How to Start a Business That’ll Succeed: A 10-Point Guide

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Starting a Business | How to Start a Business That'll Succeed A 10 Point GuideIt is only natural to worry about failure when starting a business. However, don’t let the fear stand in the way of what could be a profitable company, which could potentially change your life.
To set yourself up for success, you need to understand how to develop a strong business model and to avoid the potential pitfalls that could thwart your venture’s growth and profitability.
To kickstart your idea, here are 10 helpful points to help with starting a business that will succeed.

1. Find Your Passion

Never launch a business for the sole reason of making money. If an idea or industry doesn’t light a fire inside of you, then avoid it at all costs.
You will need to dedicate a significant amount of time and energy into building and maintaining a successful enterprise, so it’s critical to love what you do.
It is this passion that will help to push through setbacks, gain in-depth knowledge about the industry, and wake up every morning with the sole aim of growing your brand and acquiring new customers.

2. Gain Experience

A lack of experience could lead to a lack of success in your chosen industry. For example, if you have your heart set on opening your own restaurant, you must gain experience in the food industry.
You’ll need a solid understanding of the level of hard work, passion and commitment required to run a restaurant, as there is more to it than hiring a chef and marketing your venture.
Gaining experience will ultimately provide the tools you need to kickstart a successful restaurant or could prevent you from making a big mistake.

3. Earn a Business Degree

Aspiring entrepreneurs would be wise to earn a business degree, which will provide them with the in-depth knowledge and skills they need to run a small or large company.
There are now several superb degrees budding business owners can choose from. For example, you could embark on a Masters in Business Administration online, which will take 18 months to complete and you can customize the course to suit your needs. You could also study health management, operations management, global leadership, or supply chain & enterprise resource planning. It can prove invaluable for those hoping to start their own business in the near future.

4. Start Your Business While Employed

Don’t quit your day job because you have a great business idea. It could potentially take a long time until your new venture generates a profit.
A part or full-time job will keep money in your pocket while you’re developing your budding brand. Once your business considerably increases its profit margin, you should quit your career to focus on your new company.

5. Start Networking

You don’t need to wait until your business is officially up and running to start networking. Line up potential clients or customers by reaching out to individuals, brands and organizations. For instance, you can form connections via LinkedIn, ask professionals for advice, or attend local networking events or groups to develop strong relationships in your chosen industry.

6. Write a Strong Business Plan

A business plan will provide your new enterprise with a roadmap to success. It will provide your company with a direction, as you’ll need to set objectives, define strategies, and set targets to work towards. It can, therefore, prevent you from sinking your time and money into unnecessary areas of the business.
In addition to providing you with a sense of direction, the business plan can also help you communicate your vision to potential partners or investors, who could be integral to your company’s success.

To write a strong business plan, you’ll need to:

  • Perform market research
  • Feature detailed information about your marketing strategies
  • Identify your target audience
  • Determine potential obstacles
  • Feature realistic goals

7. Turn to the Professionals

The prospect of performing every internal task yourself might seem a little daunting, which is why you’ll be happy to know you don’t need to go it alone when running a new business. For example, unless you have experience in bookkeeping or accounting, you could outsource a professional accountant or bookkeeper, who could save you more money than they could cost you.
You also must not cut corners when writing contracts either, which could lead to potential legal and financial issues in the future. If you don’t have a law degree, hire a lawyer to write up a contract for you. Never perform tasks you’re not qualified to do, as it could lead to your company’s downfall.

8. A Financial Investment

Think carefully about how you will fund your business. If you don’t have money in a savings account to rely on, don’t expect to walk into a bank to secure a loan, as most traditional lenders don’t like new ideas.
They also are often only willing to work with entrepreneurs with a proven track record in business.
Rather than skimping on different areas of your business, which can inhibit your growth and damage your brand, you should consider the following financial options:

  • Approaching potential investors
  • Saving money out of your own pocket
  • Crowdfunding
  • A business loan from a lender or loved one
  • Refer to your business plan to estimate exactly how much money you’ll need to get your new business off the ground.

9. Develop a Cohesive Brand Identity

Mixed messages, different color schemes and varying tones of voice can lead to a confusing brand, which will indicate a lack of professionalism and attention to detail.
Your website, social media profiles, brochures, flyers and print ads should feature a consistent voice and message, which will help you to develop a standout brand that will convince your target audience to become a customer.

10. Choose Your Team Wisely

When the time comes for you to hire your first employees, you must ensure you build your team wisely. Not only must they have the appropriate skills and qualifications for a role, but they also should have a positive, hard-working attitude and their personality should complement your desired company culture.
As a result, you can create a strong, productive and passionate team, who will help your brand to grow from strength to strength throughout the years.

How Start-Ups Stay Up – How I Run My Small Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Start-Ups |How Start-Ups Stay Up - How I Run My Small BusinessI am a bankruptcy attorney in Philadelphia. I started my law firm over 20 years ago and have helped thousands of clients get a fresh financial start over the years. I have four tips for small business owners both new and experienced. I credit these basic principles with the success of my firm.

Create Your Niche

You might be the greatest widget-maker on the planet, but if the market for widgets is saturated that will not matter – it will be a struggle, up-hill, to get noticed by potential customers. Make sure that when you start your business you have identified a service or product that is fresh to the market, whether that market is local (like a bankruptcy law firm, or a house painter) or global (products that can be exported or services that can be done remotely).

Advertise Your High-Quality Service or Product Online.

The days when a website is just an online business card are long over. An effective website will clearly show what you do or are offering and be findable by people who need you. The structure and content of the site itself should attract the viewer to stay on the site, and eventually start on their Buyer’s Journey to purchasing your service or product.

Any commercial website these days absolutely must be optimized for mobile devices. Potential customers most frequently use their smartphones or their tablets to google solutions to their problems, and they will click away from an unwieldy site that is difficult to read or navigate.

The content of your site should establish your expertise and/or relevance to the viewer’s search, and a clear and easy way to contact you or to purchase your service or product.

Maintaining a blog is a great way to inform current clients and future clients of the latest developments in your field, of new products or services you are offering, and to establish your expertise or your product’s high quality.

Convert Satisfied Clients and Customers into New Clients.

The first order of business is to make sure you are providing current customers and clients with a high-quality product or service. What you offer should do what you promise it to do and if a problem arises, a customer must be able to contact you for a remedy. Good customer service is the primary driver of repeat and referred business. So many clients are referred to me by their friends or family who used my services. That is gratifying.

But how to harness the power of satisfied clients’ goodwill? Provide them with the opportunity to leave you a positive review. I’m not suggesting you email each client or customer yourself, but rather, that you purchase one of the many available systems that automate this process for you. It’s a nominal expense for what you get in return.

Once you have clients’ email addresses, you can create a mailing list to inform list subscribers of sales or specials or a change in operating hours, etc. Make sure to ask clients first before you add them to your mailing list, and in each email sent, offer a simple way to unsubscribe. There are many good list managing companies online who will organize this for you.

Create a Network of Professionals and Peers

Word-of-mouth is valuable not just among former clients and future clients, but between professionals and your peers as well. Here are some ideas about how you can start and grow your network:

  • Join your national professional associations and attend conferences
  • Join your state or local professional associations and attend meetings
  • Join your local rotary club or other organization to network with local businesses unrelated to your business
  • Once established in your field, offer to give talks at meetings and conferences, to establish your expertise
  • Invite members of your network to subscribe to your blog or email list, for the latest news, and join theirs
  • Be active in your community. Volunteer your time or funds to support any quality-of-life events in your city or town, like a July 4th Town Picnic, or a Thanksgiving 5K. You can’t put a price on the goodwill that will generate for you and your business.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | David M. Offen, Esq.Mr. David M. Offen, Esq. is a bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney in Philadelphia who attended Temple University College and Law School. Mr. Offen is licensed to practice in the States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is a member of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and maintains an active blog on all aspects of bankruptcy filing and current events.

Keep These 7 Things In Mind Before Starting An Electronics Repair Business

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Keep These 7 Things In Mind Before Starting An Electronics Repair Business

Starting your own electronics repair business can be a daunting experience. Business registrations, gaining customers, making them come back for your service, and updating the company’s system are just a few of the things that will keep you occupied. To help you become successful in your electronics appliance repair business, here are 7 things that you must keep in mind.

1. Get Information Via Market Research

Knowing your market can help you get near to success in no time. Having enough knowledge about the latest trend and if your service is in demand can help you decide whether it is best to keep or quit your current job to start your own business. Surveying to check on how many of your competitors are currently in the area will help you find the best location for your business. Look for a place that has fewer market shares to gain more customers. Also, you have to be certain that people in your area will opt for repair rather than buying a new unit or equipment. Check if the repair volume in the market is considerable enough for you to start your own business.

2. Having Enough Customers Before Starting

Put effort to gain enough customers before starting your business. A strong customer base that can give you a regular income and sustain your monthly expenses can be a good sign that you can already stand on your own. Earning new customers will take time and if it takes a much longer time than you expected, it may have a big effect on your business’ financial support. This tip particularly applies to businesses with no solid financial backup and may not apply to all.

3. Seek Advice From Pioneers

Be humble enough to ask for advice, opinions, and suggestions from those who are already successful in running a business. Always make room for improvement even if you feel that you have already achieved something. Try talking to those who are pioneers in the business field and get ideas on how to keep your business rolling. You will learn new tactics and you may be surprised by their humble beginnings. They may also give you a hint on what to avoid or how to face challenging situations that may put your business at risk of shutting down.

4. Make Friends Not War

Competition in the field of business is not new but it does not mean that you will treat all of them as your enemy. Being friends with other repairers can help you discover things that can improve your repair business. Information such as where can you buy inexpensive spare parts such as Current Sense Resistors, learning new techniques in fixing electronic problems are some of the benefits of being a good friend to other electricians.

5. Avoid Blaming Others

Avoid blaming others when you lose from your competitors. It is better to honestly examine yourself if your service is high enough to satisfy your customers. Are your repair fees reasonable or is it too expensive? Do you wear a smile when potential customers come to your shop to inquire? These are some of the things you may consider to help increase your sales.

6. Invest On Repair Tools Or Equipment

Do not settle for weak and low-class repair tools. You may lose your customers when your equipment keeps on breaking. This may damage your good reputation. Invest in durable tools and test equipment that can help you solve electrical problems quickly and accurately.

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7. Be Realistic With Your Goals

Expectation versus reality. Avoid unrealistic expectations because it can lead to frustration. In your infant stage, you cannot expect that you can make fast money. It takes time to make a business successful so do not give up easily. You can learn from your mistakes and eventually cope up with what is really good for your business. As the saying goes, “Quitters never win.”

May these tips help you become successful once you decide to put up your own electronics repair business. We wish you well!

A Guide To Being A New Business Owner

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Being your own boss| A Guide To Being A New Business OwnerBeing your own boss is an exciting adventure and an accomplishment to be proud of. However, know that there’s a lot to think about as you open your doors and try to build up a book of business.

It’s normal to be hesitant and unsure of yourself and what you’re exactly doing at first. Use this guide to help you determine what areas you should be focusing your time and energy as you begin your journey as a new business owner. Avoid worrying about all that may or may not go wrong and instead enjoy your new position and having the power and authority to call the shots and make the tough decisions.

Set up Your Office Space

One of the first things you need to do as a new business owner is to figure out where you’re going to be working and want to set up shop. It’s a good idea to make sure you have the essentials at your building, such as desks to work at and bathrooms to use. If you need new bathroom stalls, then contact and allow them to assist you with this project. You want an environment that’s welcoming, configured for productivity and where your employees feel comfortable coming to work each day.

Focus on Client Service

As a new business owner, you’re also going to want to focus on offering excellent customer service. Doing so is a way to get more clients and attract business to your company so you can increase your profits. Keep in mind that without satisfied customers, your entire business may suffer and you could end up having to shut your doors. Ask those who are pleased with your services to leave online reviews for you so others can get a better feel for what it’s truly like to work with you.

Organize Your Finances

You’re not going to get too far in business without you having your finances in order and being wise with your money. As a new business owner, this is one area you’re going to want to pay special attention to as you begin to grow your company over time. If you find this task difficult to do or don’t have the time, then consider hiring a finance director to help you out. This way you can keep tabs on your books and be notified of any red flags immediately.

Practice Work-Life Balance

Being a new business owner means you’re going to be spending a lot of time at the office trying to get your company up and running. However, it’s important to practice work-life balance and take care of yourself and your health if you want to succeed in your role. Burning yourself out and feeling exhausted each day will only cause you unwanted problems over the long-term. Get in the habit of using your vacation days and finding a routine where you can live a healthy lifestyle and manage a profitable business. It’s possible to do, but you have to be willing to prioritize your tasks and have good time management skills.

Starting a Business at Home: A Guide

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article|Home Business|Starting a Business at Home: A GuideIf you’ve got that entrepreneurial spark, why not start your own business from your very own home? The best business you could build from home are the ones you start yourself from scratch, not the ones you buy into (talking to you, multi-level marketing schemes!). Even if you’re starting from absolutely nothing with little money, it’s definitely possible to build up your business idea into a successful and profitable company. Here is a guide on how to get started.

Step 1: Pick your niche

Come up with a business idea and choose what sort of business you want to start based on your experiences. This is most likely going to be the most difficult step, as you need to identify the idea behind your business and what your unique selling proposition is. You don’t have to necessarily have professional experience as long as the work you do is rooted in proper knowledge or expertise, so you can turn a hobby into a business as long as the quality is there.

Also consider that if you have a criminal record, there are a few fields you can’t start a business in, including medicine, law, finance, or anything that uses hazardous materials. If you want to be sure about your options, speak to an attorney to get a better understanding of what limitations you have if you’ve been convicted of a crime before getting started.

Step 2: Determine your target market and your competitors

Understanding whom you’re trying to sell to is a big factor in the success of your business, as is knowing who your competitors are and what they’re offering. By identifying your target market early on in the process, you can determine what kind of demand there is for your product or service and adjust accordingly. Also, every business has a competitor, and you want to make yours stand out so you must know what the competition is doing in order to offer something different than them. It’s beneficial to do a competitive analysis to help figure out what your company’s edge is.

Step 3: Decide what your budget is

Every business needs capital to get it off the ground, so figure out how much that is before you start spending. Consider how much you’ll be spending on your office space, including rent, utilities, equipment, and administrative services like conference calling, and be realistic about these costs. Also, consider other expenses like marketing costs and employee salaries and benefit packages. Do plenty of research and compare prices to make sure you get a good understanding of what your budget will be.

Step 4: Finance your business

The preferred way to finance your new business would be through personal savings, but understandably, this isn’t always a reality or a viable option. In 2018, nearly half of all small business owners went to the bank for a loan to help finance their company. There are other ways to obtain some capital, including:

Don’t forget to keep your business finances and personal finances separate for legal reasons. Make sure to establish your business as its own entity and set up an LLC for easy accounting when it comes time to file your taxes.

Step 5: Advertise

How are people going to know you exist unless you market your brand or product? Make sure your company has a website and you’re on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn (or all of the above – whatever makes sense for your brand and target audience) and understand the strategies involved for each platform, because yes—they’re all different. Traditional advertising is fine too, but the real bread and butter comes from social media these days, so get your profiles up and get that website functioning as soon as possible.