How to Plan Your Business


Once you have found a product or service you want to sell and have tested it thoroughly you are ready to begin planning your business. Building a business takes time, effort, patience, and a strong commitment. The suc­cess of your business will depend largely upon your willingness to take the time to plan before you begin. Many would-be busi­ness owners are so anxious to get started that they skip this step. And this is one of the biggest reasons why so many new businesses fail in their first year. The fierce competition in busi­ness leaves very little room for error.

Naming Your Business

The name of your business serves as its goodwill ambassador. The name is the first contact customers have with your busi­ness, and it sets the stage for all the impressions that follow.

Effective names communicate your identity to the public. An ineffective name can severely handicap your business or prod­uct. Your company may be able to get by with an ineffective name, but it probably will never reach its true potential for suc­cess. And in some cases an ineffective name can contribute to business failure. The name you choose should promote your business and motivate people to buy what you’re selling. These four guidelines can help you find the right name:

1. Make sure the name you choose speaks directly to your targeted customers.

2. Make sure the name you choose motivates people to buy from you.

3. Make sure the name you choose is memorable. It should stick in people’s minds.

4. Make sure the name you choose is distinctive enough to make your business stand out from your competition and legally protect your product or service from unauthorized use.

Location

Before you decide on a location for your new business, you must identify the market you plan to serve. Your business loca­tion must be convenient for your customers and affordable to you. Begin by writing a description of the ideal location, keep­ing in mind your target market and sales potential. When you consider rent, make sure that every additional rental dollar gen­erates additional sales volume for your business.

Consider these questions before choosing a location for your business: How much is the rent per square foot? How many businesses have opened and closed lately in the area, particu­larly those similar to yours? What is the potential customer traffic in daytime and evening? This is especially relevant if you are going to start a business where browsing is important, such as a card or toy store. Is there enough free parking, and is there public transportation nearby? Does the site allow for fu­ture expansion?

You also need to assess your competition. Will one of your com­petitors be located nearby? How large is the store? How are your competitors’ sales? If their products or services are simi­lar to yours, are your prices competitive? Are customers offered anything special, such as free gifts or special sales

Researching your prospective location is easy and inexpensive. The only major investment is your time. You can gather infor­mation about an area from your local Chamber of Commerce, industrial commissions, merchandise suppliers, and your banker. Visit the site and talk to other business owners about pedestrian traffic, parking, and browsers as opposed to actual buyers. Most owners will be more than happy to give their ad­vice and opinions.

Another option is to start your business from your home. Thou­sands of successful businesses are started each year this way. Working from home may be an ideal way for you to start, as long as your business doesn’t depend on store traffic.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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