The 9-to-5 grind can make you feel like a just another cog in the corporate machine, constantly punching the clock for someone else's vision.† One day, while dreaming of the world outside the cubicle, you have your big "Eureka!" moment-you've come across an idea so perfect that you need to start your own business around it.††
Coming up with the idea is the easy part.† Now, you're thrown into an entrepreneurial world where even the experience businessperson can feel overwhelmed by all the details.†
It's hard to know where to even begin.† So here are some tips to starting your own business:
-† Craft a primitive budget:† do you have enough capital to get this idea rolling?† First things first, figure out roughly how much it'll cost you including all expenses, and where that money will be coming from.† Call in favors from everyone you've even leant money to in the past in need be.†††
-† Does the business world need you?:† is there a large enough demand for your product?† Ask around before even attempting to start your business-check with similar businesses in the area, or around the country.† Find out how they started, and what kinds of clients they target, to get an idea of where you'll fit in the market.†
-† Create a strong management team:† your team members should share your vision of the business, and a certain amount of proficiency and credibility.† Rely on your connections to find the perfect people for the jobs that will bring their expertise to the business.† Remember that you will eventually have to set aside your ego and let them control certain aspects of the company, so your have to feel comfortable around your management team.†
-† Start small:† instead of immediately trying to market your product to 5,000 companies at once, focus on a few dozen specialized local companies to network with.† This way you can call them each personally, mail them your marketing materials, and then arrange a meeting.†††
-† Quality matters:† you want to be able to set your self apart from all the other businesses similar to yours.† Having an eye-catching yet simple to navigate web site and presentation material is key to succeeding in the modern business world.† Creating quality marketing tools doesn't have to cost you a fortune either; consider hiring a design art or marketing student from a nearby university to help out.† You never know, you could even meet your next Junior Executive.†††††
-† Come up with a good business plan:† keep it less than 25 pages, and include information about your management team, who your customers as, and most importantly, why the world needs your business.† At this stage in the game, don't over-focus on the financial side of things yet.† A business plan outline can be found at www.sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html">http://www.sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html.
For more tips, including an A-to-Z guide to starting your own business, and 21 ways to draw customers in, go to www.entrepreneur.com">www.entrepreneur.com.†††
Jessica Klein is a member of the 'Mount Real Research Team', whose aim is to seek out and distribute business information to the virtual public.† She is a freelance writer based in Montreal, Canada who loves writing about anything from accounting to zebras.
For more info about Mount Real, visit www.mountreal.com">http://www.mountreal.com.
Mitch McConnell unveils resolution to move trial forward with unanticipated speed, consigning key proceedings to late-night hours
As Donald Trump prepared on Tuesday to address the billionaires in Davos, the US Senate prepared to hear opening arguments in an impeachment trial that could remove Trump from the presidency, if not from his seemingly unassailable perch in the public eye.
For only the third time in history, prosecutors sent by the House of Representatives will rise on the Senate floor to charge the president with ‚Äúhigh crimes and misdemeanors‚ÄĚ and declare that he must be turned out of the White House.
Melbourne University academic rebuffed bid to recruit her in exchange for her release, letters reveal
Iran tried to recruit the British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert as a spy for Tehran in exchange for her release, but the overture was furiously rebuffed, letters smuggled out of Evin prison reveal.
Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated academic specialising in Middle East politics, is currently being held in Ward 2A, an isolated Revolutionary Guard-run wing of Tehran‚Äôs notorious Evin prison, serving a 10-year sentence for espionage, a charge she, and the Australian government, rejects as entirely false.
Memories of 2003‚Äôs Sars outbreak cause jitters on financial markets, with Hong Kong worst hit, as death toll rises to four
Shares have fallen across Asia Pacific amid mounting concerns about a new strain of coronavirus in China that has left at least four people dead and spread to at least four countries.
With the economic damage done by the devastating 2003 Sars virus still fresh in the mind of many traders, stocks were sold heavily on Tuesday and expectations grew that the markets were in for more falls in the days ahead.
Family of 15-year-old Nora Anne Quoirin have asked authorities to conduct inquest
The parents of an Irish girl who was found dead after going missing from a Malaysian nature resort last year have sued the resort owner for alleged negligence and asked the authorities in Kuala Lumpur to conduct an inquest.
Nora Anne Quoirin, 15, who had learning difficulties, disappeared in early August from a rainforest resort in Seremban, about 45 miles (70km) south of the Malaysian capital, a day after her family arrived on holiday.
Extradition hearing begins in Canada as defence team rejects allegations that executive tried to get around Iran sanctions
The accusations of sanctions busting against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou have been dismissed by her lawyers as ‚Äúfiction‚ÄĚ at the start of a legal hearing in Canada in which she is fighting extradition to the United States.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the technology conglomerate, and eldest daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, is wanted by US authorities for alleged fraud in trying to circumvent Washington‚Äôs sanctions against Iran.
The Angolan government has vowed to use ‚Äúall possible means‚ÄĚ to force the return of Isabel dos Santos following the Luanda Leaks investigation into how the ex-president‚Äôs daughter accrued her $2bn fortune.
Josep Llu√≠s Trapero faces up to 11 years in prison over alleged role in failed bid for independence
A former Catalan police chief has denied being close to the deposed regional president who led the failed bid for independence from Spain two years ago, as he appeared in court accused of rebellion over his alleged role in the push for secession.
Josep Llu√≠s Trapero, who served as the chief of the Mossos d‚ÄôEsquadra until he was sacked by the central government in October 2017, faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted of colluding with the regional government of Carles Puigdemont.
Meng ‚Äď a former vice-minister of public security in China ‚Äď is among a growing group of Communist party cadres caught in President Xi Jinping‚Äôs anti-corruption campaign, which critics say has also served as a way to remove the leader‚Äôs political enemies.
Men in New Zealand and Spain calculated longitude and latitude to perfectly align both slices
An Auckland university student has created an ‚Äúearth sandwich‚ÄĚ with a stranger in Spain, after a long search for an accomplice.
Etienne Naude, 19, placed a slice of white bread on the ground at Bucklands Beach in Auckland, using longitude and latitude to ensure he was precisely opposite a volunteer he had found in the south of Spain after posting for help on Reddit.
The Senakw development aims to ease the city‚Äôs chronic housing crisis ‚Äď and to challenge the mindset that indigeneity and urbanity are incompatible
The scrubby, vacant patch beneath the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver looks at first glance like a typical example of the type of derelict nook common to all cities: 11.7 acres of former railway lands, over which tens of thousands of people drive every day.
This is not any old swath of underused space, however. It‚Äôs one of Canada‚Äôs smallest First Nations reserves, where dozens of Squamish families once lived. The village was destroyed by provincial authorities more than a century ago.
Amazon have arrived in force in rapidly expanding Hyderabad, with designs on the currently almost non-existent Indian e-commence market
The futuristic lobby of the new Amazon building in Hyderabad feels as though it should have a permanent orchestra blasting out Also Sprach Zarathustra. The scale is intended to awe. A large slogan on a wall suggests the company is ‚ÄúDelivering smiles‚ÄĚ. The only sound that rises above the hush is a synthesised beep, coming from a giant screen playing a video of the campus at various stages of its construction.
Built on nine acres in this Indian city‚Äôs financial district, it is Amazon‚Äôs single largest building globally and the only Amazon-owned campus outside the US. It can house over 15,000 employees, but its size is its main architectural feature: it resembles the same cube of glass steel and chrome seen in corporate offices across Hyderabad, though a flash of magenta reflected in one of the top floor windows, from a billowing sari across the road, is a nice Indian touch.
Minibuses that run on Friday evenings and Saturdays buck state‚Äôs religious restrictions
Tel Aviv is one of Israel‚Äôs most dynamic cities, but the latest local craze could appear fairly humdrum to outsiders ‚Äď a bus service that runs at weekends.
Packed 19-seat minibuses fill up fast with passengers, who excitedly gossip about the new routes. People patiently queue at bus stops, knowing they might have to wait for two or three buses to pass before there is a space. Still, they are upbeat. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a pleasure,‚ÄĚ said Ben Uzan, a 30-year-old electronic engineer. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a blessed initiative.‚ÄĚ
The Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur, India, is helping to tackle the country‚Äôs plastic waste problem ‚Äď and their novel idea is catching on
On bad days, when his employer made some excuse for not paying him his paltry daily wage, Ram Yadav‚Äôs main meal used to be dry chapatis, with salt and raw onion for flavour. Sometimes he just went hungry. For a ragpicker like him, one of the thousands of Indians who make a living bringing in plastic waste for recycling, eating in a cafe or restaurant was the stuff of fairytales.
But last week, Yadav was sitting at a table at the Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur, in the state of Chhattisgarh, over a piping hot meal of dal, aloo gobi, poppadoms and rice. He earned the food in exchange for bringing in 1kg of plastic waste. ‚ÄúThe hot meal I get here lasts me all day. And it feels good to sit at a table like everyone else,‚ÄĚ he said.
Housewives, grandmothers and students in Delhi at centre of resistance to new citizenship laws
With a toothless grin and a clenched fist raised to the heavens, 90-year-old Asma Khatun chanted exuberantly. ‚ÄúAzadi,‚ÄĚ she cried, using the Hindi word for freedom and joining a loud chorus that rang out across Shaheen Bagh, a neighbourhood in South Delhi that over the past few weeks has become a nationwide symbol of resistance.
In her nine decades, Khatun has lived through British colonial rule, the war of independence and India‚Äôs bloody partition with Pakistan, but as a housewife she had always stayed behind closed doors and barely brushed with politics. That was until last month.
The 16-year-old, from Eritrea, had been in the facility for more than a year and died of an unknown illness and lack of medical care
A 16-year-old is the latest person to die in a network of Libyan detention centres where refugees and migrants are locked up indefinitely after they are returned to the war-torn north African country by the EU-funded coastguard.
Fellow detainees in Sabaa detention centre, Tripoli, named the boy as Adal Debretsion, an Eritrean who had reportedly been locked up for more than a year. They said the teenager died on 12 January of an unknown illness and a lack of medical care.
Magistrate dismisses police contention Prof Dianne Jolley is a threat to public safety, after she spends two weeks in jail
Police have been accused of acting in ‚Äúsecret‚ÄĚ to obtain key documents in the case of a Sydney professor‚Äôs alleged fake harassment campaign.
Prof Dianne Jolley, the dean of science at the University of Technology Sydney, was arrested in November for allegedly sending fake threats to herself after the university planned to cancel a Chinese medicine course.
Far from promising an economic miracle, the UK has missed the boat on a continent on the brink of a painful debt crisis
Tony Blair‚Äôs cheerleading for the UK-Africa investment summit is of a piece with much of the former prime minister‚Äôs recent career. Trading in grand-sounding ideas, often very short on detail, he brings the pitch of an evangelist crossed with a lobbyist to the world‚Äôs biggest problems.
Decreased flows caused by water-hungry neighbours, especially India, are damaging river communities
‚ÄĘ All photographs by Kaamil Ahmed
Holding his downturned palm level with his waist, Musana Robi Das indicates how tall he was when he started working on Bangladesh‚Äôs rivers.
As a child he helped his father ferry villagers across local waterways. Now a tall and spindly 50-year-old, he has had to abandon that life as a boatman. The waters now sit so low that his services are unnecessary. So the past decade has instead been spent repairing shoes inside a dimly lit wooden booth in the village market.
Startling scale of inequality laid bare as Oxfam report highlights chronically undervalued nature of care work
The world‚Äôs 22 richest men have more combined wealth than all 325 million women in Africa, according to a study.
Women and girls across the globe contribute an estimated ¬£8.28tn ($10.8tn) to the global economy with a total of 12.5bn hours a day of unpaid care work, a figure more than three times the worth of the global tech industry, claims an Oxfam report published on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Economic growth in African countries has triggered a global race for influence. Britain cannot afford to be left behind
Africa is the coming continent. Its population is predicted to double to 2 billion people over the next three decades. That growth will mean enormous opportunities for business and investment, but will also create huge challenges around sustainability and the environment.
An Africa focus is therefore essential, particularly for a post-Brexit Britain.
Stella Nyanzi, imprisoned in Uganda after writing poem about president‚Äôs mother‚Äôs vagina, lambasts regime‚Äôs ‚Äėfear of writers‚Äô
The Ugandan academic, writer and feminist activist Dr Stella Nyanzi, imprisoned for criticising the country‚Äôs president, has been awarded the Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression.
Nyanzi has been in Luzira women‚Äôs prison in Kampala, the capital, for nearly 15 months after writing a poem about President Yoweri Museveni‚Äôs mother‚Äôs vagina. The poem uses the metaphor of her vagina and Museveni‚Äôs birth to criticise his near 35-year rule.
While a conviction is unlikely, some Republican senators such as Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins could break ranks over trial procedure while two Democrats could back the president
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has pledged ‚Äútotal coordination‚ÄĚ with the White House in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. But the 47-member Democratic caucus in the Senate could take control of key parts of the process, enabling them to call witnesses or merely to prevent a quick dismissal of the case, by recruiting four Republicans to make a 51-seat majority.
A two-thirds majority of 67 senators would be needed to convict and remove Trump from office, a seemingly unreachable number for Democrats.
Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of the former president of Angola, claims to be a self-made businesswoman, but a cache of documents investigated by the Guardian and partners appears to tell a different story.
The Luanda Leaks are a trove of 715,000 emails, charts, contracts, audits, and accounts that help explain how Dos Santos built a business empire worth an estimated $2bn.
China‚Äôs push for more births fails to convince a generation of only-children
China‚Äôs government has been trying to manage a public U-turn on one of its biggest, longest running and most powerful policy and propaganda campaigns for several years now, urging a generation of only-children ‚Äď born under its one-child policy ‚Äď that they should have more babies themselves.
Golfball-size hailstones have hit Canberra as severe thunderstorms move through parts of south-eastern Australia. The hail struck parts of Canberra including Parliament House while roofs, windows and cars were damaged across the city. The wild weather follows weeks where the Australian capital has been enveloped in smoke from nearby bushfires
Children‚Äôs charity Plan International UK and photographer Joyce Nicholls travelled across the UK talking to young women about the issues important to them in 2020: public safety, body image, social media and feminism. Their research found that girls are fed up and frustrated with the lack of real progress on gender equality.
A massive winter blizzard that buried Newfoundland in snow and cut power to thousands of homes has prompted the government in the Canadian province's capital, St John's, to declare a state of emergency.
Fireworks were let off as protesters clashed with the security force in Lebanon's capital on Saturday 18 January.
Officers used water cannon and fired teargas at demonstrators who were protesting the economic crisis the country has faced in decades after politicians failed to agree on a new cabinet following prime minister Saad al-Hariri's resignation in October
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iran's missile strikes on US targets in Iraq earlier this month show it has divine support in delivering a 'slap on the face' to a 'bullying' world power. Addressing Friday prayers, Khamenei added that the killing of general Qassem Suleimani showed the US's 'terrorist nature'
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