The Entrepreneur Highway Part 2

To be in business I’ve got to be a business.

Sound strange? Not really when you think about it. Being a business means I’m making a commitment, taking responsibility, showing buyers that I plan to be around so they can depend on me.

It also means I’ve expended time, effort, and capital to make myself legitimate and accessible to all the necessary government paperwork and wholesaler ground rules so I can provide buyers with the best merchandise my money can purchase.

And while basic parameters are the same for every business, whether online or brick and mortar, hundreds of businesses fail each year before their first anniversary because nothing is absolute, nothing is guaranteed, no matter how hard we try.

To help beat the odds I’ve focused on three important key steps to starting and keeping my business going.

Research – Tons of research went into the first step of this journey, with a growing understanding that analysis and make inquiries would be a never ending, ongoing undertaking.

Hours of study helped take vague ideas and turn them into plans and goals that had plenty of details to back them up. Numerous expert sources were tapped for advice and how-to suggestions then saved in my OneNote filing system or printed out for easy access when needed.

After selling successfully online for over a year using the auction format, practical experience took priority when I became a legitimate business. Had I not already been setup and selling I would have definitely taken the time to prepare a business plan, which is why whenever time permits I continue to draft and refine my own.

Not only does a business play help to focus and clarify all the departments of your business, it also reveals areas of vulnerability that can be corrected or discarded with little money and time wasted for something more productive.

Operations – Organizing my business and setting up procedures was well underway from when I sold as a hobby. But like research, all those procedures are constantly revised and streamlined to provide buyers with all the information they need about the products I have, how I do business, and what they can expect after a sale.

It’s also vitally important that my products have a recognizable face in a sea of products online and brick and mortar. Consistent listings, photos, pricing, service, stuffers, website, web pages, blogs, all help to solidify that recognizable face or brand.

Good business sense means offering buyers every courtesy I can think of, leaving no keyword out for search engine optimization, getting my brand name and logo out there on the internet without becoming an annoying spammer, and above all being patient and industrious during those slow times between sales.

Expenses – Being in business means offering a good product and having the right tools to get that product noticed and sold. So having enough funds to carry the business each month is paramount until regular sales are established to start providing a profit.

Even then the reins on spending must be held firmly as those fledgling profits are put back into the business to slowly upgrade or buy more products. To carefully acquire better tools that make listing, selling, and shipping faster, more productive, and stress-free.

And when the time comes to expand my product line, a growing business, a finished business plan, a proven record of managing my time and finances wisely should add considerable weight with my banker when asking for that first loan.

We all have to start somewhere and go from there. I’ve made my choices but I’m always looking to learn something new, something better.

I’m a business entrepreneur. How about you?


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