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.
Jubilation at result but region faces long process ahead before it can become worldâs newest nation
The autonomous region of Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly in favour of becoming independent from Papua New Guinea, paving the way for the group of islands to become the worldâs newest nation.
More than 180,000 people in Bougainville, a collection ofislands flung 700km off the coast of Papua New Guinea in the Solomon Sea, participated in a referendum over the last few weeks that has been nearly 20 years in the making.
Democratic congressional leaders have unveiled articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, a historic move set in motion by a whistleblower complaint warning the president was using the power of his office to solicit foreign interference in a US election.
Panel recruited to ensure objectivity cite failure to agree formal process with police complaints commission
A panel of foreign experts overseeing an investigation into allegations of excessive force used by the Hong Kong police force has said it is stepping down, further calling into question the probe.
For months anti-government protesters have been demanding an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality in response to the demonstrations. The government has repeatedly said an independent inquiry is unnecessary and that the existing police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), should complete its review first.
Scale and speed of loss much higher than predicted, threatening inundation for hundreds of millions of people
Greenlandâs ice sheet is melting much faster than previously thought, threatening hundreds of millions of people with inundation and bringing some of the irreversible impacts of the climate emergency much closer.
Ice is being lost from Greenland seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, and the scale and speed of ice loss is much higher than was predicted in the comprehensive studies of global climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to data.
Genaro GarcĂa Luna, who ran Mexicoâs federal police for six years, charged with accepting briefcases of cash to protect Sinaloa cartel
A former minister who was considered an architect of Mexicoâs war on drugs has been arrested on charges that he allowed the Sinaloa cartel to operate with impunity in exchange for briefcases stuffed with cash.
Genaro GarcĂa Luna, who oversaw the creation of Mexicoâs federal police, was arrested in Texas on Monday.
The literature laureateship, presented to Handke and 2018 laureate Olga Tokarczuk on Tuesday afternoon, faces boycotts and widespread protest
As Turkey joins Albania and Kosovo in boycotting Tuesdayâs Nobel prize ceremony for Peter Handke over his support for Slobodan Milosevicâs genocidal regime, war correspondents from Christiane Amanpour to Jeremy Bowen are protesting his win by sharing their harrowing stories from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
The Austrian writer, whose stance on the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and attendance at Milosevicâs funeral have been widely criticised, is due to receive his Nobel medal in Stockholm, where a large protest demonstration is expected.
Decision grounds more than 300 military aviation students
Three US military members were killed in shooting Friday
The Pentagon announced on Tuesday it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States until further notice in the wake of the deadly shooting by a Saudi air force officer.
The decision will have far-reaching impacts, including grounding more than 300 Saudi Arabian military aviation students.
The Union Carbide factory explosion remains the worldâs worst industrial accident â but as its dreadful legacy becomes increasingly apparent, victims are still waiting for justice
The residents of JP Nagar have no way to escape their ghosts. This ramshackle neighbourhood, on the outskirts of the Indian city of Bhopal, stands just metres away from the chemical factory which exploded just after midnight on 2 December 1984 and seeped poison into their lives forever. The blackened ruins of the Union Carbide plant still loom untouched behind the factory walls.
Photographer Judah Passow has documented those were affected by the Bhopal disaster 35 years ago, which killed an estimated 25,000 people ad has left more than 150,000 suffering from chronic medical conditions
Judah Passow has waived his fee for this work. Contributions to the Bhopal Medical Appeal can be made at www.bhopal.org
Exclusive: With heatwaves predicted to worsen dramatically over the next 30 years, many big US cities are failing to fully plan to protect those most vulnerable to extreme heat
When heatwaves hammered US cities this summer, one of the hottest in recorded history, some city governments had plans in place to protecttheir most at-risk residents.
Philadelphiaâs plan sent homeless outreach teams to distribute water and bring people to cooling centers. Austinâs plan suspended electricity shutoffs for low-income or fixed-income customers. Chicagoâs plan dispatched building inspectors to monitor shelters and other buildings without air conditioning.
A mile east of the LuĂs I Bridge in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in Porto, Portugalâs second city, sits a bleak and decaying building.
Initially a three-storey car park, then a thriving shopping centre, the building has more recently suffered from years of neglect. Its walls are sprayed with graffiti and plastered with stickers, and the windows are blacked out.
The mood may be one of despair, but this election is critical to the countryâs future. The best hope lies with Labour, despite its flaws
Britain has not faced a more critical election in decades than the one it faces on Thursday. The countryâs future direction, its place in the world and even its territorial integrity are all at stake, primarily because this is a decisive election for Brexit. The choice is stark. The next prime minister is going to be either Boris Johnson, who is focused on âgetting Brexit doneâ whatever the consequences, or Jeremy Corbyn, who with a Labour-led government will try to remodel society with a programme of nationalisation and public spending.
Repentance, reparation and remedy for the terrible damage done to the people of Bayelsa state in Nigeria is long overdue
â˘ John Sentamu is the archbishop of York
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins: âAll human beings âŚ should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.â It is now widely acknowledged that human rights cannot be enjoyed without a safe, clean and healthy environment. The right to a healthy environment is enshrined in more than 100 constitutions all over the world because human and environmental rights are intertwined.
Executive order could redefine Judaism as a race or nationality, which critics argue is itself antisemitic
Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Wednesday targeting antisemitism on college campuses.
First reported by the New York Times, the policy would broaden the federal definition of antisemitism, according to administration officials who spoke to various news outlets on condition of anonymity. By expanding protections granted by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to people subjected to antisemitism, the order could also redefine Judaism as a race or nationality.
Humanitarian agencies say Rohingya people displaced by violence in Rakhine state are forced to live in âapartheid-likeâ facilities
The UK has broken ranks with the UN and is continuing to put money into squalid Rohingya âapartheid-likeâ camps, despite a policy designed to avoid complicity in Myanmarâs rights abuses, the Guardian has learned.
Internal briefing documents as well as interviews with UN and humanitarian agency officials in Myanmar showed the British government was maintaining a policy of providing aid and other support to displaced people living in camps in Myanmarâs Rakhine state that have been slated for closure since 2017.
Premier League leaders urged to join fight for better working conditions as they prepare for Fifa Club World Cup match
As Liverpool fans stream into Qatar to watch the Fifa Club World Cup next week, it will be easy to forget the thousands of workers from the poorest countries in the region who have toiled for years to construct its glittering buildings.
When they take their seats at the Khalifa International Stadium, where Liverpool will play their semi-final match, they may not realise that scores of workers who refurbished the stadium were housed in filthy, overcrowded accommodation with an ever-present stench of raw sewage.
The devastating disease canât be stopped unless more protection is provided for patients and health workers
Entering the city of Goma as night fell, I saw the red lava glowing atop nearby Mount Nyiragongo â an ominous reminder of the insecurity hovering over the Democratic Republic of the Congoâs volatile east.
But a manmade â not natural â terror is keeping health workers in DRC awake tonight.
Rights groups condemn hanging of Mooketsi Kgosibodiba and call on president to bring country into line with the rest of Africa
The new president of Botswana is facing pressure to abolish the countryâs death penalty after last weekâs surprise execution of a 44-year-old man for murder.
Mooketsi Kgosibodiba, a bricklayer, had been on death row since 2017 after strangling his employer in a row over stolen cement. Last week the government made the unexpected announcement that he had been hanged in Gaborone central prison.
White Islandâs eruption is a reminder that we are not natureâs master, but at its whim
At 2.11pm yesterday, as the Whakaari eruption was happening, I was out mowing my lawns. From my home at Te Kaha, a tiny settlement on the North Islandâs east coast, you can make out the volcanoâs sunken crater. The 300-metre dust cliffs frame the northern and southern edges, and in the centre is an east-facing pit where ancient birders and old sulphur miners once did their work.
On Monday the only workers and visitors on island were tour operators and tourists, several whom never made it back from yesterdayâs destruction.
The tranche of documents show that in trying to paint the best pictures, those involved delivered the worst
During the Vietnam war, the daily US military briefings were known to journalists as the Five Oâ Clock Follies, described by one of the AP reporters who attended them as âthe longest-playing tragicomedy in south-east Asiaâs theatre of the absurdâ.
The Pentagon Papers, the Department of Defenseâs secret history of that war, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971, only underlined the level of that deception under subsequent US presidents.
Trumpâs neglect of the region has left a political vacuum that China is rushing to fill â and small nations such as the Solomon Islands are stuck in the middle
If anything demonstrates the interconnectedness of the 21st-century world, it is how a decision made in the Solomon Islands, population 650,000, in the remote South Pacific, can affect the behaviour of powerful countries on the other side of the globe. That, in a way, is exactly what happened last week when Nato leaders met in London. Top of their agenda was Donald Trumpâs demand that Europe pay more for its defence. But why is the US so exercised about so-called âburden-sharingâ? In part because, these days, it is looking west, not east.
The US has identified China, not Russia, as the biggest strategic, economic and potential military rival to its global leadership. Barack Obama, who was dubbed the âPacific presidentâ, formalised this shift with his 2011 âpivot to Asiaâ, which prioritised the region.
Sarah Stuart-Black at New Zealand's civil defence ministry says recovering the bodies of those killed on Whakaari/White Island is 'an absolute imperative'. John Tims of New Zealand police says the resources are standing by to go back to the island 'as soon as we are confident there are no risks'. Conditions on New Zealandâs Whakaari/White Island have worsened, hampering the retrieval of those killed in Monday's volcanic explosion. Volcanologist Graham Leonard says volcanic activity has increased at the site and that there is a risk of another eruption like Mondayâs. Leonard also says it would be challenging for rescuers to breath, see or walk on the island given the current activity.
House Democrats have introduced two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanours. At a press conference announcing the move, the House judiciary committee chair Jerry Nadler accused the president of betraying public trust and endangering US national security to benefit himself
The families of those missing after the White Island eruption in New Zealand say they are 'standing together' as they wait for information about their loved ones. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister, said the scale of the disaster was 'devastating' and that reconnaissance flights had found no sign of life on the island. Police have launched an inquiry into the eruption after at least six people died and many more were injured
Houston's police chief Art Acevedo criticised politicians for not standing up to the National Rifle Association after the the fatal shooting of an officer. 'The NRA doesn't like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends. And who killed our sergeant? A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend,' Acevedo said
A protester, appearing on the side of President Donald Trump and against impeachment, shouted at committee chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, that he and the Democrats are committing 'treason' in their inquiry
New Zealandâs Whakaari/White Island volcano erupted on Monday at 2.11pm as 50 people were visiting the country's most active volcano. At least five people were killed and authorities confirmed some people were still waiting to be rescued hours after the eruption on the island, as experts explained it was unsafe for emergency services to return
Footage shows island in the Bay of Plenty coated with ash after volcano blew debris 12,000m into the air. The film also shows a downed helicopter and tourists stranded on the island waiting to be rescued by boat.
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