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How to Start a Small and Simple Business Hustle-free

To start with, starting any kind of business demands money, and the bigger your concept, the more money you need. It is even more challenging if you don’t have the money thus the need for some excellent advise on how you can start something small.

It also calls on you to keep your costs as low as possible, sticking to a very focused approach, then slowly grow into something bigger. In a world that is dominated by so many big fish trading probably in the same field as you plan to, wanting to start your small business probably feels a bit like ‘David battling Goliath’.

There is a certain mindset that’s required for success. Passion, determination, and sheer will-whether it stems from a burning desire to be your own boss, realize your dream, or simply out of economic necessity – are the requisite traits. Then there is a huge swath of territory between your ‘idea’ and actually turning it into a business. 

This is why planning is so critical for your success, regardless of the type of business that you’re going to start. Planning runs the gamut from getting the right experience, writing a plan, pitching investors, setting up the business, hiring staff (if any) and implementing a marketing strategy to attract customers.

In order to be somehow guaranteed of success, it is advisable to venture on something that you love. It is really important that you truly deeply enjoy what you do considering the fact that you are going to devote a lot of time and energy to start a business and building it into a successful enterprise.

Well, to determine the best business to venture in you are advised to do a prior research on the rate at which your preferred products move in the places they sell the same. You can travel to an established shop that does the same trade, frequent the place for about a week to observe how well it does at the peak days and on the worse days, depending on the product you intend to sell.

You should also ask yourself what is the specialty product or line of products that you’re going to sell. May be there a particular product that you are just crazy about… one that you can see yourself selling 24/7. If so, then you have got yourself to the starting block.

The next question to consider: Is there is a market for your product? If you see similar products in other shops or in other parts of the country that are selling well, you might think there is a strong likelihood that you can make a solid business out of it. Finally, how are you going to make money from this product? Are you making the product yourself or buying it wholesale and then re-selling it? In either case, determine how much your costs are and then see how much you can sell it to a customer for.

For some products, it doesn't really matter how busy the shop is that day or period. Sales reps can stop a person who they think is a potential buyer based on their clothes, amount of shopping bags they are carrying, age, race and do the pitch and finalize the sale. At any given second, if there are 100 people on eye sight but if only 3 people are your assumed target, the headcount will have no sense.

Think about your practical experience in a retail environment. If you have worked retail, especially at a management level, then you have a sense of how business operates, from customer service to inventory management. Before you strike out on your own, get experience. One of the key reasons businesses fail is lack of experience. While you’re at it, find a mentor—someone who has significant experience in the business area that you’re entering. A mentor can share insights and experiences so you can apply them to your business.

Due to the risks involved, it is advisable too to start your business while you are still in paid employment probably due to the length of time you are going to live without money. Don't expect to start a business and then walk into a bank and get money. It may be a long time before your new business actually makes any profits. If you are out of money, work for your boss till you are sure that your new business is in a position to stand on its own for a few months.

You should also go out of your way to get clients or customers first before having to wait until you have officially started your business to line this up. If you currently work in a business similar to what you plan to start, it is advisable to keep a good customer rapour as you go on. Those are your potential clients and you got to be wise to devise ways to ‘poach’ them when you move ship. 

Finding an interesting and relatively unknown product too can give you more profit because your clients won't be able to have a ready alternative to compare prices. When there is none or too little competition, you can mark it up as high as you want if the product can carry that price.

Once you move to your new venture, it is wise to be ready for that challenging period where you now call the shots and every decision you make may break or make the entire venture. At the beginning, you may fail a few times and lose money on the products you thought would do well. I would say, for a startup, the most important thing would be the product itself. It is also recommendable to copy a few successful businesses you may have seen somewhere else and implementing that to your new venture.

As to where to get your products from, you will always find suppliers all over who would distribute the product for you. As much as possible try to eliminate the middle man. It is also very recommendable to be a ‘smart’ online researcher who finds suppliers for certain products on the net. You can search your products and information on Google and sites such as alibaba.com. Basically, the price is cheaper online. The extra amount your competitors pay becomes your cut for introducing the product to the consumer on a cheap.

Remember, impulse buy is a devil when personal finance is concerned. You should avoid it as plague.

Thinking of how you are going to brand your business is also very important. Branding is how you are going to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Think about your product’s value proposition. It is what you do that is unique, whether it’s the actual look of the product, the customer service, or a combination of both.

There are many other strong marketing strategies you can implement at low cost. If it is really worth it, create coupons and promotions that can be passed out to potential customers letting them know that you are open. 

You can also host an opening night party at a nearby venue or even at the store itself – just make sure to spend a little bit on refreshments for attendees. Use the social media forums such as Facebook and WhatsApp to let people know that you are open and make sure to invite them to the party. At the end of the day, if you provide a great product and service, customers will come back and they will tell their friends about you.

At first if the business is quite small, you need not hire staff to get started. However, when you feel it is time to expand or offer a wider variety, you will likely need one or two staff to serve customers and clean up the place. If you have to have any employees, it is wise to have them work commission basis. You can set reasonable target sales for each one of them whose percentage commission rate goes up as they do more sales. Based on this model, they will strive to do more sales to earn more from commission. This makes them very motivated and turns your shop into a big fun circus.

Another way to motivate your employees is by the way you treat them. All of your employees should have a vague idea of how much each of the products they sell costs. If they are interested in the product, they just pay the cost. Do at times take care of your employees, say the Saturday of every end month being the company’s meal day where you take them out for a bite. Each of them grabs a pen and paper and ask who wants to eat what and you pay for that meal.

If they need advance from their pay check, you hand them cash. Once you have their respect, they will not steal. 

After closing, they have an excel sheet printed to go through the inventory. Randomly, should go through their report once or twice a week and match up. Closing time is the most important part of the shift. Never trust a new employee doing the closing for bookkeeping, security and inventory purposes. He can very well empty out the store and leave or sell items in cash and still make the inventory look good without you knowing.

Remember, small business enterprises are ladders that need to be climbed to reach our ultimate goal. So, be patient and believe in your business. If you continue to put in hard work and have the desire and determination to succeed, you will.

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