Setting Up Shop – Starting a Small Business

Making the decision to set up shop as a new small business can be one of the most exhilarating, and yet also one of the most challenging for most people to make. Here are three suggestions to reduce some of the challenge associated with starting a new business venture:

  1. Choose businesses with lasting demand, whenever possible
  2. A new business based on a short-term fad can work for a little while. However, a lasting business should be based on trends which are more likely to be continuous, since fads will come and go. Even if the demand should change, a business based on an ongoing trends will be able to adapt more easily than one which is based upon only temporary events. Carefully consider customer characteristics (demographics, psychographics, etc.) to improve the selection of a business which has customers with lasting demand(s) for the products and services that you offer.

  3. Choose businesses in superior locations
  4. Some geographic areas will naturally be better locations for target customer markets. All else being equal, customers tend to prefer closer locations to those which are far away, unless your product or service is capable of being provided remotely, at little or no cost. Locating near customers who have established patterns of buying from your type of business is ideal, and most likely to result in better business results overall. Look for indicators (new housing developments, apartment complexes, etc.) which will closely match the target customer characteristics, and market segments you seek to win over.

  5. Choose businesses which are in high-growth industries
  6. All things considered, it is best to pick a business in an industry which is experiencing high growth, as it is much better to get some of an available market, as opposed to having complete dominance of a market where there are nearly no customers left to serve profitably. Entering high-growth markets can also lead to profitably specializing in sub-segments of that market, as your firm develops more expertise. However, also realize that every industry eventually experiences a slowdown as well, so be certain your business plan includes preparation for surviving the inevitable slowdown, once it does occur. Your business should be somewhat diversified by then, to reduce your risks of depending entirely on one market.

In summary, it is best to choose a business based on lasting trends, which is in a superior location, and which is in a high-growth industry. By doing so, you maximize the odds that your business will succeed, and last well into the future.

Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays

What is Useful About Small Business Accounting

Most of the difficulties of a company come from poor management or accounting. Paradoxically, it is to this area that entrepreneurs provide the least effort. Indeed, entrepreneurs who lack training in business management prefer to spend their time on more exciting activities: selling, customer care, communication, products (which is understandable). That is why we suggest a few tips to follow for a successful small business accounting.

The key to Small business accounting does not only have to do with numbers

I put this point first, since it is most important. Accounting is not an end in itself but a tool.

It is true that most of it has to do with keeping track of what comes in and what goes out of the business. However, if you look closer at the information small business accounting gives you, you should be able to see trends in sales and expenses for example. When you focus on the long term trends, accounting becomes more useful and interesting. It tells you what happens every day, it highlights the problems, but it can also help you to solve those problems. You can make small business accounting if you only changed the way you look at it.

Routine practices for a regular and consistent small business accounting

The secret is to get used to performing accounting tasks and making them part of your daily or weekly routine. For instance, you may see that it makes it easier to choose a day during the week to perform a task. You can write checks and make deposits on Mondays. You can also decide to call your debtors on Tuesday. By doing this, you will be able to keep an eye on your finances without feeling like you are doing it.

Examples of small business accounting tasks to perform regularly:

Verify what your fixed costs will be for that month and anticipate for the following. Pay attention to what you spend this and the last month. Make sure you verify all credit card payments. Keep track of accounts receivables. Remember to send the invoices to the customers. Ask your accountant to verify the work you do. Keep track of cash flow trends, etc.

Marketing Ideas For Local Small Business

An essential tool that should be part of the small business marketing concept arsenal is the Internet. Although it can connect and send messages to people from all over the world, the newest trend is concentrating locally using ads and promotions. Some of the numerous local small business marketing ideas being utilized are banner ads with emphasis on the local market. Other methods used to general website traffic is by offering huge discounts or free promo items. A vital factor to follow up on your local small business marketing ideas is to ensure your website has online presence outside of its own domain or URL. In order to guarantee this, you need to get listed in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. and be sure your contents are optimized to obtain higher page rankings.

A number of factors to take into account when creating a website that has local small business marketing ideas integrated are building SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enriched contents in online article directories like EzineArticles.com, ArticleBase.com, GoArticles.com, ArticleDashboard.com, etc. These websites are where you write articles about a certain product or service you are offering and promoting. It can be of huge advantage and would benefit your business if you expand your coverage in terms of target market trends.

Another thing that you should do is comment on blog posts as well as in forums, chat rooms and discussion boards related to what you are offering. Keep in mind that when creating articles or posting blog comments, make sure to select keywords that would bring up your website in search engines. Furthermore, this can be good for establishing marketing affiliates, which can be an extremely effective technique in local small business marketing ideas.

Those companies which concentrate on the same target market or have the same offerings can promote the other business and receive residual compensation every time a user purchases an item or clicks on the banner ad of the other company.

Internet marketing is a new trend involved in local small business marketing ideas. The promotional campaign must be based on the demographic and local area information of a user. Business owners can avoid costs associated with such advertising, but you need to understand that even if you have the best small business idea, it would be worthless if you do not implement or put it into practice.