Here at USBSI we like to think of ourselves as a full-service MSP. According to our merchants we not only offer competitive rates and service, but also tons of value adds…anywhere from merchant extra-nets to our industry blog. In this post, we want to provide basic information for anyone who wants to start their own business.
1. Market research. A comprehensive study and analysis of all your potential markets is something most merchants either don’t know how to do themselves because they lack the training or can’t afford to pay someone else to do because it’s so expensive. But there are a few less expensive (and, admittedly, less scientifically exact) techniques that you can use to find out what consumers want. Read some market research tips from the Small Business Association.
2. Self-assessment. Once you have some idea of what the market wants, now is the time to begin looking at your skills and experiences. You’ll need to match your skills with what the market wants. Once you match your skills to what’s available as a business start-up choice, you should be well on your way to picking the small business that’s right for you.
NOW: Compare the list you’ve just made from #1 above with your list of what the market wants#2 as derived from your research. Do any obvious matches leap out at you? For example what kinds of businesses would you like and prosper in? If not, don’t give up. Keep considering until you get some good matches.
Narrowing the Potential Choices
1. Look at the list that you compiled from your market research; eliminate any of the businesses that you don’t believe you’ll really enjoy owning. As a small business owner, you’ll be living, sleeping, and breathing your business – if you don’t enjoy that type of business, your chances for success are slim.
2. On the other hand, be wary of relying too heavily on your list of interests when making your choice. Don’t forget that most of a small business owner’s time is spent on tasks such as managing employees, dealing with suppliers, meeting with your lawyer or accountant, etc.
3. If you don’t have a lot of money to start with, look for a business where you get paid up front and you don’t have a lot of startup costs.
4. Look for businesses where you will have a lot of repeat customers or where people will need to keep buying supplies from you.
5. Deeply consider whether you want a continuous or seasonal business…there are pro and cons to them both.
6. Try to void competing with discounters or with well-established businesses, since it will be just about impossible to compete with their prices. Instead, you’ll have to compete in service.
7. Service businesses are the easiest and cheapest to start because you don’t have to buy a lot of equipment and you might not need any employees at first.
There are many more to consider, but we have outlined a few topics here to get you on the path to success. Good Luck!
At USBSI we can help you all along the business decision-making process. If you are at an impasse, give us a call…we can help. Just contact one of our helpful sales experts. To find out more about your industry and our service, please call us at 888-525-8558 or on the web at www.usbsi.com.