Whenever the unemployment rate climbs people begin to get desperate and many think that this may be the time to strike out on their own (since they can’t find a job anyway). Unfortunately, a time when even experienced businesses are struggling and consumers are cutting back on their expenditures may not be the best time to start a new business… unless it provides a way for people to actually save money. Some examples might be windshield repair, resume writing or a used clothing or used baby items store.
Of course, beginning a business pursuit on your own is never easy, but the advantage is that you are your own boss. Though this doesn’t mean you get to take off whenever you want. It usually means you get to work harder than anyone else.
Find Your Niche
One of the most important things in the early stages of your company is to focus. Pick one product, Idea or service, or one aspect and sell it. It’s much less of a risk, and turns out to be more profitable when you invest in one or two things you do really well at instead of spreading yourself too thin. Chances are, there will be one market that will really buy into what you’re selling. This will most likely be a market you’re already comfortable with, making it the easiest to sell to. Once solidified, then you can begin branching out to other areas. If your focus is an item for teens, you might think that the natural progression would then be young adults or middle school kids but you might be better off finding another item for teens that compliments the first.
Publicize your company. Get the word out there. Come up with a way to do a monthly newsletter to keep people interested in what you have to offer. Network, and go to events to hand out business cards and get your name out there. The more people hear about you, the more likely they will seek out your services. One local store called Mom-to-Mom is doing well by starting a Facebook group and offering a discount if people post their visit to the store from their smartphone.
What do you sell? What does it partner well with? Like the shelves and shelves of shampoos and conditioners sold at hair salons, chances are, you can find a complimentary business where both parties would benefit from featuring one another. Don’t be afraid to form symbiotic relationships and get help from other businesses whether they are just starting out as well or if they will support you as a larger conglomerate.
Once you’ve developed a steady stream of income, you might consider expanding to a second location. Be careful with this decision as it will end up being a costly investment that could go sour if not handled correctly. Make sure all locations have exactly what they need to sell. Not all locations are created equal. You’ll also want to scout out a location that will draw in your target audience. It won’t do any good to get established in an area full of retirees if teens are your customer base.
Depending on the type of store, you’ll need to make sure it has plenty of room for product and also for office supplies like shopping bags, printer paper and even credit card receipt paper. Most stores have clearances sales at the end of each season, so they don’t have to worry about having enough storage space for seasonal items but you still need enough space for your extra receipt paper for credit cards and printer ink. 🙂
With enough hard work and dedication, you can have the company you’ve always dreamed of. Just be sure to play it smart and be conservative as the business begins to grow. While there are many outlets for success, there are just as many pitfalls. Be aware and be smart and you’ll have no trouble achieving each quarter’s goals.
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