It all starts with an idea. A really great idea—yours. Your eureka moment comes when you realize you have the capacity to take that idea, hobby, or part-time activity and turn it into a full-time profitable business. You feel in your gut you have the ability to take control of your professional destiny and achieve financial success. But are you aware of the risks and challenges of owning a business? In this book you will find the key aspects of owning a business that can make or break you.
Most entrepreneurial ideas come from one of two types of folks. The first are those who have a passion for a particular field, an activity, product, or service and want to bring it to market. A fly fishing aficionado may want to open a tackle shop. A corporate sales trainer may want to go out on her own and provide training on a contractual basis.
Another group of entrepreneurs are people who are captivated by the dynamics of owning a business. These are business school majors or capitalists who are seeking profitable businesses to open and run. For these individuals the running of a business is their passion, as opposed to a particular field.
Either approach can lead to great success. Whether you're thinking about the advantages of working for yourself rather than others, or seeking various business alternatives, this book is for you.
Starting and running a business requires a great deal of knowledge. Setting realistic goals for yourself and your business—weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually—is critical to success. Build step by step, and focus on getting the business off the ground rather than getting lost in dreams of a lavish lifestyle that might come with huge financial success down the road. You won't be able to own the best hardware store in Albuquerque if you don't have a retail location and the paint, tools, and other supplies your customers will be seeking. Once you have launched your business, continue to set reachable goals, and make new plans often, checking to make sure they're realistic. Don't let the business become mundane. If you lose interest, why would your customers be interested? Longevity may come from reinventing yourself from time to time with an updated look or image, or new products or services.
Become familiar with who your customers are—their likes and dislikes. Reading trade publications (every industry has them), networking with others in the business community, joining organizations, reading or even writing blogs about your field, and communicating with your clientele are ways to stay in touch with those people who will make or break your business—your customers. Good customer relations are critical to any successful business.
To start and run a successful business you'll need a lot of information, but the basics are simple. Maintain a positive attitude, stay current with the times and market, stay focused and motivated, plan step by step, get to know your customers, and keep a close eye on all monetary transactions.
In this book you will find important information for each stage of starting and running a business. The book takes a general approach that you can apply to your individual business concept. You will find specifics on tasks such as writing a business plan, calculating the break-even point where your business becomes profitable, and using the Internet to grow your business. You may find yourself looking back at different chapters as you build your business, first as a concept, and then for real. The most important function of this book, and of all the resources you use when starting and running a business, is to answer your questions. By reading this book, you're already off to a great start!