In the current economic climate where employment opportunities can be scarce at best establishing a small business can seem like a tempting proposition. Being self-employed can free an individual from the endless process of job hunting and provide much desired independence.
However, establishing a business is not as straightforward as some may presume. There is a lot more involved in creating and managing a business than may at first be imagined. The owner of the company is not only responsible for day to day operations but also for managing the business itself.
A working business idea
In many respects coming up with a working business idea can be the most difficult part of establishing a new business. The majority of entrepreneurs approach this problem from one of two very different directions: having a business idea and creating a business based upon it or simply having the desire to create a business with a working business idea yet to be created.
Either way, caution should be exercised. In the first instance the prospective entrepreneur must ensure that there is a market for the business and that they do not simply press ahead with the idea based upon passion and emotion. This would be a sure route to failure.
In the second instance the prospective entrepreneur should ensure that the business idea that is adopted is of course viable but they should also ensure that they have sufficient knowledge and enthusiasm for the product. This is essential to succeed.
The basics of e-commerce
Once the newly established business has a product with which it can proceed, the next challenge is to create the infrastructure necessary to sell the product. This generally starts with a website. For more sound business cases this may involve designing and building a professional website or having one created on the business’ behalf.
If the desire is to simply test the water before committing significant resources many companies have found eBay to be a good starting point. Products can be advertised and sold on eBay for minimum investment and maximum return.
Of course the business should ensure that it has sufficient stock to be able to sell to clients, whether using eBay or a professional website. Moreover, the business should consider supplies of consumables including cardboard boxes, jiffy bags and other packaging. The business should also consider the creation of address labels, packing slips and invoices.
It is always a fine balance between failing to take advantage of a market and overreaching too soon. The business should be ready to take full advantage of the market if it is available and the sale of the product is successful.
However, the business should also ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support this expansion to prevent overreaching. The company should aim to expand progressively in a controlled and calculated manner. By doing so, the owner of the company can ensure continued success and this will allow the business to grow naturally.