Start a Small Business and Watch your Life Grow

After you have decided to start a small business the next step is to choose what type of business you want to become involved with. However be warned...

It has to be one that you are passionate about!

The reason for this is that if it's not then you will end up working for your business, a bit like what you are probably doing now in your salaried job.

To start a small business without choosing a product or service that you are excited and passionate about is one of the biggest mistakes that people make. Make the right choice here and you are half way there.

When things get tough it's nice to know that you have a product or service that you believe in and actually get excited about. You will need this enthusiasm and motivation as you inevitably hit the trials and lows of starting a small business.

To successfully start a small business an entrepreneur should demonstrate creativity, that is not to say you can't develop it if you feel you are lacking in this area.

The left hand part of your brain is responsible for such things as analysing a problem, logically and rationally whereas the right hand side is responsible for intuitive thoughts, risk taking, whole picture/scenario, visualisation and so on. It is important that both left and right hand side parts of the brain communicate with each other for whole brain thinking and creative solutions to problems.

Ok so we have looked at creativity....

What other traits will a successful entrepreneur need to start a small business?

- they will be very persistent, committed and have a strong desire to succeed;

- they will be goal orientated and able to analyse and improve systems they have implemented as they go along;

- they should be open minded enough to allow for criticism and change if procedures don't work but strong enough to make tough decisions;

- to this end they should be able to lead and manage people as required;

- some more traits would include calculated risk taking, visionary, confidence, indepence and an ability to learn from mistakes(very important)

The above list is not exhaustive and I would also like to point out that many if not all of those traits listed can be developed over time!

Right, we've looked at what type of person should start a small business...

What about the actual procedure involved once we have our idea, product or service?

Well again I believe in simplicity, there is no point in over complicating things at the start, after all there is enough negativity and problems to deal with without adding to them. To this end I have constructed this very basic list:

1. The business idea, product or service - we have already mentioned, but it is so important that I will mention it again.

Do not start a small business unless you are excited about the product or service you are bringing to the market.

Don't mix this excitement up with the excitement you will inevitably feel starting your own business and going it alone. There should be a clear distinction between the two.

The only exception I can think of is where you won't be actually running the business but are putting somebody in control of the day to day management of it. However I'm assuming most people will not be in this position, certainly not to begin with.

2. Competitors and Location - it is very important to do your research with regard to where you are going to locate your business and the competition.

I've known people who are so fixated on starting their own business that they failed to do research in this important area. Having said that many businesses are successful because they have been able to improve on an existing product or service that is readily available in a specific area.

The important thing is to be aware and evaluate, evaluate, evaluate!

With regard to location if you can possibly start a small business from your home this will keep costs to a minimum!

It is hard to focus when your monthly costs are not being met and you still don't have any customers.

3. Marketing - this is a key area and one you need to think about.

How are you going to market your business successfully and how much of a budget will you require?

This will reflect your key goals for the business, for example will it be a small local business or do you want to eventually have other outlets nationally or even internationally.

Word of mouth marketing and referrals are by far the cheapest and most credible sources of customers.

This applies to the internet too!!!!

4. Financing - with the above information you can draw up a business plan and present it to a possible business partner or lender. Sometimes, especially if you are starting out tentatively it may be wiser to approach a friend or family member for the finance and strike up a deal with them. It will be cheaper doing it this way to.

5. Your Business Structure - this is important... however....

I feel that in the first few months or the first year people tend to get too hung up on whether they should be using a sole trader, partnership, limited company or even offshore entity structure to start a small business.

Yes it is something you need to think about but don't run off and start setting a structure up immediately. Since it will cost you money let the business progress for a while and ask around to see what structure would be most suitable for your type of business. Remember the internet is a huge resource but do seek legal advice before making that final decision.

I've listed below some common reasons to start a small business. I believe everyone should be encouraged to start a small business, especially an internet business, since it has very low costs and can so easily fit in with other commitments.

- you are now in charge of your own life. No more having to put up with other peoples' goals and purposes. Your life is now a blank canvas and you can paint the picture you want. Get creative and start to dream! Work out some exciting life goals and off you go. Remember this also means you are responsible for your life and can't moan if things go wrong as they inevitably will on your road to success.

- you are actually working steadily on your own life goals and this means you will have so much more motivation and energy. I regularly am working by 7am most mornings and am still working late into the evening. This is because I am working on my own life goals and feel motivated and enthusiastic everyday.

- equally important is quality time with family and friends. I regularly take time off as and when I feel I need to. It feels fantastic to have the freedom to be able to do this. You will be able to do this too, but you will have to put in some long days and weeks to begin with. This is why it's so important to be passionate about your business idea, product or service.

- you will constantly need solutions and therefore will need to be creative. Starting a small business promotes this creativity and awareness unlike the 9 till 5 repetitive hard slog that you used to involve yourself with!

- if your business is an internet one or run from home you will not have to commute, which is time consuming, expensive and sometimes stressful. You will be able to manage your affairs the way you want and not around a job or boss. This will improve your freedom and quality time with the people you want to spend your life with.

- having said that you can have the best of both worlds and have a job while you start a small business. An internet business is particularly flexible in this regard cutting out travelling time and fitting in with your daily planner.

- there are some fantastic tax concessions you can benefit from running your own business and inspite of what the media would have you believe, providing you take the important steps above many people make a profitable lifestyle for themselves and their families.

Although there are many benefits, people generally never get round to starting a small business. I hope this page helps to encourage you to take the first step.

If like most people you are fearful or anxious you may benefit from my free change your life course or mentoring services, or go to my anxiety-fear page for more information on these life sucking little monsters.

If you feel you just want to clarify a few points you can also contact us.

I wish you every success with your new business!

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Small Business Inspiration

"People who enjoy what they are doing invariably do it well."

Joe Gibbs

"Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance."

Samuel Johnson

"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business."

Henry Ford

"A man without a smiling face must not open a shop."

Chinese Proverb

"All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them."

Walt Disney

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