Resources, Ideas and a comprehensive Guide for Starting your Own Business
,the Small Business Forum is a business
unit of The InterConsultGroup
help you start your own business venture. We will support
medium, small and micro businesses to create the
right business and administrative structures and control
mechanisms for operating successfully in the market
When you start a business, you have to go about in a planned way, so that your venture and your efforts, have a reasonable chance of success. Before you start a business plan or look for financing, you have to be clear in your own mind, what your business will be all about. "I want to make millions" is a good premise, but not a sufficient one to start a business.
How to Start a Business: Testing your own Abilities and Selecting the "right" Business for you
These pages are there to help you in your effort to create a viable enterprise. We start with an assessment of your own abilities. Because, that is the key to your success.You are the initiator, and you are the guide, that puts it all together. Knowing yourself and your own abilities and short comings, within the context of starting a business, takes on a whole new meaning.
If you don't know something, or if, for instance, you are not good at organizing yourself or the world around you, it does not mean you cannot start and successfully run a business. It simply implies, that you need help in those areas. But, in the first instance, you have to know, that are not good at that! That is what self assessment is all about: Know yourself!
The next step is to select a business opportunity that really interests you and which, in your opinion will provide a viable long term future income. You might very well bring something with you from your past which you want to develop and expand. That is a great idea. Because, presumably, you will bring with you expertise, that will make up the initial core of your saleable business opportunity. Having gone through a self assessment,you should now be easily able to match what you want to do, with your abilities to do it.
If you are looking for a business opportunity, rather than bringing one to the table, you will have to seriously evaluate, how you and your personality can take the business idea and turn it into a viable venture, that will remain around for you to grow and prosper with it. We give you, on two, three pages, some business ideas and some low priced products, that help you build from the initial idea. There are some consulting or counseling opportunities with low cost business entry. There is also a page on Franchising and how to go about selecting a franchise. Over time we will add ideas that we judge viable and not some "pie in the sky".
We have also started a blog, where you can ask questions or make comments on topics on the blog, or generally about business. Use it, so that it becomes a valued life forum and a genuine place to exchange ideas.
Planning your Business: The Business Plan
You can use our template of a business plan to put some order into the chaos. If you get stuck or want to talk issues through with someone, the Small Business Forum offers a variety of consulting services.
For a small fee, we will review the Business Plan which you have created, and suggest any changes that we perceive as increasing your chances of succeeding.
don't have to use our review mechanism, if you use our
template! Alternatively, for a prepaid fee,
we write the Business Plan for you.
For a Business Start-Up and for the Small Business Owner, there are many other suppliers of business plans. Some are tailor made for a very large variety of businesses. For instance, The Business Plan offers simple step-by-step instructions. It is a complete Business Plan Kit.
What help you use will depend on your own sophistication and understanding of the process. Some of the plan aids offered in the market tend to be complicated, others simple and easy, but not less helpful. If you have little experience, you might want to use an easily understandable system, rather than create your own. Some of these are shown below, or you can find them through a search at Google.
Here are some third party products that are easily understandable.
The type of plans shown above have been used by us and are easy to comprehend. If you feel the need and it makes you feel more assured, we will review the plan, once you have written it for a small fee.
Once you are satisfied with your business plan, you will start with step four, the implementation phase. In your business plan you have touched on many different issues. Now, you have to convert them into real actions, so that your venture moves from an idea to a real substantive subject.
Why to Incorporate and what you have to know about Incorporating a Business
The first questions you probably want to answer is whether you should incorporate your business, what incorporation brings you, what type of corporation you need, how much it costs and where to incorporate. We have created a page in Why and how to Incorporate, that should answer these questions. If you want to do all this yourself rather than contract some outside help, you will find the state offices to do this here! But we strongly recommend that you use an incorporation agent to help you!
Business Tools from Accounting to Product Definition and Marketing to Creating an Internet Presence
We think that the first issues to be tackled should be the selection of the accounting system. Since you will already have made some expenses during the planning phase, you should start a disciplined method of collecting the records of these expensed and record them in an easily understandable way. Starting now with an accounting system, also has its advantages. Because, it is likely that you have few transactions, at this state of the game, you can actually learn how your accounting system works. Something which might be more difficult at a later stage.
In between your learning process, you might have time to read something.Below are some texts, that could be of interest!
One of the key issues in your new business will be your cash management. More start-ups go out of business, because they cannot manage their cash properly, than for any other reason. It is singularly the most important item in your agenda, and it would be a good habit to look at your cash position, as the first order of business every morning you enter the office!
The next important step will be to identify your clients and customers. Without them, you will not have any business. You have already done some work in your Business Plan. But that needs refining. You need lists of potential and existing customers with names of contacts, phone numbers, e-mails and comments about buying habits or any other thing you think is important. There are commercially available programs for that, but if your customer list is small, you can start off doing it manually on a sort of manual spreadsheet.
Once you have planned your business, set up some "basic systems" and defined your products, you have to make your products ready for the market. Getting the right selling tools is important. As is, knowing how to propagate the products in the market. You want people to know about yourself and about your fledgling company.
We have some tools that help you get the customer relations right. There are many ways of managing that aspect of the business. The tools on our pages might "jug your memory" and help you to select the products that you will find useful.
Your Business and the Internet: Some things you need to know
If you have an Internet site, marketing that site and making it known to the public will be an important issue, especially if your business depends on it. There are a whole host of specialist products that help you in that task. Not all of them are needed, even though they might be useful. We offer several pages that deal with Internet issues or products that help you.
In addition, we will provide a growing list of Business Resources and a series of useful Software Business Tools. These might range from office suppliers to furniture, or printers . The Links are to sites that help the small business owner (or the larger one), and the start-up, to find the right resources for their venture.
Some Frequently Asked Questions and a Link Page
Finally, the Frequently Asked Questions may provide some answers to your questions. If you would like to know something specific and think that the answer to your question has general appeal, send it to us and we will add it to the FAQ's.
You will also find an extensive link page that provides you with links to Small Business Forums and Government sites concerned with small business issues.
So, what are you waiting for? Start your business now!
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