How many times have you asked yourself that the best idea for all concerned might be to take a risk and start your own business venture, based on an idea that has been percolating slowly in the creative recesses of your brain for years?Ã‚Â If the issue of timing is the one factor holding back your creative efforts to be your own boss, then think again.Ã‚Â The best time to start a new enterprise is when the natural business cycle has bottomed out and begun a new ascension to a peak.
The business cycle is a known fact, always moving in waves, both up and down.Ã‚Â It is common sense to want Ã¢â‚¬Å“to catch the waveÃ¢â‚¬Â on the rise, so to speak, to improve your chances for success.Ã‚Â You may have heard all kinds of statistics related to failures in the business world for new ventures.Ã‚Â Many of these failed attempts have more to do with when they opened their doors than with how well they performed.Ã‚Â We have what is called a Ã¢â‚¬Å“service-drivenÃ¢â‚¬Â economy, comprised of nearly 75% of service type businesses that depend solely on the ability of consumers to purchase their offerings.
Consumer confidence is rising.Ã‚Â Presidential elections has helped remove another level of uncertainty in the market, and economic data releases, though not as high as everyone would like, do show signs of steady improvement.Ã‚Â The Ã¢â‚¬Å“waveÃ¢â‚¬Â is building.Ã‚Â If you truly want to run your own show, the time is now to begin your critical planning and preparation phase.Ã‚Â Yes, starting a new venture can be a daunting task, but there are several supportive websites on the Internet that will guide you each step of the way.
Expanding your Ã¢â‚¬Å“ideaÃ¢â‚¬Â into its broader concepts down on paper is the first step.Ã‚Â This outline, or business plan, if you will, has many uses.Ã‚Â The exercise will help enumerate the many details that must be addressed on the front end in order to persuade your bankers, investors, vendors, and ultimately customers to believe in you and help to get you started.Ã‚Â Be sure to contact someone at the Small Business Administration (Ã¢â‚¬Å“SBAÃ¢â‚¬Â) or a local development center in your state for additional guidance, as well.
What are the major areas to focus on?Ã‚Â There are three Ã¢â‚¬â€œ sales and marketing, logistics, and money matters.Ã‚Â Here are a few comments on each topic:
- Sales and Marketing:Ã‚Â Your product or service must be something that solves a problem for someone else, and you must have the capability to sell it broadly to earn increasing revenues over time.Ã‚Â Sales are the lifeblood of every enterprise.Ã‚Â Build your sales unit early on to find out what works and what does not.Ã‚Â Your final offering will be different than where you started, so accept this need for early change and adapt.Ã‚Â Growth is very important early on, but Ã¢â‚¬Å“profitableÃ¢â‚¬Â growth must be your eventual goal;
- Logistics:Ã‚Â Supporting the sales effort will be your back office operations that produce the product, manage the inventory, and deliver the goods directly to the customer.Ã‚Â Customer service is important, too.Ã‚Â Quality at low cost is a winning formula in any business sector;
- Money Matters:Ã‚Â You need capital to build and grow your business.Ã‚Â Investment capital will come from you, your friends and family, and anyone else that you can convince, including your local banker.Ã‚Â Once up and running, converting sales directly to cash will be your next objective.Ã‚Â Once again, there are many websites that can assist your finding the right merchant processing business partner to help in this area.
Maria Rinaldi is an entrepreneur and lead editor for Better Merchant Accounts, a website that strives to provide visitors with the best offers for a new merchant account solution.