Five Tips to Start Your Own Business

Starting a business is a lot like starting a family. Once you take the plunge, you should be reasonably sure of sustaining it for a good period of time. Hence, before taking the plunge, it will be wise to plan a bit. Here are 5 important tips:

1. Do Your Own Research

Before deciding on the business you want to start, do some research. This should include the size of the market you are targeting, types of customers you will have, their tastes, and the extent and kind of competition.

In addition, a good study should also be done about the costs: rent, cost of raw materials, labour, and best location.

It is better that you do not rely on other agencies or friends for this. It is okay for big corporate organisations to hire research firms to do this, but you are not a big corporate.

Do not trust other people’s assessments before sinking your hard earned dollar on the business. Do your own digging, and planning.

2. Prepare a Business Model

A business model is a statement of your plan on how you intend to generate revenues, and how much profit are you aiming for. There are 5 main ingredients of a good business plan.

a) Size of the targeted market in terms of quantity and value
b) Cost of inputs and production
c) Expected revenues or total sales proceeds,
d) Rent, interest on capital, depreciation for furniture/machinery
e) Expected profits at the end of a quarter, or one year.

It is important that you prepare this business model with utmost honesty and accuracy, because the success of your venture will largely depend on the efficacy of your business model.

3. Stick to Your Plan

Once you have made all the plans and started the business, stick to the plan. Do not change course mid-way, and do not get discouraged by adverse results initially. Every business will initially encounter resistance, but if your plans are well made, your business is bound to succeed.

History is flush with examples of how some of the world’s most successful businessmen built great business empires by continuing to pursue their ventures despite initial setbacks.

4. Have a Plan B Ready

Even the best laid plans may sometimes go awry. Suppose an unexpected event – a natural disaster, a sudden shrinking of the market, a new invention totally replacing your product – happens, and your Business Model becomes unviable.

If such an eventuality happens, it would be foolish to continue the same trade and go on booking losses month after month. Better cut your losses, and put your Plan B into operation.

Plan B should be drawn up such that your losses are minimal, and you are left with enough capital to start afresh.

Do not forget that new circumstances will throw up new opportunities and your business career is by no means at an end. But you should have enough capital left, and your mental framework should not be burdened with the scars of failure, in order to take advantage of the new opportunities.

Therefore, it is crucial to know when to quit and start afresh. For this you should have plan B ready in advance.

5. Don’t Be Too Ambitious Too Early

Initially, it is always imperative to take small steps. The size of your operation should be strictly within your financial and physical capacity. It should be such that you should be able to manage it personally, in the initial stages.

You can’t depend on others to implement your plan carefully. You have to do it yourself.

For this, it is important to know your limits and confine the size of your business within it when you start. In the same vein, if you have to borrow funds to start the business, it must be within your repaying capacity, and the repayment schedule must be built into the Business Model from day one.

Business Card Design & Print – Tips For Businesses

Regardless of your business area, your business cards are a reflection of your company and its services. You need to spend time and effort in creating the perfect business card, it’s style, design, texture and even font to be used has to be be meticulously thought out to ensure your business is reflected in the manner you want.

Card Design & Print – Which Colour to choose?

Handing over your business card to a potential customer is one of the most defining moments in your business relationship. Make sure you present your best foot forward with every customer and business card you present. We recommend using colour on your business cards. The use of colour engages the customer and ensures they react to the key messages you want to promote. Experts advise you to avoid making your business card look like a bag of skittles fell on it however, and focusing on your key corporate colours is also recommended. If however you don’t have corporate colours defined just quite yet, then here are some pointers for their creation.

Purples and Creams or gradients of soft colours will adopt a more creative feel while the use of strong solid colours will promote the thought provoking side of your business. Vibrant and bright colours ultimately present your business as creative and forward-thinking.

Card Design & Print – Which font?

As with the choice of colour, picking the right font is critical to presenting the right corporate image to potential businesses and clients. It’s probably best not to overcrowd your card with different fonts and with this in mind, no more than two should be used. Possibly a normal font and the bold version of this for business title. Depending on the nature of your business, you can select the right type of font to suit your needs and business goals. Contemporary, young and vibrant businesses stick to bolder and more slick fonts, whereas traditional businesses tend to use more contemporary fonts.

No matter which font you use, make sure all your detail and text on your business card are clearly understandable on the card. There is no point having a well designed card with illegible text.

Card Design & Print – Got a Logo? Use it!

At this point your probably going to ask, why would I not put my logo on my business card, well some businesses may not have one designed, others may not recognize its importance, and finally, others may have just have forgotten to use it. Let this be your reminder. Forgetting to put your logo on the card is the cardinal sin, havent got one designed yet? Well that’s another matter. Prominently position your logo on the business card, but remember there is only a little space on the card, so don’t make it overpowering. Ensure you use a high resolution version of 300dpi or more as this will ensure you get photo quality representation from your printer.

Design & Print – What size is my business Card?

If your in the United States the general business card size is 91mm x 50mm, however in the United Kingdom it is 85mm x 55mm. On occasion people differentiate from these general sizes, but where they gain in creativity, they lose in usability. The average size of pocket in a purse or wallet in the UK is 87mm x 60mm providing just enough space for a few business cards in their wallet. Differentiating from this size will more likely result in your business card being put in an unfamiliar position and being misplaced.

How to Design a Good Website For Your Online Home Business

Building a website can be considered in 2 ways. You can consider it simple – a few WebPages, a few pictures, and a few paragraphs of words and you’re done. Or you can find it complex, hundreds of pages of products, ecommerce facility, a FAQs page, a feedback form and so on and so forth. At the end of the day though, all websites want to achieve the same results – more visitors and thus more customers. Here are the 3 main goals you must consider when designing a website for your online home business including some tips to help you achieve them.

Goal 1: Attractive

If your website is an eyesore then no matter how good your product is or how well you serve your customers, you need to make a good impression because first impressions. If you have a poor looking website with flashy banner all over the place then visitors most likely would not come back. Here are some tips when designing the look of your website:

-Don’t clutter your website with too much information, banners or colors that can hurt ones eyes. Plan the layout of your website with care.
– Have reasonable size font in a nice color. There is nothing wrong with black. It is bold and clear. Use the same font throughout the website.
-Don’t make your website too colourful. Stick to one color scheme.
– Avoid using too many banners.

Goal 2: Easy navigation

How many times have you given up on a website because you couldn’t find the page you were looking for? or the links were broken?

– Make sure you have a simple menu system and regularly check your links.

-Make sure you make it obvious to your visitors what your online home business is about. Don’t have paragraphs of text and not mention exactly what you have to offer. Customers are not going to read it if they are looking out for something in particular.

-Have a FAQs page, as many people find this page helpful if they can’t find what they want on your main webpage.

Goal 3: Fast Loading

On average customers spend barely 10 seconds on a website initially when they are looking for something and it is therefore crucial for you to sell you website to them within this time frame. If your website takes ages to load your most probably would lose a customer as they do not have the patience to wait around to discover your website.

-Try not to use too many images or large size images. Reduce your image sizes if possible.
-Try not to use videos or music on your website. This can startle many people who are “just browsing” and they are surely to press that little cross in the top right hand corner.
-Don’t use a Flash introduction, although these can be quite attractive they do have a tendency to deter people as they wait for it to load.
-Don’t use pop-ups on your web site. These can slow down your website’s loading speed as well as annoy your visitors, making them more likely to leave your site.
Overall there are some rules when designing a website for your online home business. Stick to some of the tips above, stay practical about the whole idea and you will find more visitors will warm up to your website and services.

For more internet home business tips visit eBiz-Directory.com.