More about making it in business

Business Guides: Entrepreneurship

Starting a business takes more than a good idea. Even if an entrepreneur has what seems like an excellent idea on paper, in reality the plan may not work out. The market may be filled with similar enterprises from other small business owners and start-ups or people may not be interested in the business. A successful entrepreneur will carefully evaluate their idea and develop a business plan before launching into business. Some entrepreneurs may wish to seek the help and advice of more experienced business people before starting out.

Identifying Opportunities

A key part of being a successful entrepreneur is identifying a business opportunity that will work out in the long run. The business should provide repeat sales and customers that continue to return to the business to meet their needs. A business will not thrive if it satisfies a customer's needs permanently after a single sale. Additionally, the business should have the potential to succeed in a regional or national market, not simply in a local area, so that there is room for growth.

Excellent opportunities need to appeal to a customer base or audience. Preferably, there should be some market for the business already. For example, an entrepreneur can start a business selling e-books. There is a market for e-books already and people are buying them. Additionally, a wide range of different people buy e-books, so the entrepreneur does not need to worry about marketing to one specific group.

Evaluating Your Idea

There is a difference between an actual business opportunity and an idea for a business. An entrepreneur may have an idea to start a new retail outlet, but if the market is flooded with similar outlets, it is simply an idea, not an opportunity. If the market is rapidly growing, though, it is an opportunity, as the entrepreneur has the chance to build their own customer base, rather than trying to lure customers away from competitors. Many business owners get the idea for an opportunity while working in the same industry or a related industry. They may see a niche in the industry that needs to be filled and create a business to fill it.

Questions to Consider

Every entrepreneur needs to ask themselves a series of questions before launching into their business plan. First, they need to determine if there is a pre-existing customer base for their product or service. Who is the product designed for and who will purchase it? Another essential question to ask is what issues or concerns does the service or product fix?

Entrepreneurs also need to come up with an answer to questions concerning funding. They need to know where their money will come from, especially at the start. Some business owners are able to obtain loans, for example, while others may need to raise capital from investors. They also need to determine how much money their business will bring in and what the costs will be initially.

Business Checklist

The first step to creating a business is writing a business plan. An entrepreneur should do this before contacting a bank for funding, as the plan should detail the financial projections for the company. After the plan is drawn up, they should look into different funding opportunities, such as loans. They should also set up a business banking account and credit card if necessary.

Before they can open for business, they need to find a location for the office or store. They may rent or purchase the land or a building. If they are building from the ground up, they will need to plan the layout and design of the building. Otherwise, they will need to arrange the set-up of the store or office to their liking.

Legal concerns before opening a business include registering the business with the state or city. They may need to incorporate or form a partnership. Hiring a lawyer is essential at this stage in the process, if not before. The entrepreneur will need to obtain any licenses required and will need to apply for the appropriate tax identification numbers.

After the legal concerns are dealt with, the business owner can begin advertising their business and taking steps to get it up and running. They will need to buy insurance to protect themselves and any future employees. Small details such as ordering business cards and stationery also need to be taken care of. They should also order supplies needed to run the business.

Common Business Mistakes

A major mistake made by some entrepreneurs is launching into business without a well-developed plan. An entrepreneur cannot hope for success if they do not know which direction to steer the business in or what to expect from it financially. Other common mistakes made by start-up owners including failing to thoroughly research the market and any competitors and expecting the business to succeed automatically and immediately. Some people try to do everything by themselves, including the financial and legal details, which can often backfire. Another common mistake committed by entrepreneurs is hiring people who lack experience in an attempt to save money.

  1. Follow These Steps to Starting a Business
  2. Selecting a Business Structure
  3. The Entrepreneur's Reference Guide to Small Business Information
  4. Top 10 Legal Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs
  5. Don't Make These Mistakes - The Secret of Starting Your Own Business
  6. Idea Assessment and Business Plan Development
  7. Conducting a Feasibility Study
  8. New Business Checklist
  9. Trademark Basics
  10. Funding For Business and Economic Development
  11. Finding Funding
  12. Risk Assessment Quiz For Starting Your Own Business
  13. The Entrepreneurship Myth
  14. Key Facts About Women-Owned Businesses
  15. Myths and Realities of Entrepreneurship