Archive | August, 2011

How to Start a Small Business

25 Aug

How to Start a Small Business

Author: Business Way Today

It takes guts to start a small business.  If you think you have what it takes, this article will help you get started down the exciting road of starting your own business.  What does it really take for you to succeed in your business venture?  It’s going to take more than a good idea to make you successful.  You have to have drive, initiative, and a disciplined work ethic.  You also have to know where you want to go and be able to make and implement a solid work plan.

Success does not come easy.  You have to be prepared to fail more times than you succeed until you hit on something that works.  Thomas Edison failed hundreds of times before he found the winning combination that made the electric light bulb work.   He described each failure as a necessary stepping stone to success.  It takes that kind of attitude to be successful.  There are also practical things that you should do if you want to be successful.  Here is a practical outline of practical steps that will show you the best way to start a small business.

Put your ideas on paper

If you have an idea for a good small business to start, write it down.  It helps to be excited about your ideas.   Think about what you are good at, what you are qualified for, and/or what you enjoy and try to find a way to create a business from it.  For example, if you love cheese cakes, are a good baker, and have experience in baking; a good small business to start might be a bakery that sells cheese cakes.  If you studied engineering in college, you may want to start a small factory that sells spare parts for vehicles.  Put your concepts down on paper and decide what product or service you will sell and who you will sell it to.

Do your market research

It does no good to develop a product or service that no one in your area needs.  There has to be a demand for a product or service for it to be successful.  Companies all over the world don’t spend billions of dollars on product research for nothing.  It is crucial to do your market research before you spend money on developing a product or service.

Check out your competition

It makes no sense to open a small fruit stall next to an HEB.  Evaluating your competition is one of the first steps you should take when you are planning to start a small business.  The best way to start a small business is to find a niche that doesn’t have huge competition.  If you don’t have the resource to compete with giants, then it’s best to find a niche that will not put you in direct competition with them.

Write a business plan

After you have chosen your niche, written down your ideas, done your market research, and evaluated your competition, it is time to write out a business plan.  Where do you want to go with your small business and how quickly do you want to get there?  When making your business plan, make sure to be realistic, but don’t go too easy on yourself.  Finding the right balance between pushing yourself forward and staying practical in your long and short term goals is the key to success.

Plan your finances

Understanding how much money you will need to start and maintain your small business is an important step.  Carefully assess each aspect of your start up costs and understand how much money you will need.  Funding to start a small business is not difficult to obtain if you have a good credit score.  There are a number of avenues you can get your funding to start a small business including government loans, small business grants, personal financial savings, etc.  Find the combination that works best in your situation.

Hire a business lawyer

No matter what kind of business you decide to open, whether it be a incorporation or LLC, there are specific laws that you must abide by.  This is where it helps to have a business lawyer to consult with regarding the structure and regulations of your business.  Business in the food and beverage department, for example, must follow stringent regulations in order to legally operate.  There are tax laws, employee safety rules, and other laws and regulations that must be strictly adhered to.  A business lawyer can help you to follow those rules and stay within the legal boundaries.

Get insured

Getting insurance is one of the most important steps you can take to safeguard your investments into your business.  It takes money, time, and a lot of effort to start a small business.  If you value your investment of time, money, and effort, you will do all you can to secure it for the long term. Commercial liability insurance is one way you can secure those investments.  Commercial general liability insurance is something that every business should never operate without.

Launch your business

The above steps, though, not comprehensive, are a good outline to follow when starting a small business.  When you have finished all of the above steps, you are ready to launch your business for real!  At this point it is important to celebrate your accomplishments and mark the milestone on your calendar. You have planned, worked, and invested much to get to this point.  If you continue to work hard, plan wisely, and invest into your business, you will find success.

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Trust, Authority & Search Rankings

24 Aug

Trust, Authority & Search Rankings

If search engines can decide to trust links or social accounts, can they learn to trust web sites? Sure, and many SEOs believe that site trust plays a big role in whether a site will succeed or fail with search engine rankings.

Ta: Are You A Trusted Authority?

Is your site an authority? Is it widely recognized as outstanding in its field, area, business or in some other way? That what you’re aiming for.

No one knows exactly how search engines calculate authority and, in fact, there are probably multiple “authority” signals that are tracked. The type of links your site receives (lots of quality?) or social references (from respected accounts?) and engagement metrics may all factor in. Negative review might also hurt, as covered below:

But there’s little doubt that search engines do try to assess an overall authority figure. Just look through the questions that Google told publishers to ask themselves in May 2011, if they were hit by the “Panda” update. Trust, authority, expertise all come up:

Th: How’s Your Site’s History

Since search engines are constantly visiting your web site, they can get a sense of what’s “normal” or how you’ve behaved over time. Are you suddenly linking out to what the search engines euphemistically call “bad neighborhoods?” Are you publishing content about a topic you haven’t typically covered? Such things might raise alarm bells.

Then again, sites do change just like people do, and often for the better. Changes aren’t taken in isolation; other factors are also assessed to determine if something worrisome has happened.

In the end, a good overall track record may help you. An older, established site may find it can keep cruising along with search success, while a new site may have to “pay its dues,” so to speak, for weeks, months or even longer to gain its own respect.

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Spotlight on .biz

23 Aug

Spotlight on .biz

This week the .biz spotlight shines on  Looking for quality used cars or trucks, check out their inventory.