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Starting a Business? Top 5 Must-Haves

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

Most people would love to start and manage their own business.  The thought of working for oneself is a dream for many adults.  But not everyone has what it takes to get a business venture off the ground.  There are a lot of pieces that have to come together in order to turn an idea for a business into the reality of a functioning entity that creates profit.  However, if you’re determined to proceed into the adventure of entrepreneurship, there are a few things you simply cannot do without.  Here are the must-haves for anyone looking to start a business.

1. A brilliant idea.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Not so fast.  Just because you have what you think is a great idea doesn’t mean anyone else would agree with you.  In order for your business to be a success you need to offer a product or service that has never been seen before, improve on an old idea, or find a niche that is underrepresented.  In short, you need to convince the public that you’re providing them with something that no one else has.  If you need an example, the iPod is an apt one.  Apple has a knack for discovering products that the masses can’t live without when even the masses themselves don’t know they need them.

2. A solid business plan.  Once you’ve got your brilliant, money-making idea you need to formulate a business plan.  This is important for several reasons, but the key ones are that it prompts you to do the research necessary to determine if your business idea is actually viable, it allows you to plan for a successful future, and it helps you to get the funding you’ll need to get your operation off the ground.

3. Startup funds.  You can’t squeeze blood from a stone and you can’t start a business without any money.  Sure you might be able to secure odds and ends on trade, but when it comes to signing a lease, only cold, hard cash is going to do the trick.  So you need to approach lenders, seek investors, take on partners, and basically do whatever is necessary to secure the funding you need to get the ball rolling.

4. An online presence.  This is practically a given in today’s society, which depends heavily on the internet for both communication and information.  If you’re not in virtual space you may as well not exist in the real world.  This means setting up a website, an online store, and potentially even an on-site blog, depending on your business.  It also means working to expand your presence through social networking, forums, blogs, advertising, and SEO (search engine optimization) in order to reach the largest targeted demographic possible.

5. The right technology.  It’s not enough anymore to install computers and seek out wireless internet providers.  These days you need to stay connected 24/7 and there is technology out there to make it happen.  Smart phones allow you to manage all your work remotely so that you can keep your business mobile and run your operation even on the go.  Laptops, notebooks, and tablets all offer a wide range of business solutions, and there is new tech emerging every day aimed at helping small business owners efficiently manage their companies.  So try to remain up to date with new equipment and software; it may not all be right for you, but knowing what’s out there can help you to make the right decisions for your business.


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