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From Zero to One With Your Business

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

~ General George S. Patton

 

It can seem like all the good business ideas are already taken but there has never been a better time to start a business than right now. Actually” the getting started part” is the hardest part for most people. So the question is how do you get from zero to one?

 

Don’t over plan.

The temptation to spend inordinate amounts of time planning and outlining every single tiny detail to formulate the perfect business plan is real but don’t fall for it!  While planning is obviously important, you don’t want to get stuck before you have even begun. Additionally, once you start your business, your carefully crafted plans will be forced to change over and over again. First put get your early thoughts and important plans down on paper including a realistic concrete start date for your business. Next action is key so launch your plan.

 

Just do it!

Your first attempts at your new business regardless of the type of business you start may be a bit awkward, but you need to get out there as quickly as possible. Early is a lot better than perfect. As you journey along with your business, you will have multiple opportunities to nail down all the specifics in your sales, marketing, projects, offerings, employees, branding, websites, social channels, and so much more. All these things will evolve over the life of your business.   Nothing is set in stone to truly build a successful business. Be prepared to work hard, fail a bit, and learn a lot from your successes and failures.

 

Hustle!

Your beginnings will be more humble and awkward than you can ever imagine. Never be afraid to get out there and hustle. Don’t expect overnight success either. You will gain so much knowledge about yourself, your market, your ideal customer and more by getting out there and simply doing it.

 

At every stage of your success you need to be laser focused on moving forward as quickly as possible. Action is the key to getting from zero to one. You will not move your business forward by sitting on the sidelines waiting for it to fall into your lap. Take a chance and make that leap of faith! You will only regret the actions you did not take.

Home-Based Business Tips: Starting Your Business – Part 1

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Part 1

 

Most businesses start small and some even choose to stay that way. Large corporations such as Amazon and Apple began in garages. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 50% of all firms in the U.S. currently are home-based. If your business idea is worth pursuing, don’t be afraid to start it at home. Working from home will require some forethought and discipline to stay on task.

 

To help ensure success, here are a few tips for starting and operating a home-based business:

 

Starting Your Business:

1.) Make sure your business idea is a good one:

Successful businesses, products, and services solve a problem that customer’s face. Make sure that you properly research your business idea before you begin to invest time, energy, and money. No one wants to waste what resources they have on an idea that will never get off the ground.

 

Search Google, YouTube, and other relevant sites to make sure that the product or service you want to provide doesn’t already exist. If it does, figure out ways to improve it or make it more distinguishable from what will be your competition.

 

Make sure that you create a comprehensive business plan to help organize your ideas, business goals, how you plan to make a profit, and all estimated expenses. Create a prototype (if applicable), and test it, to help you determine how the market will receive your product. Determine the right price for your product by determining the cost to manufacture and what your competitors charge and letting you know what customers are willing to pay.

 

2.) Obtain a business license:

Even home-based businesses need a business license and this is especially true if you plan to sell goods or services to customers. This allows your revenue to be tracked for taxation by your local city. Check with them for information on obtaining and renewing your license.

 

3.) Obtain business the insurance:

It is always a good idea to proactively protect yourself. Most businesses need professional liability insurance and general liability insurance; You may need additional coverages too. Consult an insurance professional to see what type of insurance your business will require.

 

4.)  Brand your business:

Branding your business is vital to your success. Branding offers consistency throughout all promotional channels (such as your social media, ads, newsletters, and more), it generates your unique identity, and can increase your perceived professionalism. Plan to pay a professional to develop a good logo, website, social media pages, business cards, unique packaging materials, and other marketing materials (brochures, flyers, coupons, signs, etc.) that you will need to effectively brand yourself and market your offerings.

 

5.) Build your team:

Unless you plan to run the business alone you will need to build a solid team of like-minded individuals. Make sure that you have already clearly established your goals for your team and work environment and then find candidates that share your vision for the culture you want to foster and make sure that they have a strong desire to help your business grow.

 

6.) Taxes:

There are different laws and taxes for home-based businesses, and it is always a good idea to fully understand how your taxes will change as.  There are quite a few deductions for home-offices such as mortgage, rent, utilities, real estate taxes, repairs, maintenance, upgrades, and more. It is always a good idea to consult a tax professional before you begin your business.

 

7.) Do Not Stagnate:

As our world changes around us, we must be flexible and change with it. Your business model and goals will need to be able to adapt as consumer needs, economics, technology, politics, laws, and preferences in the market change. Stay on your toes and don’t get too comfortable regardless of how successful you are becoming. You need to make sure that your product or service doesn’t become stale in your market.

 

We encourage Veteran and Military Business Owners to join VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association.   There are not any dues or fees charged to our members.  Here is a link to join:  https://vamboa.org/member-registration/

 

 

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