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Getting StartedIs business ownership right for you?An “entrepreneur” is a person who starts his or her own businessSelf-assessment questions: – Are you a self-starter? – How well do you plan and organize? – Can you work long hours? – How will the business affect your family?
What Type of Business Do You Want?A startup: A startup: – Follow your own dreamBuying an existing business: – You will have current customers and a known track record of performanceFranchising: – Brand recognition reduces marketing costs
Questions to Ask When Starting Up A New Business Does the idea suit your personality and interests? Will you use your own name to brand the business? Will it be financially viable? – Do you have startup money to invest? – What will your monthly expenses be? – Is there a current need in the marketplace? – Who are you competing with?
The Business PlanA “business plan” is a roadmap that describes where you’re going and how you’re going to get thereA guide to achieving your goalsA tool to spark investors’ interestA document that helps employees understand the company’s mission
Key Elements of the Business PlanDescription of your products and servicesMarket and industry analysis that demonstrates the need for your businessList of competitors, including their strengths and weaknessesMarketing strategy (sales approach)Management team and operations planFinancial analysis: the investment needed
Test Your Business Idea Before You InvestThe greatest mistake you can make is tolaunch a new idea without testing it. Manymillions of Naira every year on productsthey did not test before introducing them tothe market. Though entrepreneurial life isfull of risky adventures but what we shallbe discussing is how to take calculated risks.
Steps To Testing Your Business IdeaBe Your Own Devil’s AdvocateSeek Out People in The Same BusinessConfirm The DemandCheck With Family & FamilyCreate a Selling PromotionUse The Seminar Approach
Marketing Plan A “marketing plan” serves as a blueprint for you to follow to get your products and services known and recognized. It has: – Competitor and issue analysis: challenges and opportunities facing the business – Objectives: What do you want to achieve? – Action program: A “to-do” list – Budget: Detail expenses – Strategy: The Four “P’s”
Name Your BusinessWhat is in a business name? The right business will distinguish you from a sea of multitude of competitors, give your customers a reason to patronize you, and help in the branding of your company.
Register Your BusinessStarting a small business requires the usual paperwork and registration. Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is responsible for this. But for a startup you might not really need to incorporate. A business name registration will do. Getting a business name registration will enable you to create a corporate account.
The Four P’s of MarketingProduct: Describes features and benefitsPrice: Lists prices and pricing strategyPromotion: Tools or tactics to achieve marketing objectivesPlacement: Sales philosophies and methods
Licensing Licenses or permits are required to operate certain types of businesses One or more licenses may be required from the city, State, county, and/or Federal Government – You may need multiple licenses if you work in more than one jurisdiction Failure to obtain the proper licenses can result in fines or the loss of your business The application process varies according to jurisdiction; research the requirements in your area
Copyrights, Trademarks, and PatentsCopyrights, trademarks, and patents all deal with intellectual property and how to protect it“Intellectual property” is a product based on an idea and it has some type of commercial valueIntellectual property includes a wide range of products, such as books, musical compositions, and works of art.
Copyrights Copyrights protect individual creative expression. The Federal Copyright Act of 1976 specifies how to register a copyright; there are no State copyright laws If a work is in the “public domain,” anyone can use it without permission from the author or the author’s heirs The U.S. Copyright Office explains how to register literary works, visual art works, performance works, sound recording, serials and periodicals, and mask works
TrademarksA “trademark” is a brand name--a distinctive sign, logo, slogan, symbol, or other emblem used by businesses to distinguish their products from othersTrademarks do not expire and can apply indefinitelyAlthough trademarks can be registered, it is not required; just using a mark establishes a common law right to it
PatentsA “patent” gives an inventor exclusive use of his or her inventionPatents are issued by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO)Most inventors use a patent lawyer to help with the application process
AccountingSound accounting and bookkeeping practices are essential to any businessMany businesses rely on an accountant to handle financial recordkeepingComputer programs such as Quicken, Peachtree, or Quickbooks can simplify some bookkeeping tasks
Human ResourcesThe Human Resources function deals with hiring and managing employeesBe specific when interviewing candidates – Avoid inappropriate and illegal questions during the interviewProvide competitive compensation and benefitsMaintain detailed employee records
Creating an Online PresenceA Website can attract customers and boost earningsSales through the Internet can take place internationally, 24 hours a dayA professional Website designer can develop your site at a relatively low costPromote your site through major search engines or a link exchange program
Creating an Online Presence Put Your Business on Social Media: Facebook, Linedin, Tweeter etc. Write Articles and Publish on Article Directories Like Ezine, Hubpages and Many More Create a PowerPoint Presentation of Your Business and Post it on a Site Like Slideshare.net Create an E-book and Publish it Amazon Kindle, Smashword etc. Participate in Online Forums and Blogs Related to Your Business.
How To Raise Money To Start Your Business There are several sources of money that you can tap to start and build your own business. I have compiled a list of creative ideas I have heard and used.1. Joint Venture2. Dip Into Your Savings3. Sell Some Assets4. Get Love Money 5. Obtain Supplier Financing
How To Raise Money To Start Your Business6. Online Crowd Fundingwww.kickstarter.com, www.indiegogo.com or www.RocketHub.com and www.vfinance.com.7. Sell Other People’s Stuff for Commission8. Sell Information Products Created from Your Expertise9. Take an Extra Job10. Get a Business Advisory Coach