1. The First Big Steps 7. Plan your business
2. How to Start a Business? 8. Checklist
3. Discover What Works 9. Methods of Trading
4. Follow this Checklist to Get Started 10. The Mighty Dollar
5. Location Location Location 11. 10 Tips for a Balanced Life
6. An Office Environment 12. How to Lower your organization's IT costs with Google Apps

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Discover What Works

  • Describe exactly what product or service you want to offer. How it is unique or better? Why would customers buy it and not another brand?
  • Examine the competition. Visit rivals and try their products. How does your compare?
  • Test your product on friends and colleagues. Keep an open mind and don't defend your business. Write down every idea. Analyse them, and use the useful ones.
  • Join professional groups like the Entrepreneur Association so you can network with other entrepreneurs at gatherings.

The First Big Steps

Opening up your own small business can bring a host of benefits - more freedom, flexible working hours, more career opportunities and many of your dreams realised. But the sad truth is, there are more closures than start ups every year. In the US, 95 out of 100 fail within the first five years.

The good news is that statistics show small businesses started by women have a greater chance of success - experts think it's because women plan more, and take things step by step. A recent study on factors influencing career success conducted by Accenture, a global management consulting company, found that women feel juggling family support, planning and ambition is important for them to advance in their careers.

Why is planning important? Because we all know a great business starts with a great idea. But there's so much more. Often, would be entrepreneurs get so excited about their idea that they forget to find out whether it's viable or not.

"Researching your idea or talking to a neutral business advisor keeps your goals on track", says Shumita Chaudhury, 38, who owns the thriving online wedding registry, www.mychocolatemousse.com.my " When I first started, nothing happened so I got impatient. But Richard Branson's book Losing My Virginity was inspiring, as he stuck it out and found opportunities where others said there were none."