Absolutely... Although, before you head down to the business licensing office you should really do the following before you start!
1. Make your business plan rock solid! I'm talking about looking into and at all factors, what if scenarios, budget projections and forecasts for both a profit and in the red scenarios, including but not limited to factoring in economic projections and forecasts, crisis planning, marketing budget minimum to maximum and above all, always include a back out plan that won't cost you your home.
2. Learn how to navigate an online presence! This is absolutely essential in creating your business. With an active online presence you can literally save hundreds of dollars in printing/marketing costs. We are talking Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and whatever other media that you can get your hands on, as well as business marketing tools such as LinkedIn.
3. Know your target audience. If you can't grab their focus or attention within 4 months, shift your focus demographic or go back to the drawing board. Look at what other businesses are doing and how they grab the demographic through marketing or community-based methods whether it's social functions or through an online presence. Learn as much as you can, what the customers like, don't like... what has more appeal to the majority versus the minority, and ask as many questions as possible. Literally, put yourself back into school for what you want to do. Become the master of your business, in other words if there was a degree to obtain to run your business, this would be it!
4. Do as much research as humanly possible! If you are an online business, you can keep your losses to a minimum (aka eZines or Community based services et cetera), but if you’re moving products of one kind or another, then of course… Do your research! Look at other sites that carry similar product lines, and literally monitor them for 3 to 6 months prior to initiating or selling your own goods, a product line may start off strong but diminish in a month, so watch their bottom line or estimated profit margin. Are they selling strong the first 30 to 60 days and then the product line is on clearance? What is the turnaround? The markets are definitely different than they used to be, also keep in mind that in order to compete with these competitors you are going to need a solid marketing budget and a marketing plan that will bring in your customer base, and then of course the fun begins of what you can do to keep them coming back.
If you have a physical business address with a lease, equipment, person-to-person money exchange and financing... You are in a whole different ballpark. Take your time, get to know the community, the local government and meet the local business owners. These people will be a wealth of information! Also, talk to your competition, and do it in a positive way. There’s no harm in setting up a cross-advertising or multimarket-based event between any of you and those in like-minded businesses! I can’t stress this enough, because you will have more at stake… do your research!
5. Have a support network! This is going to be one of those most needed essentials known to mankind. As a business owner, you won’t have time for most friendships or even at times your own family. Keep the communication flowing with your family and friends, be open and honest, and remember that they are there to help you when you need it. They may not be able to pay your bills, but being a business owner and sanity can sometimes go astray, so start a Facebook group, or setup a monthly BBQ… whatever it takes to keep you involved and connected to what’s really important in your life.
6. Never give up! Keep in mind that you could have a great idea or business, but all it takes is a poor economy to change a great idea back into a dream or it could just take one person to dish out negative feedback by word-of-mouth or a review that cascades you into a spiraling abyss to crawl out of. Always remember that all dreams can be a reality, it may not just be the right time and it definitely doesn't mean you should give up!
Recommended Book Reading List:
Have some book ideas or would you like to share your experience and help other business owners? Please comment! I would Love to hear from you.