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BUSINESS START UP:
Do I have what it takes to be my own boss and manage a small business?
How and what kind of business should I choose?
Do I need to choose a partner to fulfill my goals and succeed in business?
How do I choose a location for my business?
BUSINESS PLANNING:
What is a Business Plan?
Why do I need a Business Plan?
Do I need a Business Plan even if I own a small business?
Do I need to hire an expert to write my Business Plan?
How do I put my Business Plan to work?
Do the investors or bank require a Business Plan for funding?
 
BUSINESS AND LEGAL PROCEDURES:
Where do I register my business?
What is an EIN?
What is a business plan important to establish a business and why do I need one?
How should I handle accounting and bookkeeping?
Are there any record keeping software that I can use?
What are the legal procedure I have to follow to establish a small business?
OFFICE START UP:
How do I know what kind of office equipment is necessary for my business?
What about website, internet and phone connection?
What about furniture and office supplies?
How can I get inexpensive business stationery?
BUSINESS FUNDING:
How much fund do I need to start-up?
How can I finance my business?
What is the process to get a loan?
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING:
What is marketing and what does it involve?
What is a marketing Plan? do I need one?
What is advertising, how can I advertise my business?

How else can I advertise my business?

BUSINESS START UP:

Q- Do I have what it takes to be my own boss and manage a small business?
A- You will be the most valuable asset of your company, however, being self employed is not as easy as it sounds. The first and foremost, you should analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You should also do a self analyzes by asking yourself the following questions.
a. Am I capable to be a self starter?
b. Am I motivated enough to face challenges?
c. Am I able to make important business decisions?
d. Do I have a strategic plan intact for my business?
e. Am I willing to work long hours and face a tough challenges ahead to achieve success?

Q-
How and what kind of business should I choose?
A- Obviously you should choose a business to match your background and skills. Once you evaluate your own skill, it will be a good idea to seek advise from local business owners or business association to find out about the growth potential of various businesses in the area.

Q-
Do I need to choose a partner to fulfill my goals and succeed in business?
A- Provided that your partner brings a special skill that you are lacking, there is never a guarantee that having a partner will bring success and growth to your business. For example, if you are a skilled individual with no business management background, it will be wise to have a partner who will handle all your business management inquires. You need to make sure that a legal contract is always drawn for partnership to avoid any future conflict.

Q-
How do I choose a location for my business?
A- You need to make a major effort and contribute a lot of time to select your business location. A detailed marketing plan will determine the ideal location for your business. You should also analyze the following prior selecting your business location.
a. nature of your business.
b. number of competitive within 10 miles of radius
c. potential market growth
d. demographics and market target

Q- What is Business plan?
A-
A Business Plan is a description of your business, including its products, services, its markets, the people involved, and your financing needs.Why do I need a Business Plan?
To keep you focus on your business goals and objectives.

Q-
Do I need a Business Plan even if I own a small business?
A-
Absolutely, your business plan could be only few pages, but it will be a great sale tool and can serve as your company brochure.

Q- Do I need to hire an expert to write my Business Plan?
A-
It really depends what is the purpose of the business plan. If you are seeking for funds, it is recommended to hire a business consultant to prepare the plan.

Q- How do I put my Business Plan to work?
A-
There are many ways you can utilize your business plan 1) refer to it on regular basis as a guide and BIBLE of your company 2) use it as an effective sales tool 3) to seek funding for business start up or expansion 4) to seek for an investor.

Q- Do the investors or bank require a Business Plan for funding?
A-
Absolutely, having a solid business plan will proof your enthusiasm and seriousness in business.
                                        Remember that Failing to Plan is planning to fail.

BUSINESS AND LEGAL PROCEDURES:


Q-
Where do I register my business?
A- It is absolutely imperative that you register your business name as soon as you decide to establish a business. To register your business name, refer to your local country clerk registrar office. Business registration normally takes 30-40 days.

Q-
What is an EIN?
A- An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a federal tax identification number, and is used to identify a business entity. Generally, businesses need an EIN. You can apply for an EIN online. Visit www.IRS.org for more information.

Q-
What is a business plan important to establish a business and why do I need one?
A- There is no question that YOU SHOULD HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN prior business start-up. A sound, detailed Business plan is the BIBLE for your company and the best tool to define your business current and future goals and objectives. A good written business plan plays a crucial part to obtain funding from any financial institutions. Business plan provides specific financial information about your company and defines your current operation, as well as future forecast of your business.

Q-
How should I handle accounting and bookkeeping?
A- It is absolutely necessary to keep an adequate records of business transactions. To save yourself a lot of stress and headache, it’s best to hire a CPA to handle accounting and bookkeeping, but at minimum, you should keep records to substantiate:
1. Federal and State tax returns, as well as social security
2. Files in related to business loans;
3. Any claims you may have about the business, should you wish to sell it.
4. All receipts in regards to business transactions.

Q-
Are there any record keeping software that I can use?
A- Yes, should you choose not to hire a CPA, there are many accounting software programs that you can purchase for less than $100.00 and it is a friendly user. In addition to software, there are many local financial resources, such as; SCORE, SBA offices who can assist you with your bookkeeping and accounting needs.

Q-
What are the legal procedure I have to follow to establish a small business?
A- License and registration requirements varies from business to business and state to state. For more detailed information, please refer to your local small business administration office or local chamber of commerce. General forms can be obtained from the county clerk office.
Other legal issues, such as; type of the organization (corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship) and tax status for such organizations should be discussed with a business attorney

 

OFFICE START UP:


Q-
How do I know what kind of office equipment is necessary for my business?
A- If you are not able to determine an inventory for your business, it is best to consult a computer consulting firm to provide you with a list of equipment which will work the best for your business. You will need to purchase computers, as well as other technology office equipment to run your business. Should you require to purchase expensive equipment, you may want to consider leasing the equipment at which time you can upgrade periodically.
Large computer corporations such as Dell, Compaq, Hewlet Packard, offer special programs for small business, for more information, visit their websites.
Choosing software programs is an important part of your business. You should always purchase and register the programs under your business name to avoid piracy.

Q-
What about website, internet and phone connection?
A- Depending upon the nature of your business, you should register a domain name for your business which is a simple process. To set up a website, you can either learn to design your own site, or find a young creative individual to handle your website and maintain it on monthly basis. Based on the complexity of the site, the cost can range from $500-$1000 per site with a monthly maintenance fee of $30-$50.
Should you require to have internet connection for your business, the best approach is to set up a DSL with a local phone company, which can run from $30-$40 a month.
Local phone companies have special programs for small business owners that provides many features at a discounted rate.

Q-
What about furniture and office supplies?
A- Obviously you need to have office furniture to start up your business. Many places, such as Office Depot and Staples offer special discounts to small business owners which can save you up to 20 percent of purchase price. If you have time and can travel to discount stores, you may save yourself up to 50% of the regular price. Remember, you are starting a business and do not need elegant furniture, do not overspend on furniture. As for supplies, it is recommended to establish a small business account with large office suppliers (office depot, staples) and order via catalogue to save additional cost on supplies.

Q-
How can I get inexpensive business stationery?
A- You can design your own stationery and buy fancy paper and print a high quality stationery. Should you choose to print in volumes, the best approach is to find a reasonable printer to print your stationery, envelopes, labels and all other forms that you may need for business. Remember, the larger the volume, the less the cost.

 

BUSINESS FUNDING:


Q-
How much fund do I need to start-up?
A- Once you have taken care of the logistic of the start-up, you must secure enough operating funds to pay for your overhead for at least 9- 12 months. These expenses includes; owner salary, office rent and utilities, loans and other expenditures. Once you have taken care of your building and equipment needs. You should determine your monthly overhead to estimate your cash flow needs.

Q-
How can I finance my business?
A- You should use the most sensible plan to finance your business. There are many ways to finance your business. Following are few choices:
1- Utilize your own personal funds
2- Borrow from friends and family
3- Financial Institutions (banks, other financial services)
4- Local development companies
5- Your own insurance policies
6- Liquidate personal stocks and bonds
7- Borrow against retirement plan
A local SBA office can provide you with many other sources of funding.


Q-
What is the process to get a loan?
A- The first and foremost is to have a solid, well written business plan to define your business, goals and objectives, financial statements and other essential information to convince the lender that you are serious about the success of your business. Prepare yourself to answer the following questions.
1- How will you utilize the loan?
2- The amount of funds needed for start-up
3- How will you repay the loan?
Once you go through the interview, you should determine the best loan for your business, complete the paperwork and wait for the approval.

 

MARKETING AND ADVERTISING:

Q-
What is marketing and what does it involve?
A- Marketing is the most powerful tools for the success of your business, it will either make or break you. The four basic aspects of marketing which often called “four P’s” are:
Product: Anything that you sell which can be goods or a service.
Price: The most important factor
Promote: The ways you inform your customers about the goods or service.
Provide: Another definition is distribution, how would you distribute goods or services to your customer.

Q-
What is a marketing Plan? do I need one?
A- Like a good business plan which defines your current and future goals, a good marketing plan is a tool for you to understand your customers and target the right market segment. A marketing plan provides a comprehensive statement of what you expect from each good or service in the future. Marketing plan should be prepared on an annual basis, and includes both historical data and recommendation on how to improve performance. The plan should include the following:
1- current company situation
2- business environment
3- target markets
4- objectives
5- strategy
6- actions program
7- anticipated results
8- contingency plan
Due to the nature of your business, it is absolutely essential to have a good marketing plan in order to understand your internal and external issues. Should you require to have a marketing analysis done to have a better idea about your competitors, it is recommended to hire an individual consultant to handle this important task.


Q-
What is advertising, how can I advertise my business?
A- There are many ways of marketing your good or service, one of the most important is how to select the best way to advertise your business. Once you identify the appropriate target market segments, then you should make a series of decisions that establish the scope and direction of your advertising program. These include the following:
1- select advertising objectives
2- develop an advertising budget
3- develop campaign themes
4- pick appropriate media
5- monitor results.
The primarily advertising objective for a business is the end result. If you do not see any positive results after 30 days, then you should change your strategy.

Q-
How else can I advertise my business?
A- NETWORK, NETWORK AND MORE NETWORK. You should definitely set aside some time to network with local business owners, get involve with the local Chamber of commerce and attend their monthly business mixers, attend SBA workshops and seminars and always carry a bunch of flyer or business cards in your brief case.
I AM READY…………..WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Now that you have done all the above, you are ready for operation. It is always a good idea to have someone double check your business and marketing plan for accuracy. You can either hire a consultant to do this task, or contact the business department of a local college or university, or contact local SBA or SCORE for their advise. Now you are ready to open a business bank account and move on.
The last but not least…………………… STAY FOCUS
COMMIT YOURSELF TO SUCCESS
KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAM TO ACHIEVE
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
GOOD LUCK……..