A business can be many things. At a very basic level though, it is a commercial enterprise. It is a system where goods or services in some form are exchanged for one another or for money. It is something that many, many American individual’s dreams of having. Well, to put an exact number on that, more than fourteen percent of the three hundred and twenty-five million strong population of the nation are starting or running a business already! As a result of such a high desire among members of the population to have personal commercial establishments, public policy has gradually differed favoring them.
In every election cycle, we hear politicians roaring on about shops to be given to business owners. Add that to the ever-growing market due to globalization, a very stable economy, and an environment fecund with innovation, there is no better time one could have to start their own business.
Now, in spite of all that, starting something new never has been and still isn’t as easy as snapping one’s fingers. In fact, it still takes a considerable amount of grit and hard work to go through with it and accepting a tremendous amount of risk associated with each step of the process. Having a good support system is indeed a necessity to help pick yourself up from the nearly inevitable fall you will experience some way down the line.
Requirements to Start a Business
There are a few simple steps that one may follow to maximize his or her chances of succeeding though. In the order that they must be followed, they are;
- Putting your vision down on paper. Although in many cases, the end result does end up looking quite different from what was originally intended, it is important to have a crystal clear idea of where the bone is headed in the first place. Putting the end goal of the endeavor down in concrete words helps in that, both to yourself as well as others will be joining you. There have been many start-up owners in the past who got confused and muffled up mid-way just because of the absence of a distinct vision.
- Know and understand the market, research well. No matter how novel your idea is, it must have a market for it to be profitable. In all honesty, it really is a bring step, which makes many young entrepreneurs skip over it. And that digs their own grave in more occasions than not. You must analyze why a large body of people would be interested in your product or service, why they would need it, and why they would come to you for it. You need to offer something that you can sell.
- Finances should be well thought of and planned. Another step that many young entrepreneurs may find boring, but arguably is the most important for your venture to be successful. You need to estimate your one-time costs of setting it up, the running costs, how much you are willing to invest in each sector of the venture, and how long before you expect on returning your initial profit. How much are you going to be reliant on loans, and what your planned return on investment will be? For those who do not go into extraordinary depths, to do this step diligently and/or not follow it, find themselves in heavy amounts of debt and observe their businesses shattering with bankruptcy after a period of what seems like extremely productive growth.
- Set up the structure of your business and office. Fixing onto what structure and pattern of business you want to follow as well as how your office will work early on saves for a lot of time and effort later on, not to mention it makes the process of scaling up later on vastly more efficient.
- Get your licenses, registrations and permits done. It is necessary to get done with particular stone in the road before proceeding with the rest.
- Last but not the least, reach your market. Set up social media pages, advertise, get a website, and promote what you are offering like the end of the world! And don’t let the ease of this but utilizing modern technology fool you about how important it is to do it effectively.
So now that we have that basic structure of how you go about opening your business clear, let us get to the more fundamental question of how exactly you do open a business.
The two major broad divisions that businesses are divided into, based on the medium of today are;
- Online businesses
- Offline businesses
The fundamental difference between these two is where they perform their business proceedings.
Online Business vs. Offline Business
As the name suggests, online businesses are just that, utilizing the global communication network that the Internet provides to sell products. They are usually based out of one or more websites on the World Wide Web, which are designed to showcase their products and/or services. If a customer fancies something they see on their phone or computer at the said site, he is routed through an online method of payment before receiving the product.
Offline businesses refer to the traditional way of doing it, such as being physically present at a location, probably made up of brick and mortar or glass and concrete, and customers come to avail the service or purchase the product.
Now of course, both of these methods have their own long lists of pros and cons, for example an online business is vastly more convenient with all proceedings done with a swipe of a finger and save on a great amount of expense to physical infrastructure, while an offline business records far better levels of customer trust and satisfaction, and provides a “hands-on” experience to the purchasing experience of the customer.
As a result, over time since this division was recognized, online and offline business models have started forming around enabling different types of products and services, based on which suits which model best. Let us discuss some of the best ideas to take up under each of these two business models in the modern century, as well as some salient facts about them, are as follows:
Over just the past year, there has been a 24.8% increase in the sector. What may be more eye widening, the worldwide sales done online accounted for more than 2.3 billion dollars, with nearly sixty percent of that number being done through mobiles?
So, what are some of the most noteworthy things that can be done in this sector?
By far, this is something that dominates the internet. Blogging allows a great deal of flexibility to you too. Choosing any niche or topic that makes you comfortable and you feel needs to be addressed. According to the known laws of business, people will be attracted to a business only if its something great.
Money is to be made through advertising products, providing info-links or through numerous other avenues. Blogging itself is not restricted to just writing anymore. With the inception of various social media websites, some specific only to video-making where some are only for pictures, your blogs (or vlogs as they have come to be known in the world of videos) can be of any form that you are at ease with and you feel will make the deepest impact.
Among the many things, one can provide online are consultancy services of nearly any form, whatsoever that may be it. The online business world being a positive feedback loop off itself, there is a great demand for web developer services, website designing and so on. One just needs to look at their own skill set to know what type of service they can most efficiently be able to provide, and go ahead and do that online more effectively than ever before!
Become an online seller
The online marketplace is a booming model of business. For more and more commodities, the general population simply find it more and more convenient to order something online and have it delivered to their doorstep than going out to a shop. There are websites that sell designer clothes, jewelry, groceries, books, and some that sell everything! It would require a lot of behind the scenes networking with manufacturers who are willing to sell through your platform though. Properly executed, it has among the highest levels of promise any business could have!
Online courses, webinars, e-books, audiobooks are all things that are now exponentially increasing in their popularity. Engaging in a service that provides these is of great topic. People are looking for more convenient ways to learn more about the world, see more of it and hear more of it without leaving their armchair, and giving that service to them would be of utmost help. These could take the form of pure education, news, lifestyle coaches, fictional entertainment provider, and so on.
Not relying on the internet and physically setting up your own shop is what a great many dreams of when they think of setting up a business. While online business models have stolen the lustre when it comes to some of the more traditional things people go looking for, people still rely on offline businesses for a great many essential services. Adding to the fact that customer service and involvement is unmatched in any form of offline business compared to the online world, venturing into this world is rewarding in many ways indeed. The offline businesses that hold the most promise as of today are;
No one is going to ask a robot or someone they know over the internet to do their haircut, apply their make-up, do their nails and shape their eyebrows. These things are very personal to each and every individual and as a result, clients will always rely on an offline service for their cosmetic needs, where there is physical touch and trust.
Many companies rely on advertising on city billboards and the sides of buses to make people aware of their products, and hence, rely heavily on offline advertising agencies. With the returns those companies will see for advertising at key spots and locations, advertising agencies, in turn, are in their right to charge a lot for the service they provide. Not surprisingly, advertising is up there on the number one spot for the most profitable offline businesses.
Cleaning and Washing Services
Once again, something that is outsourced by many and people can only rely on something concrete and physical to get the job done. Mopping, dusting and cleaning office areas, houses, transport vehicles and so on is a service that is very much in demand. Provided it is executed properly (if not, you would not survive long anyhow) there is much promise and it is also among the most profitable of offline services.
Telemarketing provides a personal touch to customers and has shown to greatly increase sales. Setting up a telemarketing firm has great potential to grow.
Art Supply store
No one who really loves art buys it only. They must see it themselves, inspect it, and carry it back in their own hands. Needless to say, such desire and passion transform into an ever-present requirement for an art store that is offline, and one that would attract plenty of money with a proper collection!
Although a service that could easily be provided online, a person’s career is once again something that is deeply personal to him. Hence, the vast majority prefer offline career counseling, and with so much to choose from in the modern age, more and more young individuals, as well as those with the mid-life crisis, are availing this service than ever before.
Well, this article must have left you spoiled for choice indeed! However, as was said early on, to be successful in business, it is important to proceed with something that you are not only passionate about, but you see a need for in your society! It can be something innovative, or something that has been done time and again before.
If you find a sector where you are a monopoly, bravo! But conversely, competition should not be feared as it only urges you to be better in, what is being offered by you, more rapidly and grow faster! Indeed, in this happening country, there has been no better time to open a business than now. Tread carefully, but tread on! For the sky is your limit!