In the past, college students would open up brick and mortar locations to start their businesses. What is interesting though is the shift in how many of the new stores are internet based versus brick and mortar locations. Internet based businesses are quickly gaining popularity over local locations.
And it is a trend you should follow – especially if you want to start your own business.
Sure the idea pops into your head about starting a business, but then you have to think about how to make it lucrative. More importantly, you will need to discover where to get the funds to even start the business. In this article, you will be challenged with a few important questions to ask yourself before starting your business.
ASK THE CRAZY QUESTIONS
Before committing to a storefront, take a step back and look at the big picture. What sort of services will you be offering? What sort of products? Is it something that will establish repeat customers or keep gaining new ones?
Can you bypass needing a storefront all-together? Is it possible for your product to be drop shipped without you ever having to hold inventory? Ask the most ludicrous answers because chances are, there is a business out there designed to help you with your crazy demands.
For example, many ecommerce stores no longer require inventory. They simply market a product and ship it directly from the manufacturer to the customer.
Do not be afraid to innovate and ask seemingly outlandish questions.
Next, figure out your tech. You as a student will definitely be able to establish what technology will be the best for your business.
Imagine what you will do for your job. Take computer sciences, design, and arts for example. You will need a computer right? Perhaps even a laptop? It is suggested that you research what the best model of laptop would be to complete the tasks you will be paid for properly and efficiently.
A great place to see your laptop options is GadgetReview where you will find in-depth reviews about many different laptops and what type of work they are best for.
Don’t go too overboard though on how great of a laptop you purchase. You have to try to be as frugal as possible when starting a business in order to stretch your funds. Remember, you can always upgrade your laptops at a later point in time once your business becomes profitable.
Stop for a bit to make a list of exactly what all of the risks will be. Ask yourself if you can handle the risks and how exactly you will handle them if they happen.
A great example of a risk would go back to starting a brick and mortar business versus renting office space or even staying purely online. In the brick and mortar side, you are committing to a lease, remodeling the interior space and thus taking on a boatload of debt (that debt better be worth the revenue it brings in). On the other hand, if you were purely online, you could use that money towards marketing.
Before taking on any risk, ask yourself what benefit you are taking that risk for. Then perform a simple calculation – how much more benefit is there to the risk. For example, if you are risking $100 to profit $1,000, then you have a 10x return on your risk. On the other hand, risking $300 to make $1,500 will not make as much sense.
Every move is a risk and every risk needs to have enough of a reward to justify taking it.
While in the planning stages, look at your business from several angles. Viewing your online business as a whole, will it stand the test of time? Will your products or services still be relevant and needed in ten years? Is it expandable?
If the answer to those questions is “no” or “maybe” then you need to take more time to plan for the future. Take a moment to look into upcoming trends to see if your business idea could end up growing, staying steady, or declining.
Starting with any technology you will be buying, research whether it is adaptable to what your current and future needs will be. For example, will this laptop be able to handle all your programs plus leave space for other programs? Would a different model have better expandable hardware options?
If not, a more adaptable laptop may be more useful for your business use.
KEEPING UP THE TECH
You also need to make sure your hardware and tech is up to date and relevant. You cannot use website designs and marketing tactics from 2005 to operate your modern business. Keep in touch with the best practices by looking at what the top brands in your industry are doing and what your competitors are doing. More specifically, look at their website design, the colors they pick, their landing page copy, and ultimately, reverse engineer their business. Take it a step further, and reverse engineer your business – start with the end in mind.
IMAGINE THE FUTURE
Only through experience can you gain knowledge. Several new business owners, soon to be called entrepreneurs, will offer new services to expand their company. This in turn will expand your wealth exponentially.
As an upcoming online business owner, one of the last things you should plan for is how exactly you can expand your business. Whether it starts out as more products, more services, or a plan five years down the road to open a brick and mortar location, you should always keep looking toward the future.
Believe in yourself to make your business dream come true!