You Can Have A Successful Small Business


 You Can Have A Successful Small Business

Launching a business can seem like a daunting task. It requires more than just talent and drive to become an entrepreneur — it often takes vast amounts of capital, connections, and expertise. But the internet has democratized entrepreneurship: it's never been easier for people with few resources or contacts to build profitable businesses. In this post we'll show you how!

Gather Your Supplies

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-Basic Supplies: pen & paper (for jotting down ideas that come to you), calculator (the most useful thing in the world), and a chair. You may think these are non-essential, but you should have them anyway.
-Professional Supplies: a notebook at least 1/4" thick, a stopwatch or timer that's accurate to within .001 second, and a notepad with graph paper on it. These are the components that will help you become more efficient at thinking things through down to the very last detail.
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Eliminate Emotions
In any important decision, you should make yourself a promise beforehand that, no matter how much it hurts, you'll keep your emotions out of it. This type of decision making is extremely important because it prevents us from making poor choices because we're too emotionally attached to them. If possible, get a trusted friend or family member to help you eliminate your emotions by looking at the pros and cons of the situation objectively with you. Then, write down what's left on a piece of paper (I use the lined side of my notepad. For example, you might write "bad, bad, good" and then try to figure out which is the biggest negative.) Take a moment to think about the situation objectively and rationally before you proceed.
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Identify Your Goals
Once you've thought things through as much as possible, it's time to determine your goals. First identify what matters most (usually it's money or control over something). Then, determine the exact steps that will allow you to achieve your goal (again, usually money or control). Finally, break down each step into smaller steps and make sure you've planned for every contingency.
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Make Sure You Can Afford It
Before even considering a business opportunity, make sure you can afford it. It's easy to lose track of this fact because we sometimes think that if we could just get the money we'd be good to go. But remember: the reality is that startups cost money — at least, they do in the beginning. It's OK to want money, but doing it without a good plan doesn't work out. Make sure you can afford it before you start.
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Analogy: A Strategy Game (Note: We don't endorse the following analogy.)
One of the reasons that small businesses fail is because they're too complicated. Let's take a look at an analogy from a business strategy game that will help us understand why complications make all sorts of businesses fail. In this analogy, we'll be playing our own version of Monopoly where we collect rents and make money by traveling around the board. The board has properties, utilities, railroads, etc.
First let's divide the board into 10 sections:
1) Start in the Downtown district where we can build houses and hotels.
2) Go to City Hall to collect taxes.
3) Go to the Utilities section and buy (left click) electricity power plants and irrigation systems on the board. We can also sell these in order for more money (right click).
4) Railroads will take us from one property to another allowing us to make money by transporting goods. The starting properties are railroads so people may be on their way right now...
6) The Tax Collector takes money from the properties in the Downtown area by way of taxes.
7) When we're done with property #1, we can sell it to the bank for more money. The bank loans us money for free and collects interest on our loans (right click to cash in).
8) When we've made enough money, we can buy a Mini-Metro and go to the space industry where we need materials such as aluminum, gold, silicon, etc. The Mini-Metro can manufacture things like rockets and satellites (right click).
9) Once you have enough equipment at your disposal, you can go to Space Travel where you will control Earth's orbit around the sun (left click).
10) You can also travel by your own free will to the moon where you'll find giant gold boulders. If you manage to mine them, they'll be worth a lot of money (right click).
If we take our analogy and simplify it somewhat, we can see that many of the things that we can do in the game will help us with our business. For example, if you have a lot of houses in the Downtown area your income is higher because you earn more from each house every time somebody passes by. In other words, your business has a much higher chance for success if there are more people around to consume what you're selling (like the utility company). We can also see that the more railroads we have (just like the more customers you have), the more people will walk by your properties and make you money. Finally, let's say we want to build a house on a street in Downtown. We'd need an irrigation system because without it, there would be no water for the house to drink (no money for us). Finally, if we want to travel around the board more quickly — like the Mini-Metro does — we need vehicles too. This way, we can get from place to place without worrying about losing money or wasting our time walking.
Note: This analogy is given for educational purposes only. We're not affiliated with Parker Brothers.
For our business, we'll be playing Monopoly but with a twist: We'll be starting in Downtown and working our way around the board after we buy the properties. In many ways, this will make the journey easier since we don't have to worry about finding people to start with.
Another idea that might come in handy is to divide the city into 4 quadrants so that you travel around it easier. For example, you could divide it into North-East-South-West so that you can travel from one side of the board to another without walking through Downtown.

The truth is that there are a million ways to go about a startup. You can do it in the same way everyone else does it or you can take a risk and try something new. Some people will invest everything they have into a business and go belly up in 30 days while others will only invest what they have and still make it big. Remember that time is money, but money is also time. Plan carefully and make sure you're comfortable with your plan before you get started!
Finally, don't forget to start small if you need to! Your goal should always be growth (unless your business is failing) but sometimes the best way to grow is by starting small — especially if you've never done it before.

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