The number of small businesses across the word has staggeringly increased – that’s undeniable. Even though the bigger businesses and multi-national companies have considered a massive cut down on their manpower requirement, it is very noticeable that small businesses have, at the same time, added over 8 million jobs in the US alone.
If we look at this on a positive note, there are better things that are yet to materialise in 2014. I reckon that more businesses will come up compared to the ones established in the previous years. This could only mean that more jobs will be available for us – thus, driving a major positive turnout in our economic status.
Why will more businesses be coming?
Because they’re quite more convenient to put up these days.
Let me say it in a different way. Businesses are never really easy to start. Everyone who has started their own businesses would never say it was easy.
However, since the advancement of technology, and its every dynamic progress day in and day out, businesses became more convenient for people to establish.
As it is, we owe it to the new pavements and resouces that technology has been providing that people have started ro run businesses with nothing but a computer and a good Internet connection – combined with a brilliant and plausible idea. Start-ups and small scale entrepreneurs can now be compared to Facebook’s business success that any other established multi-national corporation in the past – mainly because of technology and a readily available range of resources.
What are these resources that I am saying?
For small businesses, the imlementation of cloud-based marketing & e-commerce programmes became their very best friend. Software-as-a-Service is one of the very first available resource for small businesses. It’s older counterpart, the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, is stil quite effective though, and doubt that start-ups may forego this option.
However, Saas systems prove to be more cost-efficient and conevenient to use. Developers of these programmes have quite made it easier for the non-tech-savvy person to use and navigate [the system]. And because SaaS systems are could-based, there’s no need for you to spend more money on someone who can install and configure it on your computers.
Aside from Software-as-a-Service, other platforms have emerged and proved to be very useful for businesses. Skype and Google Hangouts are now considered two of the most effective Communication-as-a Service systems, whilst Talent-as-a-Service like oDesk, Elance, and other online job marketplaces have been taking over other employment channels – enabling businesses to hire people according to their business requirements and for how long they must need them.
And while technology has given us all the opportunity to these readily available resources, some may still be worried about the amount they need to spend on starting a business.
As the global community gives so much regard to entrepreneurs, we must not take this fact for granted: the bigger companies are actually trusting their investments on the younger generation of investors. They pay their success foward by investing on start-ups and small scale businesses.
There are also funding available on crowdsourcing. There are available channels on the Internet that can allow you to have enough funds to start your business – all based on your interest and specialisation. You can start a campaign for the “citizens of the World Wide Web” to support your venture through small donations. Funding sites are everywhere on the Internet, besides the famous Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
So, what can I advise you should you want to start your own business in 2014?
Determine the business that you think you can focus on and be brilliant at. It should all be according to what naturally comes into your mind, and one that you can actually spend time developing over time. If you do something you like, loving it will not become a problem. It will also naturally drive you towards overcoming whatever challenge you might come across with. Because you’re good at it, you’ll come up with ways to make it progress instead of finding excuses why things are slowly failing.
Do not let your bigger ambitions cloud your own good intentions. Businesses are not always perfect, so do not overanalyse your own preparations because you feel that you are not prepared. Great things actually start with small beginnings, so do not prepare for the bigger picture yet. Once you have started and things are doing good, you’ll eventually find yourself in the big picture you’ve once foreseen.
Let your business become a “beta version” of the business that you want it to become. Like softwares and other applications that are just launched, flaws and errors may come in here and there. Treat your business like that – start small, find your challenges, and work to sort things out to improve. “Trial and error” has always been an effective way to measure your sustainable development. Besides, your prospects will appreciate your continuous ecfort to become better. The first ones will even offer you a constructive and honest feedback based on your first attempts.
Develop your expertise. The truth is, no matter how great you are at a particular niche, your competition will always strive to be at par or even better. There’s no other way to sustain your development by allowing yourself to become better. Do not be complacent on just being brilliant. You can always be on an advanced level if you allow yourself to learn more about your niche and apply it on your business. Determine the difference between you and your competition and then set yourself apart – make the difference. Specialise on a niche that you think there is less competition and set the bar for it – especially if you’re putting up an online business where the market base is evidently larger. Creating a highly specialised business lets you take advantage for demands of a particular market. Find out where the gaps are and step in.
Establish your reputation as it has always been very priceless. Your online character can either make you or break you. What you need to remind yourself when starting a business is that your presence on the Internet is very crucial. Find time to build this reputation so more prospective customers and clients will trust you.
You may begin at an entry-level status, like an intern, and then slowly learn the rudiments of the game”. Ask for feedback and take them on board so you’ll know where and what to improve on. It is important that you ask for feedback directly from people you have been making business or working with before they even begin to tell the World Wide Web about what they thought of you and your business.
To help you with a rather fair reputation, always commit to your scheduled delivery or deadline, and do no make excessive promises that you may not be able to fulfill. Find a way to satisfy your first customers so they can talk to others about you, thus, helping you grow your business.
So, if you’re considering starting a small business this year, I could only wish you all the best. I’ll be happy to hear about your development and your eventual success. We can all make it if we focus. HAPPY 2014!