Business Planning – Steps to Successful Entrepreneurship

I used to listen to my dad’s advice when I was a little girl. He always said that when I grow up I should start my own business because nobody really gets rich just by being an employee. He repeated the same context over a period of time until it penetrated my system. I understood very well that he wanted me to break free from the hassles of corporate world and use my skills and talents in the progress of my own business. In one research, I learned that there are so many things to consider before starting a business. At this point business planning is a determinant factor of the success of every business venture.

Business Planning: Where to begin laying out the plans?
The very first thing to consider in business planning is establishing the goals and expectations of the business. You must ask yourself what is the reason of the business venture? Here are the common reasons of neophyte business people: Freedom and Independence, Respect from peers and family, Power, Self-fulfillment, Livelihood, Change of Lifestyle, and Money. In business planning, consider what motivates you and what drives you to sustain in that venture. Your goals are essential guide to where you are heading in your business enterprise.

Business Planning: What are the key questions to ask?
When you have determined your reason for entering into the business world, the next step in business planning is to ask. Ask these following series of questions:

What kind of business? You should be able to assess yourself if you have the knowledge on the kind of business you want to start. The degree of knowledge and experience you have is a great tool in managing your own business. If you don’t have any knowledge or experience to the kind of venture you want, you might as well start learning about them. After all, you don’t want to go to battle without any weapon. Your knowledge about the business is your best weapon. In small business planning, you need to know the ins and outs of the business from ground up.

When and where to start the businesses? The timing and the location your business are also very crucial part in the success of your business planning. Know the people in the area and identify their needs or potential wants. Just imagine putting up your business where there are hundreds of similar businesses offering the same products and services in that area. Although healthy competition is good, putting up the same kind of store among hundreds of similar stores will saturate the area and create redundancy. To make your business stand out, put up in places where there are less stores offering what you have and when you do that make sure you also have a compelling offer to the customers that they can’t simply resist.

Other additional questions in the steps of business planning that must be addressed right away are the following: Who are involved in the business? Who is the target market? How to start the business? How much is the capital? What are the strategies to use in jumpstarting the business? What is our business plan? What is our Marketing Strategy? You must also include in the business planning the legal documents that you need to accomplish in order to operate in that area smoothly. Some businesses start off as a hobby like jewelry making, crafts making or antique refinishing business and do not require much registration papers but as your business grows, the IRS will eventually question the documents somehow.

Business Planning: Determining the Nature of Business
You can choose from the various kinds of businesses that you can offer to the people. As part of your business planning you must identify what is the nature of your business. It will come handy to know your business from time to time when consumers ask.

Service. You sell your skills to consumers. i.e home repairs, pool cleaning, massage

Wholesale. You buy in bulk and sell them by piece with a marked-up price.

Retail. You sell products directly to consumers. i.e convenience stores, grocery, dress shop.

Project Development. You gather resources to make profitable product or service and deliver to the customers as fixed-price project.

Manufacturing. You put together parts and components to create products for the consumers or other businesses.

The steps in this article are just the baby steps in becoming a successful entrepreneur. Along the way, you will have to learn the curves as you operate your business. There will be more trying times that will eventually lead you to prosperity. For the meantime, you can focus in finalizing and executing your business plans. It is in the business planning stage that the growth and direction of your venture will follow. A good business planning is the solid foundation of lasting business enterprise.

The 5 Keys to Successfully Selling a Business

Selling your business in today’s dismal economy won’t be easy. It’s tough to get loans, and even harder to get agreement from multiple parties about the value or sale price of the business. But, it’s still possible to sell a business without undue hassle. Here are the 5 keys to successfully selling a business.

Key #1 – Preparation Means Everything

In preparation for selling your business, there are a number of things you should do to get ready – long before you ever put your business on the market.

First, you want your business to look good for the buyers, and that means getting your financials in order and put into a format that makes sense for a buyer. While your accounting methods may be perfect for your day-to-day operations, you’re likely not set up for the banks and the buyer.

You want to make it easy for the buyers to see the potential from your business. They only care about past success in so far as it pertains to projected profits. Many a business has failed to sell because, while they looked good in the past, the future projections weren’t in alignment with what the buyer wanted.

You also want to make sure that YOU are ready to sell your business. Another reason for the failure of a business to sell is that the owner is reticent about selling. The sale won’t work if you’re not ready to sell the business.

Key #2 – Transparency Makes it Easy

By “transparency,” I mean having full disclosure throughout every step of the sales process. You should be fully open to supplying your business broker whatever he or she needs to sell your business, and your business broker needs to be open with you about the value of your business and the likelihood that it will sell.

Far too many business brokers are only concerned about the listing. They get paid for listing your business, and for conducting a business appraisal or business evaluation. Your broker should tell you if your valuation is out of line with the current market, and give you instructions on how to increase the value of your business before agreeing to help you sell.

Also, transparency during the initial stages will ensure a smoother due diligence process. Because you’ve already revealed the potential issues or problems to the buyer, he will know what he’s getting into, and can’t use these issues to lower his bidding price later.

Key #3 – The Buyer is Your Ally

You and the buyer are in this together. A failed sale means wasted time and money for both parties, so it’s in the best interest of both buyer and seller to work together to make the sale happen.

The buyer will have demands that you may not like. It’s perfectly acceptable to say “no” and stick to your goals, while also providing the buyer with some flexibility. The ideal scenario is when both buyer and seller come out of a business sale transaction with their goals met.

Key #4 – Organization is Critical

Many business brokers simply use the online listing services to list a business for sale. That’s fine, but it’s typically going to lengthen the sales process.

Your business broker should ideally put together a sales kit or package (“Deal Book”) that provides all the information a buyer needs to say yes or no to the deal. Then, an organized process of marketing works best.

Your broker will already have a list of potential buyers, as will you. The broker will broadcast a message to all buyers simultaneously about the opportunity, and after careful vetting of the responses, distribute the Deal Book to selected prospective buyers.

Key #5 – Competition is Good

Finally, once the Deal Book has been distributed to selected prospective buyers, you’ll provide them with a firm date for submission of bids. They will know that they’re bidding against other buyers, which puts you in the enviable position of receiving multiple bids from which to choose.

Thus, you can select a buyer who not only has the best offer, but has the most likelihood of following through to completion of the sale. This particular step is highly important because three out of every four business sale transactions will fall through during the due diligence phase, costing you countless hours and dollars.

Learn more about selling a business by visiting Bowman/Hanson, California Business Brokers.

Starting a Woman Owned Small Business – 3 Steps to Make it Happen

Starting a woman owned small business is not as difficult as it may seem. In a time dominated by the corporate world of America in a poor economy, many individuals are choosing to support a small business, which means that the worst time in our economy could be the best time for you to start a business. In order for you to succeed in this venture, there are a few things you should know and evaluate about yourself, your business plans, and the business world.

Select the Type of Business

First, you should know the type of business you would like to start. If you have been contemplating owning a small business for some time, you probably already know the type of business you want to begin. You need to ensure that your ideas are solid concepts. The purpose of your business is profit and success, so your ideas must be able to sell and support you and your business. You must also narrow down the exact services that you will provide. Know your limitations and the ideas that you are open to, and you can start the right business with the right concept.

Select a Location for your Business

Finding the right place to start your business is imperative as well. Location is a major key in the search for small business success. There are many leasing and rental options available for small business owners. It is also possible to buy a building to run your business from permanently. You may want to ensure that the location you are in will have a need for your services. Maybe your business would do better with a small office and most contact with customers done online. These are questions you will need to answer before starting a small business.

Secure Funding for your Business

Finding the proper funding is also important. Will you be taking out a small business loan? You should be aware of what your start up costs are by coming up with an effective business plan and budget. If you do not accurately know this information, it can prevent your business from running smoothly or cause your business to fail altogether.

There are many great resources to get you on your way to success. Womanowned.com has quizzes, tutorials, and programs for free on their site to assist you in coming up with the right business plans and concepts. They understand that you may be in various stages of the small business owner process, so their services are detailed and valuable.

Owning a business as a woman is a great accomplishment. Make sure you are on the right path to enriching your career and your life.