Business Building Blocks That Grow With You
By DEREK GOODMAN
For all of the concerns about the negative effects and impacts that 24/7 connectivity has had on society, we still cannot overlook the many advantages, especially in business. In particular, it has empowered individuals to perform tasks and attain goals, including entrepreneurship, that were previously out of their reach, whether by income, transportation challenges, geographic location, or other societal barriers.
While the jump into entrepreneurship still involves risks, there are industries that have fewer barriers to entry. With some sound planning, a passion to succeed, and savvy marketing with Sharon Henderson, you can find the necessary building blocks to build and then scale your startup to a level you may have only dreamed of before.
What you’re good at and what’s in demand
A logical place to start when selecting a startup business is to go with your expertise. That is what makes consultants so successful – they take years of experience that they accumulated from previous employers and “sell” that knowledge to others. Sometimes they only take a piece of what they know and create a successful business from that, providing them with a more focused business specialty without spreading themselves too thin.
For example, an accountant can focus on tax preparation. Information technology professionals might choose to focus on website development. Dieticians might focus on nutritional counseling for diabetics or those with gluten intolerances. Adding a specialty can be a powerful way to set you apart from your competition.
Keep in mind, though, that what you’re good at may not be the most lucrative business in your geographical area. Fortunately, internet connectivity and online platforms – especially social media – allow you to go where your target market is, regardless of where they are located.
That’s why it’s important that you perform market research and develop a business plan so that you know exactly who your target market is, what their habits are, and how to reach them. With these details, any investors and lenders that you approach for funding can see that you have put the necessary thought and research into your startup.
Businesses that have low barriers to entry include lawn maintenance, home or commercial cleaning services, writing, graphic design, pet sitting and boarding, and delivery services. Adding a mobile component to your business model, such as mobile massages, pet grooming, catering, or notary services, can also be a shrewd strategy in a consumer climate that has come to expect on-demand services, plus convenience in uncertain times.
Preparing for growth
Even though you’re just starting out, you’ll want to set both short- AND long-term goals. This is where your business plan comes in: While not meant to be an unyielding document, it is a tool that can help you track your milestones and hold you accountable as you move toward your growth goals.
Of course, all these, thus far, are meaningless if you don’t keep tabs on your financial performance. In your early days, it may have been easy for you or your accounting hire to manually do this yourself, without the need for automation.
However, it’s better to have a capable and robust accounting and business management system in place a day too early than a day too late. Look for an enterprise resource planning or ERP system that is easy to use to manage and run payroll and reporting, as well as track and manage inventory with seamless workflow integration.
A powerful software platform like QuickBooks Enterprise is ideal for the mid-sized business looking for ERP software – simplified for the layman, of course.
As you enlarge your business space and customer base and increase manpower, you’ll be grateful for your early planning and preparation. Many entrepreneurs grow their businesses without growing their bank accounts. While this is not uncommon and doesn’t necessarily mean a death knell for your business, you’ll want to find out the cause and make adjustments before it gets out of hand. This alone can illuminate the ROI on your ERP investment.
There’s no time like the present
Thanks to technology, more and more entrepreneurs are realizing their dreams of building a business – many starting from a corner of their kitchen or bedroom with nothing more than a big idea, the internet, and a few pots of coffee. The world is literally at your fingertips, and the right marketing counsel can help you cost-effectively hone in on the most lucrative markets.
If marketing is out of your realm of expertise, or you just need a jumpstart, contact Sharon for a free consultation and start developing the blueprint for your business success.
About The Author
“Derek Goodman is an entrepreneur. He’d always wanted to make his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site Inbizability, to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later.”
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