.
Try to create innovative products. The iPhone was not unique, it’s really just a mobile phone. We all used mobile phone for at least 10 years before the iPhone was released. However, Apple was innovative in recreating what a mobile phone should do. Microsoft was not the first to provide a word processor, spreadsheet, or visual operating system; and Facebook was not the first social network application. But these products were an improvement of similar products of the time and they did a very good job in presenting what made them different than other similar products. Therefore, innovation does not mean that you need to invent something new. It simply means that you should provide something different.
Cool Mojito – More Likes, More Leads, More Sales
Even if you have the best and most innovative product, no one will purchase it if they don’t know it exist. You will need to learn about marketing campaigns, how to drive traffic to your website or your business, how to get leads and how to convert these leads and traffic into sales. Online marketing and Social Media Marketing can be very instrumental with your marketing effort. Expect to s a lot more detailed post on this subject in my upcoming blogs.
Rohan Hall is the author of Stop Working, a book that teaches entrepreneurs how to build global businesses with technology and strategic partnerships. He is the Founder/CEO of CoolMojito which focus of Social Media Marketing; and the Founder or rSitez, used by entrepreneurs to start their own social networking websites.