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Starting a Business? 10 Steps You Cannot Ignore

These are ten tips that I have used myself to start a number of online businesses over the past decade.

1.) Like a boyscout, be honest, trustworthy, and professional in all business dealings. In a small business your reputation counts for a lot. Customers will either think well of you and spread the word, or think poorly of you and trash your business – which would you rather have?

2.) While still at your original job and before you quit to go full-time at your new business you should be finding as many customers and potential customers as possible. Get going on all marketing efforts because this is what will dictate the success or failure of your business assuming you have a viable business to start with.

3.) Business research. Ideally you will run almost every important part of your business through Google to see what everyone else in the same situation is doing with their business. When you are piloting your own small business you will need to be an expert at everything after a fast period of time where you’re learning everything you need to know. Joining business groups in your niche can be a big help. Online forums covering your niche is also a great place to get free information from people that want to help as they’re probably not in direct competition with you.

4.) Follow passions. I’m talking in this case about doing business in a niche that you love. This may well be the prime determinant of whether your business succeeds or not. If you love what you do you are more likely to put the required effort into it and make it a winner because it is the ideal business for you!

5.) Don’t break the bank! A clue that you’re not going to make it and your business will fail is that you have already spent most or all of the money by the time you are ready to open to the public. That’s a very bad sign. It’s a sign that you need to keep working at your ‘other job’ too. Don’t quit too soon.

6.) Don’t walk alone. You, and every small business owner I have met – including myself, needs help. If, during all my website development over the last 12 years I was responsible for doing everything – I wouldn’t have enjoyed the success I have. In fact, I’d probably not have been a web developer at all. Find help. You need it. We all do.

7.) Business plans are not optional. They are necessary whether you are going to a lender for funds or not. You’ll need it to guide your business and to bring others on-board. Your business plan will be the in your face reality that you may need confronted with because many businesses are started on dreams. The business plan can help lead you to the place where dreams and reality mesh.

8.) Outsource tasks and entire projects you don’t want to do, and that you’re not competent doing. Outsource trivial tasks that take your time. Your time should be spent keeping an eye on product development, sales, and marketing, and managing customer service.

9.) Locate more funding resources than you think you need. Have some backups you can use if you reach a place where you cannot continue without more funding. Many businesses that would pull through the hard-times get stuck in a place where the funding dries up and the entire business dies. Don’t get caught in that place.

10.) Find a good accountant, lawyer, and business advisor. Stay up on taxes and other legal points that could sink your business. Lawyers are good for advice on certain things, and business advisors like at the Small Business Administration are good for general advice.

4 Organizational Strategies For Increasing Your Business Productivity

Businesses require coordination and organization to function well. You can’t start a business without a plan that works for you. With the competitive drive that businesses have, you might be taken aback by the quick decisions and the risks that you’d have to take when running a business. Organizational strategies can help you maximize your business productivity. If you can put together your business in an organized manner, you will be surprised at how efficient your business runs.

1. Assess the Weaknesses and Strengths of Your Business

When you take financial reports and other details on your business performance, the first thing you should do is find the weak points of your business. Are your supplies profiting fewer than they should? Do you need more human resources for your business? Which departments are you profiting most from?

Organize a plan to patch up the weaknesses and improve on the strengths in the next month. You should always address your weaknesses first so you don’t introduce any more problems into your business. Match your plans on improvement with the weaknesses. This technique will allow you to enhance both points at the same time, leveling the playing ground. If you properly plan things, your improvements on your business’ strong points would correlate with those of weaker ones.

2. Research on the Market

Your business can’t survive without its niche. You should always be up-to-date on the market’s demands so you know what to give. This organizational strategy opens up an intimate relationship between a business and its customer. Keep an open eye at all times so you can take note of trends and other business opportunities.

3. Plan Ahead

Preemptive planning is important as an organizational strategy. Once you’ve assessed your business’ standing in the market, introduce new projects and updates for the next few months. Schedule your projects effectively so that you can adjust to the market’s demands. When you plan ahead, you prepare for whatever business problems that may occur. You should work on overcoming these obstacles so that your business can benefit from the proper planning schemes.

4. Re-Invent Your Business Plan

Once you’ve taken all the other things into account, it’s time to re-invent your business plan. Probably one of the most important organizational strategies there is, when you configure your current business plan, you welcome new opportunities for your business.

The same plan may work for a couple of years, but it is always good to introduce new things once in a while. Check for any improvements that you may impose in your business plan to bring more profit and consequently, more productivity. If you tap into new resources, always make sure that your business plan reflects these changes.

Organizational strategies can help your business prosper in the market. It starts from assessing your business performance. After that, you make plans for the next months after researching your market. Once you have everything organized, it’s time to re-invent your business plan to adapt to these changes, increasing your business productivity.