Starting a Small Business: What You Need to Know

Over the years I have started several small businesses some have done well and others just okay. My very first one was a courier service contracted by a chain. The next was a family screen printing business printing for cosmetics and large corporate clients. This was sold off to a large conglomerate.

I got married and started a few smaller businesses initially in the same field but with ceramics as I had a job as factory manager for a large ceramic printing company when we got hitched. It ended up suffering and sold it off to do some smaller projects like offset printing, clothes screen printing, and lawn mowing.

My last big traditional business was we owned a preschool which was doing well till in the late 80s our interest on the loan hit 24% for 2 years which sent us bankrupt.

We moved from NSW to QLD and during the next couple of years tried all the MLM and direct selling businesses which were fun but I was not very good at them. Then I tried an online MLM program where you watched adds and got paid a small amount. Like MLM you could enroll others under you and get paid.

pam and Q starting a small business

Q and Pam Shanghai Airport

I did all this while in a new job with a start iup charity as a credit slerk.

The Internet was very young in 1996 and I started to learn to build websites with great success. The first one was for the charity I was working for which led to a lot of other charities and businesses wanting me to build for them too.

The charity got so busy I had to cut back so wrote my first eBook “My WebSite Manual”. This was downloaded over 10,000 times over the next couple of years most free but some paid. I was hooked! As I had been learning all this I was also in charge of IT for the Charity and learnt a lot and also installed a full network and linyx server with a little help.

Just as well I learnt so much as management changed and they thought a professional IT person might be required and offered me to saty doing accounts or take a redundancy. I took the redundancy and they ended contracting me back for the website etc. So started my little business.

This was 2003 and still the majority of the Internet was dial up and I went looking for products I could sell. I came across some streaming software which utilised the lastes flash for live streaming and ended up  buying the software and revamped it with my son and a couple of other uni students.

I released it in October of 2003 and by July 2004 I had made more than I did at work and the next year it doubled again. If you want to know more feel free to contact me.

5 Steps to Starting a Small Business: A Beginner’s Guide

As you have read starting a small business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it can also be challenging and overwhelming, especially if you are new to the world of entrepreneurship.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best way to start a small business and provide examples of successful businesses that have implemented these strategies. We will also explore the concept of “open business” and how it can benefit small business owners.

1. Identify a need in the market

The first step in starting a small business is to identify a need in the market. This could be a product or service that is not currently being offered or an existing product or service that can be improved upon. The streaming audio product was searched out because the charity wanted to have audio of orphans people supported.

Conducting market research can help you identify gaps in the market and determine what customers are looking for.

Example: In 2008, Airbnb was founded by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. They identified a need in the market for affordable accommodation during large events when hotels were fully booked. Airbnb allows homeowners to rent out their homes to travelers, providing an affordable alternative to traditional hotels.

2. Develop a business plan

Once you have identified a need in the market, the next step is to develop a business plan. A business plan is a written document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections. It is important to have a clear understanding of your business model and how you plan to generate revenue.

Example: Warby Parker, an eyewear company, developed a business plan that focused on offering affordable, stylish glasses online. They were able to keep costs low by designing their own frames and selling directly to consumers. This allowed them to offer glasses at a fraction of the cost of traditional retailers.

3. Secure funding

Starting a small business requires capital. There are several ways to secure funding, including loans, grants, and crowdfunding. It is important to have a clear understanding of your financial needs and how you plan to use the funds.

Example: GoPro, a camera company, secured funding through a combination of loans and investments. They used the funds to develop their first camera and launch a marketing campaign that focused on extreme sports.

4. Build a team

Building a team is an important part of starting a small business. You will need to hire employees or contractors who can help you achieve your business goals. It is important to find people who share your vision and are passionate about your business.

Example: Slack, a messaging platform, was founded by Stewart Butterfield. He assembled a team of experienced engineers and designers who shared his vision of creating a messaging platform that was easy to use and could integrate with other business tools.

5. Embrace open business

Open business is a concept that involves sharing knowledge, resources, and ideas with others. It is based on the idea that collaboration and transparency can lead to innovation and growth. Small businesses can benefit from open business by collaborating with other businesses, sharing resources, and engaging with their customers.

Example: Tesla, an electric car company, has embraced open business by sharing its patents with other companies. This has led to increased innovation in the electric car industry and has helped Tesla establish itself as a leader in the field.

Starting a small business can be challenging, but by following these steps and embracing open business, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to identify a need in the market, develop a business plan, secure funding, build a team, and embrace collaboration and transparency. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

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