How to start a business
Bonjour business friends!!!!
Having a business is one of the key sources to accumulating wealth. But so many people start businesses without the proper knowledge of how to start and structure a business. I am a firm believer that you should write a plan for your business. I know so many experts suggesst that you download a fancy business plan, and this is good; but I believe that you can get a notebook or a word document and create a plan for your business. A business plan should be very specific, have timelines, marketing strategies, and a financial plan.
Remember that a business name is part of your branding. A business name is how an audience identifies a business. Business names should always represent what you are selling or promoting to an audience. The business name is a reflection of the business owner. When you come up with a business name, make sure you research the name to make sure it has not been trademarked. If a name is already trademarked and you begin to use the name you can risk being sued by the owner.
Business structure is what entity your business will operate under. The different business structures are, Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Corporation, C-Corp, and S-Corp. Once you decide your business name and business structure, you will need to file for a business license. Depending on which entity of business you will operate under, you will be able to file your license at your local city's licensing department. If you are filing under the umbrella of an LLC, you will have to register with your state's secretary office.
Branding consist of a business name, logos, color schemes, and YOU, the owner. Many brand experts tend to forget that part when they are teaching on branding. The owner is the brand, and great customer service is apart of your branding. As I mentioned before, your business name identifies who you are, but so does your logo, sayings, color schemes, and customer service. These branding factors send messages to your audience. This gives your audience a depiction of who you are, and what you are promoting or selling.
Products or Services
As a business owner you have to decide whether you will be a product based business or a service based business. You can also provide both products and services to your customer base. As a product based business determine whether you will create your products, purchase products from vendors, or have your own private label. In most cases with private labeling you develop your own products,whether you create them out of your home, or you find a manufacture that will help you develop your product line.
Other options for a product based business is findng vendors who sell products wholesale for retailers. Research exstensively about the industry you are going into. Investigate the market,what people are buying those specific products, competition, price points those products are being sold for, and how the product will sell in certain geographical regions. Make sure the vendors are reputable and sell quality products. If you have the chance, go to your vendors show rooms to view and feel your products to make sure this is a vendor you would like to do business with.
Services are intangible. These are things you cannot touch or feel. Services are important to a business because when you have a hard time selling products you can always offer a service. Before providing a service or sevices make sure those services are beneficial to the audience you are catering to. If there is not a need for the service, your audience will not be purchasing the service. When offering products and services make sure you price them at a point that will yield a profit. Base your prices on the time it takes to finish the services, and what you have to purchase in order to complete the service.
Research is imperative in this stage of your business. You have to create a plan for your business because without a plan your business will perish. I know I stated before that you don't need a fancy business plan to make a plan for your buisness. While I do agree with this, you will need a professional business plan if you plan on receiving funding from a banking instituition or an investor
Your business plan should project the plans for the first year of business, and for the future. You should have a breakdown of how much money you will need, and how will you alloccate those funds in each area of your business. Create a marketing and sales strategy for your business. In your marketing plan this will help you to determine who your customer is (male, female, children, age group, ethnicity, geographical region, and socieoeconomic status). A marketing plan will allow you to determine what marketing channels you will use to reach your audience. A sales strategy should indicate how you plan to pitch your products to your audience. For example, will you provide direct selling, will you send out pamplets, will you send out an email blast, and so on.
Entrepreneurship is one of my hearts greatest desires. I have known I was an entrepreneur since I was 18 years old. I first started off as a Mary Kay consultant, and then I ventured out into starting Whit Michelle Boutique and Whit Michelle Enterprises and the list will continue! It's my prayer that this blog post is beneficial to you and your business endeavors. Ciao friends!!!
For more information on starting a boutique business, please download a copy of my ebook, The Do's And Don'ts Of Owning A Boutique at http://www.whitmichelle.com/