Starting-a-business-young-entrepreneur-tipsI would like to shamelessly plug and announce that your budget pal here just started a business! Yay! It’s called Gift Box Central. You can even like my page on Facebook. It’s very much appreciated :).

For this week, since it’s very appropriate, I want to talk about how YOU can start your own business too. For simplicity’s sake, let’s talk about having a sole proprietorship or a single member LLC. I am not a know-it-all kind of budget pal nor I claim that I am a business expert but I would like to share the process and experience that I had to go through when I started my very first business. Mind you, some parts are boring and some parts are exciting!

But why start a business?

Good thing you asked.

It could be from different reasons. The primary reason that I could think of is independence. Having your own business would mean that you will be working for yourself and not for anybody else. You will now be able to make your own hours and all the decisions. No more sucky hours and overtime. How cool is that?? No more assignments or orders from your boss/es because… uhmmm, you’re the boss. And most importantly, you get to keep all the profit for yourself!

<Insert Clairol’s commercial here where the lady was screaming Ohhh Yes Yes Yesssssss!!!>

Another reason why you would start your own businesss is to augment your income from your other job/s. It’s always nice to have another stream of income.

Other reasons may be for a hobby, for fun, or just simply to beat boredom. There are myriad of reasons.

Without any further ado, let me share with you the fun and the excitement!

The following are the steps in starting your own business:

1.) What Will It Be (THE BIG PICTURE)? – This could be one of the most difficult out of all the steps. This will be the foundation of your business. Most of us want to have a business but what is the question. What can you offer to people in exchange of their money? What will you sell? How will you sell?  When you finally have the aha moment, please proceed to #2.

2.) Financials – This is probably just as difficult as the first step especially when you don’t have ANY capital at all to begin with. How will you finance the operations of your business? Are you going to take out a loan? Will you take out some money from your savings?

3.) Legalities Before you even start your actual business, file all the necessary paper works first and make your business legit. For the most part, the procedures will be almost the same. You register your business in your local area and then to the national level. Remember when I said boring?

4.) Putting Up Your ACTUAL Business Together – This is where you decide the set up of your store (physical or online?) and products (make and/or buy or are you going to offer services?) of your business. This is also the part where you calculate your prices, come out with a business plan in case you need to expand or your business goes kaput, your terms and conditions, shipping info, payments, spreadsheets, work on your website, and other stuff. I know. Seems like a lot to take in but you don’t have to do everything at once.

5.) Advertise – The main purpose of advertising is for you to get customers. You need to let the world know that you have a business so that people can buy what you’re selling. There are so many different ways to advertise. One way is the traditional word of mouth. Tell your family and friends about your business and ask for their help to spread the word. Another way is through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’ve got 80 Facebook likes on my page for just a day. You can also put an ad on Craigslist. Or if you are willing to pay, you can hire an advertising agency to do the work for you. You can also advertise through the radio, newspaper, and television.

6.) Sell Sell Sell – Starting up a business is one thing. Selling is another thing. Selling, accompanied with effective cost management, is the most important of all the steps. This will be the heart of your business. Sales is one of the main factors that will determine the future of your business. You need to make sales in order for your business to survive. The more sales, the better. I have yet to achieve this.

Yes. Starting a business can be daunting. It can be a lot of work and it may not be for everyone. But if at one point in your life, you had thought of starting a business, why not give it a chance?  You never know, your idea might be the next big one. Big and successful businesses started from scratch. Big and successful businesses just started with a dream. Give your entrepreneurial spirit a chance and you might just turn your dream into a reality :).