Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's Involved In Starting A Small Business?

Last night I started a three day course on starting a small business. The class is intended to be an overview of what a person may be getting themselves into. We had two speakers last night, one on "The Business Plan" and one on "Marketing". I thought I would share my notes as I take the class in order to help others who are interested in starting or improving their small business.

The Business Plan: "Businesses don't plan to fail--they fail to plan."
The first speaker discussed the importance of creating a business plan for yourself. He stressed you should be honest in it and fill it full of information that YOU, as the business owner, should know. He covered the "4 Ps" of the plan, which are: Product, Place, Pricing and Promotion. He said a great business plan will lead to sound business structure, produces a marketing plan, clarifies financial needs and serves as a communication tool. In summary, he compared the plan to a roadmap, it will help you get from point A to point B. It must be accurate, and after you write it, you must USE it. Also, for more help (and free business related templates, including a business plan) he directed us to SCORE, a great and FREE resource for small businesses.

Marketing: Honestly, I didn't get much from this presenter, she wasn't terribly organized. I feel like I've gotten TONS more great marketing tips from the Etsy Forums. The presenter mainly said to do market research, primary (interviews, surveys, focus groups) and secondary (demographics type stuff). She also said to check out your competition and to hire a professional to help with your branding and choice of advertising mediums. As I said, the etsy forums gave me more gems than I got from her presentation!


Aaron said...

I don't know much about this stuff, but I've often contemplated what it would take to open up an online knife and tool shop. Alas, I'm bad with $. But it looks to me like you're well on your way to being a small business, I guess the challenge is getting traffic to your blogger site? It would appear as if you're full of common-sense and great ideas though. Much respect and lcuk.

aksarbenlove said...

I took classes from the SBA, they were very valuable in my personal opinion. They were two days and covered bookkeeping, marketing, business plans, taxes, investments, and other issues.


kristal @ http://aksarbenlove.com