Top tips in starting a business

Armando O. Bartolome

Posted at Sep 17 2016 12:49 PM

MANILA - Most people dream about having their own home and car, but their salary from a 9 to 5 job may not be enough to put food on the table and provide for the family.

Working for 8 hours a day and 5 days a week may not help you reach your financial goals unless the miracle of winning a lottery happens.

There is an option to put up your own business, but where do you start? It requires some amount of money to start with. Apart from that is having enough knowledge about the business that you want to set up.

Here are a few ways to guide you through starting up a business:

Identify your interest;

What is your passion? Mr. X may be successful in his business and for so many years. He was able to build a new house, buy several cars, and travel to many places. But do you have the same interests as Mr. X? 

What may be good for him may not be good for you. We tend to be envious of what others have achieved in life. But unless we put our hearts and mind into it, we can never be successful.

Make a project study.

You should be able to know if the kind of product you offer has a market. Know your target market. Know who your competitors are and identify what makes them different from the other. 

Prepare a marketing plan.

This should help you strategize on how you can be able to promote your product. You also need to identify the risks of your business and your projected income.

Knowledge

You must also be completely knowledgeable on how to handle the business you have in mind. If it requires you to attend trainings and workshops, do not have second thoughts about it.

One key to successful management of business is being able to know how to handle your employees well. Remember that your success also lies on their ability to work for you.

Some well-known and successful chefs started their way up training under seasoned chefs while they were starting. This gave them enough experience, not only on how to cook different kinds of food, but also on how to manage a restaurant and the people who work in it.

Resources

You may be up to start a business but do you have enough resources to start one? Know how much you are willing to spend to start a business and if the amount you have is enough to get you going. Be psychologically and financially prepared. Prior to even opening up your business, you need funds to secure a permit and license and to buy initial inventory and equipment.

Remember that you also need money to pay the monthly rent, to pay utilities, to pay employees’ salaries, and to buy additional supplies. Your working capital should be enough to cover the first six months of operation. 

Should you fall short on your funds, there are also other means where you may get additional funds like getting a loan from a bank. There are also microfinance institutions that can help you.

Create a team.

You need to be organized once you start with your business. Delegate people to be in charge of different tasks. If you are just running a small business, having three to five people would be enough to handle the administration, human resources, accounting and information technology. You can have more time to focus on other important things for the business if you have the right people to help you manage it.

Put up a website.

Nowadays, no matter how small a business may be, online visibility has been part of their marketing campaign. Through technology, we now aim at being recognized not only in our own locality but to a wider market. The internet plays a big role in helping business owners reach more people. Having a user-friendly website with an attractive design and information that is clearly described attracts clients.

People’s decision to buy a certain product is highly influenced by the different social media sites. Putting ads on certain social media sites can truly drive traffic into the business which eventually can turn into clients.

Cost management.

Some businesses may not require a huge place to use. Your home is the best option to cut down on your cost. Small business owners started in their own homes like those who started with soap making, candle making and Christmas decorations. But once the demand for their products increase, there is a need to move into a much bigger space.

Cash flow management.

You may not always have extra money to spend just in case there is an increase in demand for your products. Asking your clients for a downpayment may be a good option. This also puts trust between you and your clients in making sure that what has been agreed upon will be delivered on time.

Build a network.

You must be open to all options on how you may increase the number of people that will patronize your products. Attending seminars, trainings, events and workshops is a very powerful strategy. Introduce your business and inform them about your products. Make sure you have the necessary marketing materials with you.

Seek advice.

There is always a need for improvement on anything. And you might not be that aware of everything that goes around the business. Seek advice on how to make things better in your business; you should never be afraid to ask.

Adapt to the current flow.

You may have made what seems to be the perfect step by step method in building your business. But you must realize that the needs of man changes constantly and you need to adjust according to what it is currently in demand. The need for continuous learning is a must.

Entrepreneurs should know that there isn’t an easy way to success. It takes time before you can see the fruits of your labor. To expect it too soon is unrealistic. To be successful, aside from having patience and perseverance is the commitment and dedication towards the business and having the right attitude in dealing with your own employees and clients.

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For questions and more information, you may contact Armando "Butz" Bartolome by email: [email protected] or on Twitter https://twitter.com/philfranguru. His website is www.gmb.com.ph