10 Steps to Starting a Small Business

IntroductionIf you are looking for the most effective way of starting a small business without spending a lot of wasted money and time, this article is a great place to start. The advice you get from this article may be a totally new way of approaching your new small business. As I provide each of the following steps, I will give you very good reasons for why this method is the best. I provide business planning services for many new small businesses. In so doing, a business plan is often an essential aspect of getting funding.The Secret To Starting A Successful Small BusinessLet me tell you the one single factor that will assist you in obtaining funding – Customers! If you already have customers before you go to banks, friends, colleagues or relatives for money, I assure you that your efforts in raising money will be greatly reduced. I cannot tell you how many times that I have been really excited about new business ideas that my customers have brought to me. I can tell you this though, that the banks see dozens of new business ideas every day. Dozens… Their excitement level is measure a little differently.How To Get Small Business FundingYou know what the only thing banks get excited about?… Money and only money. The closer your are to making profitable sales when you ask for funding is the only way that you are going to get heads nodding behind walnut desks. Imagine yourself going to a bank dressed in your best business outfit for a loan. Think about how truly confident you would be in asking for this money, when you know that you already have the names of customers that would purchase your product now if you just had funding.How To Get Customers Before You Have A BusinessesSo you may be wondering how will you have customers before you have a business. The answer is that nearly any business that you can conceive of now has informational products that can be purchased on the internet. Whether it is a farm, auto shop, hair salon, or home improvement. These businesses all have audio or video or e-book products that can be sold on the internet that complement these businesses. How about a video product that you sell to women entitled “How to Maintain Your Hair Between Hair Appointments,” or audio podcast program series for farmers to listen to on “Advanced Crop Yield Methods” while they are busy on the tractor. All of these can be created and sold easily on the internet with a simple website. So the idea is to move into the info business first, then formalize the business into its fuller implementation after proof of concept.So let me me summarize the 10 steps to starting a small business:10 Steps To Starting A Small Business1. Market ResearchWhat is market research? Simply stated, market research is knowing that the number of customers you think are out there for your product really exist. To translate your product into customers, it is only essential that you identify the keywords that characterize your customers’ Google searches. You can easily get these numbers free through the use of the internet. Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool (adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal?defaultView=2) is easy to use and after you get a free account, it is awesome in getting quantitative data to know 1) how many people are looking for what you want to sell 2) how many competitors already are out there. Once you have a website done in the next step, you can use the brand new Google Search Based Keyword Tool (google.com/sktool/#) to refine your market research. If you have a website type in your url and your keywords.2. Build WebsiteYou website initially needs to do only two things – 1) let others know that you exist and who you are 2) communicate to them that you know their needs in terms of what are their pains and desires and how you product is absolutely the best solution for them in the world. Your website does not need to cost more than $1,000 and can be put together in a matter of days (not weeks or months). If you want to do it yourself, you can use Word Press or call us.3.Traffic and PromotionUse Google Analytics to track the number of visitors to your website to ensure that you are getting the attention to your message that they deserve. Before you get people to your site, you will need to do some promotion to ensure that this happens. There are a lot of ways to do this, but having the website 1) optimized for on-page manageable factors (meta tags, title, attractive web address (url)) and 2) getting a large number of back links to your website are the most controllable factors.4. Build List of Customers – Email opt-inWhen customers get to your website, this is where you want to get the big prize – the customer list. In order to get a list of customers, you offer them a free written, audio or video product that provides some truly valuable information to them in exchange for the their e-mail address and name. It is important to note that you will only get a sustainable business if you provide something of significant value as a “give away” at this point. I have seen many – free PDF reports, “how to” audios or videos that are really useful. Make sure that your is too. You can use Aweber or Constant Contact as auto-responder services to obtain the e-mail addresses. These are services that provide the website scripts, capture e-mail lists, provide confirmation e-mail and provide information product.5. Sell Affiliate ProductsAfter you create your website, you will go and find products that are already available that you can sell as an affiliate. What is an affiliate? An affiliate is someone (you) that is selling into a niche market that understands the needs of the customers and can sell products created by someone else. Who is the someone else? Many – Amazon, Commission Junction, Clickbank. Nearly every big internet retailer has an affiliate program. Look at the bottom of their home page for the words “affiliate” or “associate.” They provide the whole shopping experience and you get a small commission for doing so. They will give you the tools to list these products attractively on your website with html scripts that are easily implemented.6. Create information productsNow that you have a good idea of who your customers are and what they want, you can easily create your own information products in writing (e-books), audio or video. All it takes is the ability to write, record, film and edit this information in a near professional manner. The content of these products is what is really important. This process sounds very complex, but can be made very simple by someone that does this on a day-to-day basis.7. Sell own informational products and through affiliatesNow that you have your own information products, you can sell your products on your website and also through affiliate programs such as Clickbank and Commission Junction. You will need to augment your website to allow products to be listed, purchased and to accept payment. Since you are now the vendor of these products you will also need to create a purchase, return and shipping policies (if either of these applies). Most customers will want to know about these things before they purchase from you and often will not purchase until they know that you are reliable and that their money is well spent with you.8. Create business planNow that you have proven your business concept on an informational level (and at an affordable level of investment I might add), you are in a much better position to judge for yourself whether this business is investment grade. What is investment grade in this case? The answer to this comes in the form of another self-question: Would you bet that you will get a good return on the money that you are asking others to invest? There are many good business plan templates available for free. All it requires is to get basic questions answered in each section and to formalize into an attractive and readable document.9. Get fundingGet dressed up as appropriate for the money people. If they are bankers, dress in a suit. If they are family or friends, dress as friends or family. If they are colleagues, dress as a colleague. Be professional and honor their time. Make sure that you keep their interest by asking yourself what is in it for them. That is all that matters to them. For family matters, the issue is a little bit different. They will be concerned with family solidarity. In other words, what would happen if you could not pay them back? Would this permanently disrupt your relationship with them? Think about this before you go to them. When you get money there are two questions you will always need to answer for them up front 1) what will you use the money for? 2) from what source will you pay the money back? Know these answers.10. Formalize business organizationThis is the part that most people think about when they think about starting a business. Do you find it strange that this would be the 10th step in this process? Don’t worry, most other people would too. However, doesn’t it make more sense to formalize the business after it is making money first and then to formalize it? When I speak about formalizing the business, I am talking about 1) creating an appropriate legal entity (corporation, limited liability corporation or other) within your state or country 2) create tax status with the tax authorities 3) publicly announce the business formation through public recording or periodical announcements or both 4) get a checking or bank account. Note that I am not advocating subverting tax or legal guidelines…as a matter of fact I am suggesting that you follow the rules, through making your business profitable first.In SummaryThat is all there is to it. What else is there left to business than that? A business is nothing more than delivering answers to problems (pains or desires) of customers and doing so while making profitable sales. Creating new products is just using lateral thinking to create other related products that meet the needs of customers. And what a great life that is….help other people while you make money.Follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/frank_dobner© Copyright – 2008 Frank Dobner

Profitable E-Commerce — Making Big Money With E-Commerce

In today’s highly advanced mechanism of transacting business, E-commerce becomes a common media for people to do business with other people. Every business transaction that is being made is made possible through the combined usage of the Internet technology and of the E-commerce methodology. E-commerce is seen as a highly potential tool to for one to generate more money and profitable income. If you want to learn more about this, you may want to continue reading the rest of this article material.o E-commerce offers 24 by 7, 7 days a week, 365 days open online store. As such, it is generally advantageous for most businessmen because E-commerce is able to provide the needs of its consumers round the clock. With E-commerce’s round the clock capability, it is also able to provide support system with its clients.o E-commerce does not need too many working staff. Staffing is one of the most strenuous and capital investment’s enemy because the money that can be used to capitalize a bigger investment is being divided by the need to pay for human resource. With E-commerce, a few people will be needed to operate the business online, which means more savings for the investors.o E-commerce provides a wider geographical means to be in touch with you clients. Because of the capability of the Internet to supply information to all people round the world, it made it possible for E-commerce to do the same thing. E-commerce is capable of reaching out to its clients wider in geographical and demographic sense.
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A Week Full of Fashion

Fashion week is a week-long event that is held to commemorate the fashion industry and the cogs that keep the wheel moving. Fashion designers, brands and houses display the latest and best of their collection via runway shows. Buyers and the media are prominently present during this activity and this helps the designers to showcase and sell their work. Fashion week is an important event in the lives of the fashionable since it is here which determines the trends that are in Vogue and those which are passé. The most popular and well-known fashion weeks are held in the four major fashion capitals in the world namely New York, London, Milan and Paris.Fashion has stormed the globe in a big way and some other countries which also host other important fashion weeks in the world are; Madrid, Australia, Rome, Dubai, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Singapore, Toronto, Jakarta, India, Berlin, Barcelona, Seoul, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and Dallas.Fashion week is a seven day long entertainment cum business event where people from all walks of life fraternize with those from the fashion industry. This event is bi-annual in nature and is held in the major fashion capitals in the world like London, New York, Paris and Milan. Fashion weeks are held several months prior to commencement of the fashion season so that it allows the buyers and press a better chance to preview the trends and designs for that season. January to April hosts fashion shows to showcase the autumn and winter collections. On the other hand, September to November showcases the spring and summer collections. This gives ample time to the buyers, retailers and purchasers to assimilate and include the fashion designers into their stores.Latest innovation, flamboyant designs and striking new trends are showcased during these fashion weeks and all the latest collections are compiled into a special report and covered in all the leading fashion magazines in the world as well as the websites which cater exclusively to fashion. The first ever fashion week was held in 1943 with the purpose to distract attention in World War II from French fashion when workers from the fashion industry were unable to travel to Paris. It was believed that designers in America relied on the French for their inspiration and design. A fashion publicist by the name of Eleanor Lambert had organized an event called Press Week to showcase the works of American fashion designers. Magazines such as Vogue began to feature more American designers in their features and stories.In the year 1903 a New York based shop held the country’s first ever fashion show to lure middle-call socio economic groups into the store. Close on their heels, in 1910 major department stores were holding private fashion shows of their own. Along with promoting fashion these shows had elements of entertainment and were very theatrical in nature. It was theme based and accompanied with a narrative commentary. Fashion weeks helped in integrating all aspects of the fashion industry and bringing it under one roof.