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What is needed to start a business?

In order to start a business you will need an idea! It all begins with an idea and you may already have one. Next you will need to sit down and plan out how you will realize that idea. You will definitely need finance and some help form family and friends, perhaps you will need a business partner or the expertise of a person who will help your business idea grow. However, the most important point is planning and preparation.

Discipline

You will need to be disciplined and able to plan your time to service your clients/customers well. Success in any field required discipline. Working according to a plan and sticking to that plan will finally begin to produce results. If you practice discipline you will automatically begin to do the right things at the right time. You will learn to keep appointments, curtail expenses and complete work on time.

A basic knowledge of accounting

You will need to have a basic knowledge of accounting and book keeping. This is important to manage finances and keep the business economically viable. It will also help during filing of tax returns because you will know what can be included in business expenses and what cannot. Taxation laws allow for certain expenses to be included as business expenses such as rentals, fuel, travel costs, business luncheons, dinners etc. Most businessmen live off of their businesses and show their daily expenses as business expenses, thus saving on taxes.

Ability to source finances

You will need to have a lot of knowledge about finances. You’ll need to possess the knowledge of how to secure loans for business, paying off debt, use business credit cards effectively, operate a business bank account and be aware of taxation laws. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. You can always hire a part-time accountant who will manage your books and advise you on expenses and banking.

Some marketing ideas

Marketing is an art that can be developed. You will find that marketing skills will help you in every walk of life, be it asking your dad for a raise, when you were small, bargaining for some comics or books at the store, or convincing your girlfriend to marry you – not to mention selling your products or services in the cut-throat world of business. Get yourself a few books on the subject and read them through. You can pick up a few professional tips on the psychology of marketing from books.

A marketing plan

Next you will need a marketing plan. So, sit down and put pen to paper and chalk out a marketing strategy. You will need a clear idea of your market segment, the products and activities of your competitors, pricing and most of all, a fairly good idea of how to reach out to them convincingly. Your marketing plan should go through the AIDA process – Awareness, interest, decision and action.

Remember, your prospective customers/clients may not be aware of your services or products, your marketing plan must make them aware. Then your salesmanship must make them interested leading them on to make a decision (buy) and lastly coercing them into action (buying and paying) for the products or services.

Money

Last but not the least, you will need to finance everything you do everyday in order to make some profit. This could be your own investment, money secured through a loan, investments by friends and relatives or a business partner who is interested enough tot finance the business.

When you have your idea, marketing plan and finances in order you are ready to set out into the world of business.