Simple Steps to Starting Your Business: Brainstorming, Marketing, and Managing
To start what you need to do is brainstorm. Think about what skills you have. Cleaning houses, assembling products and lawn care are some ideas. Take time to think about what you enjoy doing. It is a fact that if you enjoy what you are doing, your everyday life is a lot more pleasant. Once you have chosen the service or skill you enjoy, it is time to start doing research. Find out everything you can about what you have chosen. Make a list of tools you will need to effectively start your business. Things you will defiantly need are, a computer, printer, a house phone or a cell phone and a bank account to deposit funds.
Now that you have done your research, the next step is to put your plan into action. You will need to create a website (this can be done for free), make sure you have or create a website, make some flyers (these can be done with word of mouth), and you want to create some ads on the Internet. The flyers are to be posted on free boards. These boards are found in most grocery stores, post offices and libraries. Depending on your budget, you can print these off on your computer or take them to a printing company. If you plan on tagging doors with your flyers, it is more economical to have a print company print them. There are lots of web hosting sites that offer free services, most of them offer upgrades at a cost. Remember think small and cost effective. You can always upgrade later (I always say share the love), remember those who help you succeed. Other things you will want to start thinking about is invoicing customers, writing work orders, keeping good records of the money coming in. You will need to get a business license - these cost about $35 in most states. Just a note, start keeping receipts for all purchases, these will be write offs on your itemized taxes return. Now with saying that you want to start setting money aside for taxes (the IRS has put bigger names than yours in prison).
Make sure that before you start advertising that you have the supplies and tools to effectively complete the jobs you will be doing. Most of your customers will supply the materials you will need, but those who don't you want too make sure you are prepared. Depending on the service you have decided to offer, the costs of supplies will range from $0 on up. Shop around to find the best deals.
Tools will most likely be the biggest investment in your new business. There are ways to keep these cost down. First you want to see what you have around the house. Second make a list of what you have and what you will need. The things that you do not have you can get used off the Internet or from a pawn shop or second hand store. If you can not purchase the tools, ask a family member or neighbor to borrow them. If they wont lend them too you ask to rent them. Whatever you do make sure you are prepared. You want the customer to see that you are a professional.
Managing your business is very important. You must also manage your time. Please know that at the beginning you must really pay attention to time management. This will not happen overnight, but if you follow my instruction you should be able to greatly improve your financial status and quit your full time job sooner than later or never. Steps for managing your business are in the next section.
Office tools will help you run your business more effectively. You can download Microsoft office for a price or OpenOffice.org for free. These are both great tools for managing a business website.