Tag Archives: starting a business

Running your own store is a difficult job. It is also very rewarding, which is why some people choose to accept the challenge. A bakery, however, is different from most shops and stores. How do you find out if owning and running a bakery is right for you? Let's look at some questions you should ask yourself before starting a bakery. Also, we'll highlight some things to consider.

Test Yourself: Is A Bakery Right For You?

It's important to know your strengths and weaknesses before starting a bakery. Have a look at these statements:

  • I like talking to people.
  • I understand food and I like bakery products and baking.
  • I understand what people want.
  • I can adapt to changes in people's habits.
  • I'm creative.
  • I can motivate people and be a leader.
  • I'm good at keeping things clean.
  • I don't mind working when other people have off.
  • I can live with a changing income.
  • My family approves of the idea.
  • I'm good at planning and organizing.

If your response to most of these statements is a solid "absolutely" or "that's me" then you should continue with your plans of starting a bakery.

How are you going to start?

There are different approaches you can take when starting a bakery business. You can buy an existing store. This way you can get started faster since you're buying an established business. You'll get all the machines, tools and premises. Also, the customers will most likely already know you. Another option is to join a franchise. It's not the most common way to start a bakery, but it does come with certain advantages: You can start your business with a solid brand behind you and you may receive tools and training that you need to run your bakery. The third option is to build your business from scratch. This is probably the most rewarding way of creating your business because you get to influence all decisions right from the beginning. You get to decide everything, unlike with a franchise, but mistakes could be expensive and the learning curve may be steep.

Stand Out From The Crowd

In any industry with competitors it's important to stand out. This is true for bakeries as well. Ask yourself how your shop will offer something different from other bakeries. Why will customers choose your bakery over the one around the corner? These days bakeries sell other things than bread. Consider selling sandwiches when the morning rush is over and specialize in desserts, coffee or tea. There are many ways to stand out. You can also offer special take-away options for your busy customers.

Location Is Everything

Alright, maybe location is not everything, but location is very important for a bakery. You need to study the surroundings before deciding on a location. Is the area full of people? Do people take their time to look at shops? Is it a nice area? Who live and work in the area? It's also a good idea to look at what other shops are in the area. Other specialty shops in the area like a butchers and a greengrocer could be an advantage to your shop.

Financing

Your can't start a bakery without money. This issue can also be solved in various ways: Saving money is an option for some people. investors could be an option two or getting a loan from your bank. In any case you should create a budget for your company and also establish how much money you'll need to start your business. Then talk to your bank or family about the options.

Good luck on your baking business adventures!

Diana is the owner of Baking with Love, a bakery specializing in celebration cakes and bespoke cakes in Denmark.

Apart from creating wonderful celebration cakes and wedding cakes, Diana has a passion for entrepreneurialism and start-up businesses.

Visit http://www.bakingwithlove.dk/en/ for more info on Diana and her cake business.

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What and How to Start

Most people who decide to learn how to start a business first develop a plan that will produce a product or service that they will either own or represent. Those who have the better chance to be successful are very passionate about that product or service. In other words, they will not quit when they encounter obstacles to the success that they have planned. Many business owners consider their business to be a continuous learning experience, or a journey. Aside from appealing to those who appreciate adventure, that view clearly communicates that no plan can be complete enough to predict every challenge that a business owner will face. Whether planned well or if challenges are only a lucky few and easily managed, all businesses succeed in order to survive. The Federal Tax code recognizes a business to be legitimate if it is profitable for three out of every five years.

Learn by Doing

The Federal Tax code is an excellent and understandable guide to consult when planning a business. Specifically, IRS Publication 17 acquaints business owners of every sort on how to conduct accounting that is acceptable for Federal income tax purposes. It will help you to appreciate some advantages and pitfalls of certain kinds of businesses. Physical products must be created. That requires resources, an assembly line, employees, a physical location, packaging, a market, and a way to ship the product. Depending on the product, specific Federal, State, and Local regulations and licenses may be required. An accountant, a lawyer, an office manager, and other professionals may be necessary. If you produce more product than you sell in a year, you may have to pay a local jurisdiction an inventory tax on top of the cost of producing too much product. This is a lot to take in for a business owner who has never owned a business before.

An Information Product

Most businesses require promotion, the written word, to acquaint customers with their product. Since that is a necessary step in business ownership, why not begin the business with an information product? Especially when the information is in electronic form, there are no raw materials, no assembly line, no physical location, and there is very little need to hire an employee. An e-book can be written, promoted, and sold inexpensively, yet profitably. Plus, it is a repeatable product. Write one, learn from it, and write a better one. Continue to promote and sell all of them, for they are a product line of the writer. You may not see how writing a book or any information product will support your business plan. But, you will learn to write, to promote, and to handle cash flow by practicing with information that is crafted and sold as a product. The written word will support most types of businesses. Your starter business can evolve from an e-document business into something more complex. You can evolve from the owner of a starter business to become the experienced owner of a major business. Try it.

Tony is a fiction writer and independent publisher. He released and published the first book of a three-book drama series: A Voice from New Mill Creek: The Methodists, as an e-book in September, 2012. In April, 2013, he released his first romance novel, Goodnight Paige. In July, 2013, Tony released a guidebook titled How Tony Wrote and Published Two Novels. https://www.facebook.com/tony.grayson.752 andhttp://graysonta84.wordpress.com/

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Step One: Have an Idea or Get One

You heard it before, all you need it a dollar and a dream. Well that dream is the idea that starts us down the road to entrepreneurship. If you have an idea then skip this step and go to the next. If you don't have an idea then you need to generate one. Easier said than done but here is a few ways others have tried.

Ask everyone you meet, (and I mean everyone you meet for 30 days continuously), "Do you have a problem that you would pay to get solved?" Write down all of the answer no matter if no matter if you think you can solve them or not. Think of this step as brainstorming. Remember in a storm, things are flying everywhere and it's chaotic. Decide what the top twenty ideas are and rank them in terms of the frequency they were suggested; next skills you believe you have to accomplish them; and finally how easy they are to accomplish. Remember to save the ones that didn't make the list, you never know the pearls that can be found there, after you have honed your entrepreneurial skills. Now you have 20 ideas, but working on all of these would take a massive amount of time, so you are going to reduce these to five. Once again you are going to use the people you meet and the people around you. Ask them to rank the ideas according to what they believe will best suit you. Don't be afraid to talk about your ideas with people in the beginning because that can give you a reputation of beings a guy with ideas or a guy who is always asking questions. This allows you to spend time with people that are like-minded. Gather all the votes for each idea, then add between 3 to 5 points to each idea you like and take the top 5.

Don't spend the majority of your time convincing other you are right, just find others that think like you and work with them. Once you have your 5 ideas start assessing them. Go to next step (Step Two).

Turn to Google and Google it. Put something into a Google search like, "small businesses to start". Once you have a list of about 50 small businesses to start, then reduce the list to 20. Same as above; rank the ideas by the number of skills you believe you have to accomplish them and also how easy they are to accomplish. As above, you should save the ones that didn't make the cut. With your 20 ideas, you have to further reduce them to 5 ideas. To reduce you will have to utilize the people around you. Ask them to rank the ideas according to what they believe will best suit you. Gather all the votes for each idea, then add between 3 to 5 points to each idea you like and take the top 5. Now let's go to Step Two.

Step Two: Assess Your Idea; Talk to People about It

In this step the 5 ideas from step one will be boiled down to one idea, this is your dream and in the next step you will have to find a dollar. Hone and refine your idea. You need to reduce those 5 ideas down to one. There are three things you have to keep in mind when assessing your ideas and they are set up cost, maintenance and profitability. When assessing set up cost, figure out all the cost associated with set up like any regulatory fees or licenses or zoning requirements.

Step Three: Start with Little or No Money

You might be asking yourself how the hell, do I start a business with no money or little money. Start by looking at the parts of needed for a business to start. The essential ingredients of a business are manpower, capital, product, marketing, financial management, and distribution. How do you accomplish these things when you are starting with nothing? Here are some ways to do this. There is no specific order in which you can try the following or any rule that says you cannot combine the different ways. Crowd sourcing funding, network to find people with the skills you need to start and are willing to invest their time.

Step Four: Create or Assess Your Business Model

The good thing about get to this point is that you have done the first two parts of creating or assessing your business model. You should know the purpose of the business at this point and you know it's more specific that make a profit or get customers. You know what problem you r business solves. You should have a fair idea who your customers are. Also you should know what your business's offerings are. All that is left to figure out is your marketing strategies, the specific steps you move a customer through to get them to the end where they pay you and last but not least, your policies. Policies can make or break a business before it begins. You should have similar policies found in other business like yours but review them carefully before implementing.

So there you have it. It's clear as mud. There is more to these four steps as you will learn but the important things is to start moving and continue till you get through all steps. Happy entrepreneurial trails. Work smart and prosper.

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Business is not just about the number of hours you work or how many hurdles you overcome. It is about achieving your goals in the shortest time possible without compromising on the quality of your product or service while maintaining healthy margins. Beginning and sustaining a small business entity requires knowledge, motivation and innovation.

Most entrepreneurs take minute factors into consideration when starting a small business. Doing this makes them waste a lot of time, and time is one of the most important factors in a business, as it has a high opportunity cost. The following are the critical steps to be followed to get this rolling in the least time possible:

1. Choose your business opportunity

Identifying what to invest in can be very frustrating, especially when sifting through the numerous, viable opportunities. It is important to choose something that resonates with your passions and personality. Most importantly, it is the skills you possess that will make or break your start up.

2. Draw up a business plan

This will enable you to gain deeper insight of the workings of the sector you have just chosen. It also helps you understand the financial requirements and the competitive landscape. Startups carry a fifty percent chance of making more profits than unplanned businesses. Generally, coming up with a business plan simply makes excellent sense.

3. Come up with the startup capital

To start any enterprise, you have to invest. Coming up with funds for startup is a different journey for each and every individual. Ideas such as setting up a consultancy firm, normally require a couple of thousand dollars to set up a website and print business cards. In contrast, a retail store may need funds in excess of a hundred thousand dollars.

4. Choose a name

Names can make or break a business. Choosing the correct name can help clients in distinguishing you from your competitors. Not only does the correct name help in positively branding your company, it also helps in giving your customers a reason to seek your products and services. Think of something that is easy for someone to remember.

5. Outline a structure.

Choosing the most appropriate structure is a critical decision. Ranging from sole proprietorship to the renowned limited liability company, your choice of business structure will directly affect the taxes you pay, your finance ability and your business liability. It is not recommended to lay too much emphasis on your final business structure because your structure may evolve as your business does.

Learn step by step how to start your business online. After using these resources, I was able to double my income every week. This book will tell you everything you need to know in order to start. Click here http://www.top-investment-insights.com

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In our law office we advise LOTS of startup companies and we are often asked what actions new entrepreneurs can take to avoid some of the early pitfalls or "rookie mistakes" that can seriously hurt your new business venture. These are our 3 favorite tips for new companies.

Tip #1 - Make Sure Your Clients Can Reach You

When was the last time you left a recorded message, and then simply waited around to be called back? The bottom line is that customers and clients must be able to reach you quickly, and are not going to wait. Many of your prospects have Googled you (and your competition) and are working their way down a list.

If missing a call means missing a sale, I tell all of our service-industry clients to invest in a reliable and affordable answering service. By using a call-answering service, they usually obtain more conversions and higher customer service satisfaction by ensuring someone is there to "listen" to their client's concerns instead sending the calls to an answering machine.

Tip #2 - Solidify Your Marketing Plan

Before you launch your product to your target clients, you should design and implement a marketing plan that addresses this fundamental question: Why should our customers use our products/services instead of our competitor's? If your management team doesn't have a rock-solid answer to this question, you need to rethink your strategy. Being able to clearly identify what sets your company a part from the competition is the foundation of a good marketing plan.

As the newest vendor in the marketplace no one will know about your product unless you tell them about it. You do not want your great product to sit on a shelf due to insufficient marketing.

Tip #3 - Don't Do It All Yourself

As a new business owner, you need to clearly identify which tasks you should do yourself, and which tasks should be assigned to a licensed professional. Your company's bottom line often depends on your availability to either make the products or perform the services. Guard your time fiercely and delegate or outsource those unprofitable time-stealing tasks.

For example, it is not uncommon for start-ups to be faced with several legal hurdles to begin operation. From contracts to compliance, you should consult with a business attorney that can advise you on what legal matters he or she should handle on your behalf to ensure your start-up gets the best terms and stays within the law.

Some start-ups fail to launch because they didn't seek the right permit or license, or failed to successfully navigate the local political minefield. An experienced business attorney can research such matters and (objectively) tell you where you might run into trouble.

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One of the things I find prevents budding mumpreneurs getting going is worrying that the small business idea they have is 'silly' or that people just won't want what they have to offer.

Well, first of all, the beauty of having a small business is that you can change things as you go - it's all about refining what you offer and trying to give people what they really want, and will pay you for. For most of us, that is a continual journey - you keep tweaking and improving what you offer so that a) you feel great about the value you're giving your clients and b) you attract more of them!

But it would be a tad irresponsible to throw yourself into something without having done a little bit of research into whether the service you're going to offer is along the right lines of what people want to start with.

Most of my clients know they should do some kind of research but don't have a clue where to start (or skip it because they think it will cost money they don't have).

Here's the good news: in the age of the internet, you can do a good chunk (and as much as you need to get started, in my opinion) from the comfort of your own sofa - and for free!

All you need are some keywords for the type of service you're thinking about offering (or your 'Promise' as it's known on our campus!) and an internet connection.

So here we go - my top 3 tips for checking whether there is a market for your small business idea (and for tweaking it to fit what people DO want!):

1. Check your keywords

The fact that so many people use internet search engines (rather than the Yellow Pages, say) to find what they're looking for nowadays, means they're a great place for us to start.

The tool I use, at the moment, to research what people are looking for is Keywordspy - although I also use Google's Keyword Planner Tool from time to time as well, depending on what I want to find out.

Keywordspy is a website that gives you insight into activity on the web - you can pay for detailed information but the free access should be enough for what we need here.

Simply navigate to the keywordspy website, type your keywords or phrase into the search bar, choose the 'keywords' button, choose 'United Kingdom' from the list of countries and hit search.

You will be shown a list of the words and phrases that are related to the words you have entered, and that are currently being searched for by others on internet search engines - along with the estimated number of monthly searches.

This shows whether or not people are actually showing an interest in the topic you have chosen. It may also help you narrow down what you decide to do for people (or which people you decide to do it for!) when you see the most popular searched phrases.

Make a note of those words and phrases that have a monthly volume of between, say, 1,000 - 18,000 searches.

While you need to know there are people searching for the information/services/products you want to offer, if the search results come back in the 100,000s, your keywords are probably too broad and you need to try narrow down the field a bit by being more specific. This is something I also use to help people identify their 'niche'.

2. Check out the competition

Many mums are worried about having to compete with other businesses and they will waste months - or years - trying to come up with a small business idea that no-one else has ever thought of, because they think it will be easier if they have no competition.

Well, I have news for you - this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when deciding what business to start, not least because the chances are you will never make that discovery and, therefore, never take the first step.

The chances of you thinking of a brand new business that no-one in the world has EVER thought of are virtually non-existent. And you don't need to.

In fact, you actually want to pick a business that other people ARE already active in - because it means that there is a market for it. If no-one else is bothering with a certain type of business, there's probably a good reason.

The best thing you can do is adapt a small business idea that is already proven to be working and put your own unique twist on it. Believe me - I'm an accountant by profession and we (I'm afraid to say) are a dime a dozen! I had to put my own stamp on the service I provided to attract people to switch to my practice from elsewhere. It's not hard, you just need to find out what people actually want.

Think of the new businesses/products you've seen or heard of recently. you can see good examples on the shopping channel infomercials (very successful marketing method by the way); the H2O Steam Cleaner (yes, we've got one!) - it's a mop. The Insanity workout - it's an exercise DVD. We've got that too!

They are all variations of, or improvements on, things that have been around for a long time. No-one's re-inventing the wheel and you don't have to either. They are simply providing solutions to the specific problems they know their ideal clients are experiencing.

So another factor to consider, when you're looking at your keywords on http://www.keywordspy.com is the competition. How many PPC (Pay Per Click) advertisers are there for the words you've entered? What are they paying per click? Ideally you want to be coming up with words/phrases where people are paying £1-£2 per click.

Any more than this, you'll probably end up paying a lot for your marketing, and again, you'll want to think about focusing on becoming a bit more 'niched'. Any less than this and the demand may not actually be that great which is why advertisers aren't prepared to pay much to come high up in the search engine results.

3. See what people are writing about

Finding out what books have been written about your chosen topic is a great way to judge public interest - most people won't go to the trouble of writing, publishing and marketing a book without having already done extensive research into whether people are interested in their topic. It's a big investment.

These authors have already gone to the pain and expense of market research - and we can use this to our advantage.

So go to http://www.amazon.com and search for books relating to the kind of business you want to start or service you want to offer. Chances are you will find SOME books - see what areas they focus on and read the reviews to see what people think/like/want to see more of.

If there are hundreds of books on the subject, think about what particular area you could focus on - again, what 'niche' can you become an expert in?

Amazing Business Creation mentor Emma Hague teaches mums around the UK how to create a work-from-home business they LOVE with confidence & clarity. Get her FREE PDF "5 Signs You're Ready To Kiss your Boss Goodbye After Maternity Leave" at http://www.mumpreneur-training.co.uk/pdf

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Moving into business can offer you an incredibly exciting challenge. The pay-offs can be high and job satisfaction is enormous, it take one wonder why everyone isn't doing it. Perhaps what frightens people is the risk element. Being employed by someone else appears to avoid that and has more secured working life. But, we should ask a question: Which is more risky, being in a job where you may find yourself out of work next week, or becoming self-employed where you manage and minimize the risks yourself?

A frequently quote figure is that 90 per cent of businesses fail within the five years of trading. What they don't tell you is that 80 per cent of those people who become self-employed stay successfully self-employed. In the USA they back this up and say that you are not a true entrepreneur until you have had three business failures! But the possibility of failure can be minimized. A successful business depends largely on good planning and thorough ground work.

There are many sources of help available to assist you in starting your own business. Begin by taking a trip to your local library and find out:

 

  • Name and address of relevant trade associations.
  • Your local Business Link addresses - a one-stop shop for business help and advice.
  • Address of your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Books about setting up and running your own business.

 

Also:

 

  • Visit branches of as many different banks as possible. Most have free information packs about setting up in business.
  • You may be eligible for financial assistance from the government, for example, you are currently unemployed.

 

The above have touched only lightly on some of the aspects which you need to consider in detail before going into business. By finding out more, researching and planning well, you can avoid many of the pitfalls which assail other new enterprises. Yours needn't be one of them.

So, what's your dream business going to be?

As an example, let us review the accommodation business.

Are you a home owner? If so, you could already have a potential business to hand. Your house is an asset, but it could also be providing you with an income.

There are many different ways in which to let rooms: short term, bed and breakfast, long term or lodging (i.e. providing meals).

And, of course, there are different markets to tap into: travelers, students, holiday makers, foreign students as well as people on business.

But before making a final decision, think carefully about your location. It will be useless targeting the business market if you live in a small backwater. Are you close to a tourist area, business complex, college/university, or are you on a thorough route for travelers?

All this research will help you make the best decision about where to rent. It will also help you to work out how best to advertise by word of mouth, in news agent's windows, college notice boards, in local papers, through your Chamber of Commerce or through your local tourist board.

This will appeal if:

 

  • You enjoy meeting people.
  • You like housework.
  • You're organized.

 

Advantages (depending on the type of letting)

 

  • A regular income for relatively little work.
  • Free time to follow other pursuits (even restart another business).
  • You can choose your customers.

 

Disadvantages (again, depending on the type of letting)

 

  • Loss of privacy
  • Intermittent business with bed and breakfast accommodation.
  • You may be affected by peak and off-peak seasons.

 

Future possibilities

 

  • Build extensions to accommodate more guests.
  • Move out of the property and rent it out as a whole or convert it into flats.
  • Buy other properties or ongoing businesses.

 

Happy Homestay is a safe, clean and affordable 3-storey duplex for short term rooms or house rental near Penang, Malaysia prime business area. If you are traveling to Penang, Malaysia for business purposes, we offer an incredibly low introductory rate/price of our rooms.

Visit http://www.happyhomestaymy.com to discover best deals for homestay in Penang, Malaysia.

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Is the Home Business Legitimate?

When someone is looking for a home business, one of the things that they worry about is whether or not it is legitimate. After all, there are a lot of scams out there on the Internet that promise a lot but deliver very little. So how do you know whether or not a home business is something that is real, or just a way to get your money?

Research -

One of the best ways to know whether or not a home business is legitimate is by doing research. Go on the Better Business Bureau's website and see if it's listed there, and how long it has been a member of the Better Business Bureau. You also want to see if there are any complaints about it. This is one of the most reliable ways to see if the business is legitimate.

Talk -

Another way to find out if the business venture you are considering is a good one is to talk to others who have done it. But only do this after you have checked the BBB website for the business, because the Better Business Bureau has nothing to gain or lose. It's very important to check out anything that looks too good to be true, because it probably is. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who enjoy taking advantage of those who are too trusting. So stay one step ahead of them and make sure that you find out everything you can about a business before signing up.

Setting Up Your Home Office

Before you start your business in your home, the one thing that you should do is to designate a place for you to work.

The area that you work in should be free of distractions and have a laptop or desktop computer, some furniture, a cell phone, wi-fi, and, if possible, a bathroom. This way you will have everything you need until you take your lunch break. Something to remember is that you are 'at work' in this area. An ideal solution is to have every distraction taken care of. This means that you have someone looking after your child, if possible. If your child is younger than school age, hire someone to look after them during the day. This may seem strange since you are working at home, but would you bring an infant or a child into your office with you? Probably not - your boss wouldn't allow it. Having someone look after them while you are working ensures that you will get everything done during business hours.

If your children are school age and old enough to comprehend, show them that you are working, so that they know you should only be disturbed if it's an emergency. If they are still young, have someone watch them after school. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you are talking to someone on the phone they won't take you seriously if they hear a crying baby in the office area, or kids arguing. Make yourself be a professional so that people know they can trust you.

With Your Home Business - How to Dress for Success

We have all seen the advertisements on the Internet about working in your pajamas, setting your own hours, and other things that entice us to want to work in our home. Even if you are not going somewhere, you are a professional person that is running your business from your home

The first thing that you should keep in mind is that you should stay away from working in your pajamas. If you are in your pajamas, what are you thinking about? You are thinking about sleeping and that does not inspire you to work you business. It just creates no inspiration to do anything for you or your business and then you've accomplished nothing. Instead of wearing your pajamas, wear something that would be considered business casual. Even if you are the only one that sees you dressed that way, it will make you feel like you are working instead of just doing something from home. Something that those who work from home run into is that their friends and family don't think that they have a real job because they are sitting home in their pajamas and slippers, while the rest of the work force goes to work in suits and skirts. If you dress in business casual and someone does stop by, it will show that you are serious about your job, and that you have a real job. It will make you feel better and it will make them feel better as well. When you look like a confident business owner, you will feel like one as well.

Keeping Schedules in your Home Business

When you are starting up a home business, it's easy to ignore the alarm clock and get up when you want to get up. You are your own boss, you should be able to keep the hours that you want, right?

Wrong! This is a misconception that many who are going into the home business have. It is true that you are your own boss, but if you work from 9 to 5 one day, and then don't get up until noon the next day, people won't take you seriously. When you are setting up your home business, the first thing that you should do is to pick a schedule and stick to it. This way your customers know when they can reach you. This is good for business, and will help keep your customers coming back.

When you sit down to plan out your business hours, figure out a starting time and a closing time, and factor in time for lunch as well. If you were working in an office environment, you would take a lunch break so set an acceptable amount of time to be at lunch and stick to it. You don't have a time clock that you have to go by, but you will have customers who are counting on you to be available during the hours that you set. Just as it's important to stick to your time for starting, it's just as important to stick to your time when you will be closed for the day. It's easy to want to check your email, but unless you are talking to a customer when the time comes, don't spread yourself too thin by going over time.

Till next time!

Much Success!
Keith A. Holloman CEO/Founder
D I Y Daily Income /DIYDI BIZ NETWORK

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