Tips and Tricks For the Budding Entrepreneur

Owning a small business appear to be the norm in these cold, rainy, dog days of recession.  Budding entrepreneurs in search of their share of the national wealth usually are stymied by the usual obstacles:

Where to start
What to Sell
Who to sell to
Initial Capital
Ongoing Management

Solutions abound for these problems and my intention is to present some of them in this article.

The best place to incubate a small business is inside a well developed business plan.  By the time an entrepreneur hammers out a business plan, they would have identified a niche market, a source of starting capital, their goals and aspirations and a well heeled accounting method among other things.  Usually this point of entry is one of the most daunting tasks,  which is why the US SCORE organization should be the first place to go when the idea first presents itself.  SCORE works with the US Small Business Administration.  In Canada, Service Canada has a paid mentoring program for qualified entrepreneurs with salable ideas.

Products come and go, but the market never really collapses.  Usually an entrepreneur’s niche market will point them in the right direction, but a niche market sometimes encompasses a huge list of different products.  One of the most profitable niche market these days seem to be the health and wellness niche market.  Making a particular choice in this market can be  a very daunting task because of the large number of opportunities available.  The solution is mostly research and networking.  Before presenting yourself to the SCORE organization or Service Canada, make sure you have researched at least ten and picked at least three products in your niche market.

Finding a target market is another very important step in the small business development process.  Usually marketing by means of a variety of advertising methods does the magic for many.  Word of mouth advertising amongst friends and family, invitation to opening day, flier distribution and incessant networking will make a lot of difference between success and failure.  One very useful tool that can make a huge difference is the  US Business Matchmaking organization.  They hold matchmaking seminars across the US year round and their agenda is to match small business owners with government and big business for the purpose of bidding for contract work.  This organization can be contacted by means of the links in the resource area.

No business enterprise can be taken off the drawing board into the marketplace without the investment of an initial capital.  Goes with the saying that you need money to make money.  Depending on the type of business and the determination of the would be business owner, this usually should not be a big problem.  There are organizations in the US like the SBA and in Canada like the Business Dev elopement Corporation which guarantees small business loans assuming the business owner has twenty-five percent of the initial capital in a mix of cash and assets and a good credit standing.

Small business enterprises exist in a highly competitive environment and the probability of survival beyond their first year of operation is three out of four according to Statistics Canada.  The odds improve the longer they remain in operation and only if they survive beyond the sixth year may they pop open the bottle of champagne.  What this means is that, what is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

 Ongoing management ideas for a lasting business should include absolute devotion to its success during its incubation period, meaning working longer hours than usual, reinvesting your profits, maintaining great customer service,  diversifying into other areas as much as possible, forming partnerships where necessary, retaining and keeping a good accounting system, taking very low remuneration, keeping a very low profile and never underestimating  the power and taking advantage of regular networking events.


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