Starting Up Your Micro-Business.

Five Critical Factors for a Micro-Business Start-up.

If you are among the 25 million plus people that will be running a micro-business by the end of 2009 [Ref. SmallBizTrends.com] this entry is for you. Some will fold this year, but many more will start up. Here are a few tips for staying among the "thrivers" in the bunch.

  1. Cash is the lifeblood of your business; therefore: 
    • Know what the payback or return will be for planned expenditures.
      Base this on your own evaluations, not what the sales rep tells you. 
    • If you have a paying job, keep it as long as possible. You may be sleep deprived, but your bank account and your household will suffer less. That being said,...
  2. Get the highest quality (not most expensive) tools and equipment of your trade, that you can afford. 
    • Good business cards. See this checklist
    • A laptop computer, with wireless LAN, webcam, a big hard drive, and lots of RAM. 
    • Make a "must have" and a "like to have" list of other items. 
    • Avoid debt and credit card purchases. Use them prudently, if at all.
  3. Lease what makes economic sense, to conserve cash and yield tax advantages. 
  4. Invest in your web presence. The internet is the next great business growth frontier.
    • Choose a logical domain name. Don't pay more than $15 for one year to register it. Avoid the super-cheap services; there are hidden, costly inconveniences. 
    • Put up a website. It does not have to be fancy, but it must meet your business development needs. 
    • Avoid using your kids, best friend, or neighbors' kids for this purpose. Use professionals or a user-friendly service.
      IMG Online Business, one of our technology partners, has excellent packages. You may try it from the link above. 
    • Set up business-specific e-mail.
    • If hosting stretches your budget too far, at first, use forwarding from your parked site's registrar. 
    • Get set up to use e-mail software, such as Outlook, so you can send professional looking messages, A.S.A.P.. 
  5. Learn your market quickly and sell, sell, sell. 
    • Customers will not auto-magically appear. 
    • If you cannot sell your product or service, get someone who can. 
    • Sales skills will not guarantee success, but the business cannot grow without someone who has, and uses, them.

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