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    Posted April 25, 2014 by

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    Starting a Small Business


    When starting a new business, the first and foremost element is the idea.   The fact that nearly three or four start-ups out of 10 fail completely highlights the importance of good ideas. For an idea to be qualified as a potential success, you have to identify the competitive edge it has over others.  There is no point in investing into and launching a business that offers nothing new to your target market/audience.

    An important tool for identifying potentially success business ideas is to evaluate consumer needs. Then ask yourself - do you have anything new to offer? Is there a particular need your business will be fulfilling? How will your product or service be more useful/exciting/different from your competitors? Also, it is essential to have knowledge and expertise about the business you are planning to start.  According to James Timothy White, North America's favorite Small Business Expert, “usually the best business for you is the one you are most skilled at and most interested in. It is also advisable to consult with local experts and local business people about the opportunities in your area. Matching your background with the local market characteristics will increase your chances of success.”

    Once you have identified the segment you want to be part of, the next critical step is to conduct a comprehensive market research. This will help you identify the existing players in the market, the consumer perceptions, the market gap that you may be able to fulfill, the pricing trend and the growth potential.  The importance of market research cannot be overstated enough.  You need to be aware of all major elements before investing your time and money in a new venture.

    It is also important to create a brand identity for your business.  This is usually done by identifying and defining who you are, what motivates you and what is your key business advantage.  Brand Management Experts can also help you create a strong and consistent brand strategy.

    There are several reasons why new businesses fail and the two most important ones are the lack of a good idea and the lack of competitive research. Other reasons include a weak marketing strategy, lack of focus, no flexibility, no passion or persistence and poor leadership. In order for a business to succeed, it is also imperative that you have a long term plan. This will make you it easier for you to determine how much you need to invest and in how many years you will be able to get a return on your investment. If the idea is not worth it in the long run, there is no point in wasting your time, effort and money pursuing it.

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