May 01

Ideas on Starting Your Own Business

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Starting a business can actually be simple. The difficulty lies in sustaining it and making it grow. I’m certain that many of you have seen so many people fail in this endeavor. Some say that persistence, common sense, and prudence will help anyone succeed in business. I disagree. The market has now become quite complicated and competition has become more difficult that it will take more than guts and instinct to make money. Then again, you don’t need a business degree to make it. I believe what is important is acquiring all the possible knowledge on an industry that inspires you.

What do I mean when I say inspire? The most common mistake that entrepreneurs make when deciding which industry to enter is that most of them choose because they either see that a lot of other people are making money from it or even if they are familiar with it, they don’t study the market well enough to know whether it will be successful or not. How do you know an industry inspires you? Simple — you know exactly what products or services the market will patronize, the price that will work, and you have a unique idea that will cut you above the rest of the competitors. And of course, you have full confidence in the product or service that you use it yourself.

Then there is the pencil pushing that you have to do to make your business plan. First, check out the market. How many people are currently patronizing the competition? Is the competition making money? Which market segment does your potential business cater to? What is the priority rank of your product or service in terms of customer spending? What about the frequency of recurrence? How often will a customer purchase or avail of the product or service?

And finally, it would be good if you can get your hands on actual data from competitors. For a financial analyst like me, annual financial statements will be very helpful in the evaluation. Of course, this should be complemented by information about the companies, news clippings, market data, and details on their products or services.

When you have gone through all of these, I believe that is when you start to have a gut feel on how to work on the business. If you did your homework well, trusting your gut feel makes good sense because you have equipped your senses with vital information.

Actually, it would take a lot more than bits and pieces of ideas that I have mentioned here to start a business. Numerous books have been written about it. Most entrepreneurs have even taken their inspiration from these books. And yet, many have failed. What does that tell us then? Nobody can actually put the entire concept in a box. I want to start my own business. What do I do then? I cannot ensure success. I just need to remember some important tips given by the successful and the not-so-successful people. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Expect the unexpected. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Riding with training wheels is not a bad idea. And make sure the net is securely fastened before you walk the tightrope.

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