Business Venture

Effectively Approaching a New Business Venture can be hard. There are plenty of financial risks and pitfalls that come with entering into a new business. Often times a large sum of capital will be needed to get started, while other times difficulties in planning and organization will cause a company to fail before it has had a chance to make any money.

There are a number of strategies that one can take to make a business venture in any area succeed. While the specifics will vary based on what the nature of the business venture entails, these simple guidelines will help any business stay organized and succeed. Identify the product or service and the market: It is extremely important to know what a business is going to be doing. Having a fancy company name with no product, service, or idea to back it up will result in a failed business venture.

Businesses that are the most successful either create a product or service that solves a problem or they attack an old problem in a new way. Finding a niche and filling it, while not necessarily going to result in a multi-billion dollar business, will result in a stable and profitable business venture. Attacking a pre-existing problem in a new way is much more difficult. However, the rewards are big, especially if the pre-existing market is large. This strategy entails attracting customers from other companies through the use of a more creative solution to the market’s biggest problem.

The idea to this type of company is pretty simple when summarized: build a better mousetrap.

Create a stable and effective company structure: A business venture cannot succeed without a dedicated and organized team behind it. Each employee needs to know what his or her duties entail and how to best do his or her job. At the beginning of a business venture, an employee may wear many hats, like being the CEO and the lead programmer for the project simultaneously. However, as long as the company is structured such that employees won’t step on each other’s toes, employees having multiple roles will not be a problem. Organization is meant to promote company synergy and improve the chance of success.

Secure financing: A business cannot begin without financial capital. The three most common sources of financial aid are friends, family, and fools. Friends and family are friends and family of the employees of a business venture. They believe in the possibilities of their friends or relatives, and support them financially. Fools refers to groups like angel investors or the average purchaser of stocks. They are a lot less forgiving of mistakes or corporate mismanagement, but they have the potential to be worth large amounts of capital. These simple guidelines will help any business venture get started successfully.

Business Planning

Business planning is an important step towards achieving the objectives and goals of your newly established business. With a business plan, you are more focused with the steps you need to take and which direction to move forward to.

A business plan guides you where you want to go. Additionally, you will have a clear timeline for your deliverables including day-to-day operations and decisions. It may seem difficult to come up with a business plan at the beginning, especially if it is your first time but after a few years and you look back at how your plans have progressed and materialized, you will be thankful for drafting a business plan before diving into new territory.

So how exactly do you plan a business? If you are interested in exploring online marketing, there are several key issues you need to be aware of. But first, let’s start with the basics.

First, ask yourself why you want to start a business. Is this purely for financial reasons or you are passionate about a certain product or industry and making money out of it is just an added bonus? Are you going to provide a service or product? Are you familiar with the nature of the business you want to undertake or will you still need supplementary classes or guidance before getting started? These questions will assist you in planning your business because it narrows down your focus into ideas that you will pursue in the next few months or years.

Now, after zeroing in on a specific industry and product or service, you need to do preliminary research. Will you be the first one to offer this business or have others gone before you? If so, what will make you different from the competition? Will you be bringing in something new and revolutionary to attract customers and potentially steal away those whose loyalties have been with companies who came before you? Who will be your target market? What is your competition like – are they small businesses or are they large corporations with multinational offices around the world?

Once you have decided to really give this new endeavour a go, then it is time to make it legal. Submit the necessary licenses and permits. Attend relevant trainings and network with professionals in the same industry to start putting your business out there. The money comes in next. Will you be financing the business yourself or will you lure investors to put their money in your business?

Start-up businesses, especially Internet-based businesses, don’t necessarily require hundreds of thousands of dollars to set-up. In fact, e-commerce is the latest thing for business-minded individuals nowadays because it is very cost-effective. With only a few thousand dollars, you can easily have a website where you can upload your products and services and begin marketing and promoting your online shop. After setting up shop, whether physical or Web-based, be prepared to experiment with different strategies to find out which ones work and which ones don’t.

Every business needs a plan. It is more effective to draft a business plan in black and white where your purpose, relevance, goals, and action plans are defined. With a business plan, you can discuss the specifics of your product – target market, overview, projected costs, priorities, timeline, and industry trends. Even if you will be starting an online business, a written business plan is still necessary. Just because you will be transacting online doesn’t mean that plans have to literally be kept in the cloud.

After finalizing your business plan, disseminate it to everyone who is and will be part of it. That way, they will constantly be reminded of what their roles are and how important will they be in the upcoming months or years.

Executive Perspectives – How Do I Choose A Bank That’s Right For My Business?

As the economy finally begins to emerge from its doldrums, both large and small banks are jumping back into the small business credit markets. This has led to a steady climb in small business loan approvals. As lending for small business continues to increase I believe that business owners should carefully evaluate their choice of banks before signing on the dotted line.

Most entrepreneurs initially try to utilize the bank where they currently maintain their personal accounts to start this process. This may be a mistake, so let us explain why.

Banks usually classify themselves as either a retail bank or a business bank. Retail banks cater to the general public and specialize in providing all manner of bank accounts, credit cards, home equity loans, safe deposit boxes and general individual banking services. The target market for business banks is quite a bit different in that they are looking to attract business of a certain type or size. They do this to meet their banking needs which contain some of the aforementioned retail banking products but also tend to emphasize the installment loans and business lines of credit that we have discussed earlier as well as commercial real estate loans. Business banks do handle the banking needs of individuals, but these individuals tend to be connected to a business that the bank has as a client.

Businesses vary in terms of target market, specialty niches, size and type of clients, approach to customer service, and geographic locations. Banks are exactly the same way. The best rule of thumb that we can offer you in this regard is to take a good hard look at your company, its needs and its values and then do some research related to banks in your area and see what they offer.

The best approach to this type of research is a combination of internet searches, referrals from “happy” customers in like kind businesses (i.e. – your competition!!) and endorsements from your professional advisors such as your CPA firm who generally know the banks well that are within your geographic area. Generally speaking, larger banks tend to offer less personalized service that is not relationship based, with personnel turnover being pretty constant. Smaller community banks usually stress the better relationship and service aspects but can be more expensive. In either case, wherever you decide to bank, plan on having all of your business needs ( i.e., line of credit, installment loans, checking accounts) at one bank (in almost 100% of the cases, this will be a requirement anyway).