How I loved my 20’s so many great years, some sad years, a few scandalous years (#hidesface) but most of all a lot of growing and achieving great things…
Just be you
Been having a rough start to the year, and I am so ready for things to start falling into place…needless to say the anxiety levels have been at a record high. Then I came across this pretty picture and decided I can’t make things work as I always want them to and sometimes we just have to be.
30 things (of course there’s a lot more-lets just start with this list http://bucketlist.org/list/RubyNicole/ ) to do in my year of being 30…Next year marks my 30th birthday – once upon a time that would have scared me…but now I can’t wait for 30….
Thinking more I thought, if I gave myself more time, what would I do? How many things have I always wanted to see, experience, do or feel? I have so many things I have experienced that were never part of a ‘bucket list’ they all just happened.. I’ve traveled a lot, done a job that was never part of my career path, lived on a ramen diet-the big debate of booze and partying VS eating solid meals (who hasn’t right…) learnt about love from complete strangers (who I now consider family) I’ve been to Vegas- with an amazing group of people and LOVED every minute of it….One of my biggest goals was to live ‘alone’ /have my own apartment- after 28years on this earth I finally did it.
Anywhoooo I decided to go on http://bucketlist.org/and create an online list to fulfill during my year of being 30…I encourage all of you to go on and create your bucket-list/New years resolutions whatever you want to call it-this techno world we live in is great….
How can you not love Marilyn?… she was (is) gorgeous, fabulous and made her dreams come true…
whats stopping you from making yours come true…
Wake up, hustle, push and do it over and over until you get what you want out of life…
I won’t stop till I get it right
In this next part I will talk about what you can do once you have done all your research, marketing, planning and found financing. We have to remember that making the decision to start a business is a big decision and execution, effort and hard work will determine success.
After all the work into determining your business, marketing, planning and financing is done these are the step I would take in building my business.
- Building Infrastructure – Getting an office space- You will need a space from which to run your business. This can be a home office if you require little space and will not have employees, or it can require an entire workshop or warehouse. It depends on what you will be doing and how big you intend your business to be. Make sure the space is coded and legal for how you intend to use it and within your budget. Purchase equipment- Purchase all of the things you need to start work. This can mean mechanical equipment, computers, telephone, or craft supplies. It all depends on what you are doing. Try to purchase from business supply companies as they will have significant discounts. look online (craigslist/ebay) too to find cheap deals or other businesses going into liquidation looking to sell off their equipment or supplies. Create a records system- From doing taxes to figuring out billing systems you’re going to want a good records system to help your business run smoothly and efficiently. Invest in file cabinets, labels and digital records software to keep you organized and on top of things.
next step is to begin building a customer base….
customers are what will determine success and help keep your business running
- Make use of marketing and PR- You will want to reach out to potential customers in ways that make them want to use your business. This is especially important when you are first starting, before you have an established, regular customer base. The use of social media is a big pull in the world we currently live in, work out your marketing strategies and build your client base in the relevant market. Advertise in a way that catches customers attention at a minimum and hopefully goes beyond to capture their imagination. Be creative and appeal to the right aspects of the customers you want to use your business. You could offer free samples of what you do to the right people, in order to get people saying good things about what you have to offer. Word of mouth (i.e. good PR) is the best way to attract new customers. If you get bad reviews or negative feedback, respond positively and fix the problem. People will be much less judgmental about mistakes if you’re willing to fix them. Another option could be using old fashioned networking– Go to conferences, charity galas, meetings with complementary businesses and anywhere where your customers are likely to be highly concentrated. In other words: get out in public and interact with people. Use your friends connections to meet people who may be able to help you. This kind of interaction is very important for starting a business. You can’t exist in a vacuum after all.
- Have great customer service skills– Be good at interacting with people. Practice reading between the lines of what people say. Learn how to meet needs they didn’t know they had. Figure out how to make people happy. Be charming. Most importantly, be humble. The customer may not always be right but you need to be able to let them think they are.
- Have a website/blog-The world has moved online. Any business that wants to survive the next ten years is going to have to have a website. People will use it to contact you, find your location, learn your operating hours, ask you questions, make suggestions, and maybe even buy your products or services. In having a website and services which are available over the internet, you will be able to expand your service area out across your region or even the world
Most importantly-getting paid…
- Require payment- Don’t let people take advantage of you. Require payment within a specific window of time (whatever is appropriate for what you do). Invoice people as soon as you possibly can. If someone is late in a payment, talk to them. If you ignore these problems hoping that they go away, you will find yourself working for free and your business in the tank. Take credit cards- Very few people consistently pay for products or services with cash any more. It will be much easier for your business, as well as records keeping and accounting, if you accept credit and debit cards. If you want to save yourself ridiculous fees or keep your business more mobile, consider using the Square. This device plugs into a smartphone or tablet and lets you swipe customer’s card. Lastly Set up an online system- If you plan to have products for sale online you will need to make sure to set up an accord online payment system. Services like Paypal make this incredibly easy. Research to find out which method is best for you. However, make sure that whatever system you use is secure. You don’t want either your information or your customer’s information to be hacked or taken advantage of.
A few tips to remember and reference:
- When hiring, make sure you have an in-depth review and interview of the worker. Make sure you get their real information, passports, id , former work, license and many others that they are truly honest and they are dependable.
- Don’t think that your business will be a success right away, it will take time.
- Recognize that getting your business off the ground will take time. Most businesses don’t become profitable right away, so plan for that in your personal life too. You will be making sacrifices to be your own boss.
- Ask people you know that run a home based business. They could help you get started.
- Always make sure you don’t spend too much money. At least spend about $500 dollars or if it’s a home business, spend at least $200.
- Make paying convenient and affordable. Offer credit machine service, monthly payment plans, buy one get one offers and offer sale prices.
- Use free resources. Your local library contains numerous useful references regarding incorporation, writing business plans, marketing, as well as information specific to your industry. The Small Business Association, Chambers of Commerce, AMEX Small Business website, associations for your industry, associations by ethnicity…all of these offer training, materials, networking and sometimes financing. Another good option is SCORE, a group of retired executives who provide business start-up advice.
- Make sure your product / service is appealing for the public, area and community not just in your perspective if not how can you make it more appealing? Be sensible.
- Make sure your business looks professional and is attractive to the eye. Have a professional logo, branding that is consistent and a professional website to support it. There are several groups that will help you with all this, for example vistaprint.com
I hope these tips are helpful and I get some feedback on things I could do in my journey as well.
I am on the path to starting my own business(es) and have been looking into how to go about it. I am going to write about my findings and hopefully hear suggestions/tips from other entrepreneurs out there…this is a long read (I will split it up into 2 parts) so grab a coffee and settle in…
As we all know wanting to start a business comes from initially…
- Having an idea- Come up with multiple ideas and make sure you have a notebook to jot down all the ideas you come up with. Work through your ideas and come up with something that you are passionate about, since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.
once you have come up with ideas..
- Consider if it is plausible- Before going too far, think about how plausible your idea is. Is it something that people would actually pay for? Will it turn enough of a profit to be viable? You will also need to be sure that it is possible to implement. Look at other businesses that are doing something similar and take notes. Try to ensure your business idea is unique-this will help you eliminate or significantly combat competition, which will make your business more successful.
next step is to write-up a business plan…
- Business planning- this is key to ensuring you keep in line with your goals, you will also need a solid business plan to present to any investors. I used [http://www.sba.gov/business-plan/1] to set up my business plans. The site gives you a step-by-step of how to go about making you business plan and gives pointers of what each section needs to have to have a complete plan. There is a vital section in the business plan about cost of operation-Knowing your cost of operations will be vital to determining if your business will be profitable, since you will need to make more than this baseline in order to remain in business.
after the business plan/financial planning is done you would need to…
- Determine your potential market- Be realistic. How many people will realistically use your business? How much will they pay to use your services? If either number is too small in comparison to how much it will cost you to stay in business, then you should reconsider or change your plans.
Consider all things possible…
- What could go wrong-probably will go wrong- look into all possible angles, your potential competition-evaluate and determine whether what you will be offering will be competitive and unique enough to attract potential clients. You will also need to explore the associated regulations and laws, especially regarding taxes. You should ask your local state authorities, as well getting information from the IRS. Make sure there are no unaccounted costs that could hinder or shutdown your business before it begins.
next make a marketing plan…
- Write up a budget- Once you have a general idea of how much money you have to work with, write up a budget for marketing which indicates how much money you have available to spend on advertising. Create ideas fitting your budget- Once you know how much money you have, research the costs of different types of marketing and come up with ideas which fit those methods and are effective for the price range. If you have a lot of money to spend on marketing, for example, you can consider shooting a commercial. If you have almost none, you’ll want to think about ways to use social media effectively, which is very effective for requiring little money. Plan timing and location of marketing- think about the most effective places to advertise and what time of day, month or year are going to work best to reach your target market. Ensure age appropriate marketing as well.
This was the hardest step for me in the journey but it is one of the most important ones to look into and evaluate:
- The bank-Talk with a bank you already have a positive relationship with. Ask about what kind of business start-up loans they offer and how they can benefit your business. By using a bank you already know, the bank will have easy access to your financial records and will be more confident in investing with you. If this is not an option Get local investors. There may be a local business tycoon or other similarly wealthy person who would have a vested interest in seeing you succeed. Research people in your area who may have the funds and motivation to help you. Another option could be Using crowd-funding- use sites like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to raise the money you need to start. These funding sources have several benefits: you will not have to pay interest on the money you get (since it is money which is used to provide actual product or services) and it will help you not only gauge interest in what you have to offer but also help you build a customer base. You’ll start business with hundreds or thousands of customers already lined up and ready to tell other people about what you have to offer. Another option would be to ask Family/Friends to invest in you this option is one that could really get you off the ground quickest if family/friends see your passion and determination.
In the next part I will talk about what you can do once you have done all your research, marketing, planning and found financing