You've probably got an idea, you may have held onto the dream of working for yourself for some time - but how do you put them altogether?
First of all you have to make sure that what you want to sell is something that other people want, and more importantly will pay enough of their hard earned dollars that you can make a profit?
Change the Dream to Reality
Well first of all you have to have that great idea fully defined. Change it from a dream to an actual product. Get a prototype made or a fully working item if you can manage and afford it. If you have no idea what to sell then go and find something that no one else has but everyone wants. Sounds difficult doesnt it? Well look to your abilities and interests first. Go and visit some forums, do some research on the internet and have a look on Yahoo Answers, eBay and similar and see what questions people as asking and what is being sold. You should get some ideas here.
Does Anyone Want It?
Now you need to find out if anyone will buy your brand new widget. Go back to those forums, look at the relevant magazines and newspapers, watch the news etc. Ask people what they thing - not your family and friends they wont be brutally honest with you. Researching the demand for your widget is very important. Without demand you dont have a viable business. Stay in the niches and out of saturated markets or markets that are dominated my mega companies. You dont have the marketing money to take on the big boys just yet, but many people have made their fortunes with niche products that make people say "Now why didnt I think of that?".
Working The Figures
Now you need to ensure that you are successful - so you have to work the figures. You need to work your potential profit, your overheads as well as out the ROI - return on investment. Once youve done this you know whether you have a viable business or not.
Now You Need To Work Hard
Starting a business is hard - very hard and you are going to have to be willing to work long hours. If you are used to be in the corporate world you are used to having people to do things - in your new business that person is you. Work hard and soon you will have someone else around to do the stuff you dont want to. Just keep hold of the reins!
Taking Calculated Risks
Most entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks. This does not mean that you enter a market with eyes closed hoping for success. I have said calculated risks. You need to plan your business carefully, but be ready to take advantage of opportunities that you may see. Similarly you need to know when not to take risks and run for your plan B when problems arise, as they will.
Lastly you need to organised, such that your customers get their products as they order them, your bills are paid and your money banked. You need to be organised enough to continually build your business and chase new customers and markets.
If you follow these ideas you are well on the way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Good luck.
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Lee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites where she provides advice and assistance for the business entrepreneur. She is a published author - her books Entrepreneurs Apprentice and How Much Does It Cost To Start A Business?
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