Time – New Business Start-up Friend Or Foe? Make Time Your Ally When Starting A New Business

What’s the truth about new business failure rates? If you have considered starting your own business or are in the process of making that leap, you probably have heard that half of all businesses fail in their first year of operation. The latest statistics released from the Small Business Administration indicate somewhat better odds: two-thirds of all new businesses survive at least two years, and 44 percent survive at least four years.

Still, these numbers can give you cause for pause. Is it worth the effort? Do you have what it takes to succeed?

Bottom line? It’s not enough to have a great idea. You need to know how to put feet to it.

Whether you want to start a home-based business or other small business, three things are certain. One, you need to wear a lot of hats. Two, you probably don’t have all the skills you need to wear all those hats. Three, you don’t have time to wear all those hats.

Bookstores and Web sites are rife with resources to help you with the myriad details involved in starting a small business. If you bought everything you needed, you would collect your own a library of books: ones for developing a business plan, marketing strategy, accounting system, and computer network. Other books talk about legal liability, intellectual property rights, or the right way to interview and hire people. All these topics and more are important contributors to the success of your new business.

Adrift in a sea of books or bookmarked Web sites, it’s easy to lose sight of the original reasons why you wanted to start your business in the first place: passion for your idea and the desire for freedom.

Some people turn to franchising because many business decisions are already made for them. But with franchising comes up-front buy-in fees, restrictions in how business is done and surrendering part of one’s profits to corporate HQ. Again, business freedom remains elusive.

Much has been written regarding reasons why new businesses fail. Often, it’s from lack of venture capital. Unrealistic expectations of cash flow-revenues versus business expenses-are another common stumbling block. Lack of good business management skills can submarine an otherwise-promising venture. Similarly, people think that owning a business will enable them to work fewer hours than before. That may be true sometime down the road, but not when you start a small business. Temperament also plays a role in business success. You need to be willing to learn from your mistakes and look upon setbacks as simply another bend in the road to success. You need persistence in measures beyond intelligence.

But often new businesses fail simply because the owner doesn’t have enough time to devote to administrative and technical tasks: corporate reporting structures and taxes, network setup, office management, and all the other details that can eat away at the heart of a promising business venture.

Ideally, you could hire or contract with others to provide all the administrative, legal and technical services you need. But you live in the real world, right? And, at this stage, you can’t afford an attorney or business consultant at $200%2B per hour. Nor can you afford to spend months teaching yourself every facet of business.

The most economical and time-efficient way to ramp up in all these areas is to have one source of easy-to-follow, step-by-step information. Even better is a resource that also tells you HOW to do it. Now, for the first time, this is available in a free 60-page blueprint -written by small-business owners who are experts in legal, technical, marketing and financing of small companies. The article is called “Business 2.0, A Blueprint for Starting and Operating Your Business in Today’s Hi-Tech World”. Reading this can save you money as well as many hours of frustration time-and move you closer to the freedom that you desire in having your own business. This downloadable free multimedia PDF file is available at Innoventum (http://www.innoventum.com)

Help Your Business With SAP GRC

Governance, risk and compliance are areas that every business should invest time and money into to avoid any problems with their SAP systems. SAP GRC is a hugely effective method of identifying and defining risks in order to come up with solutions that meet your business needs whilst maintaining a business as usual approach to operations.

Every business needs a strategy and with SAP GRC you will get a complete IT solutions package that will not only enable you to carry out your business transactions smoothly but will also help you to target potential risks. SAP has always been known for its flexibility and ability to adapt to fit into any business and meet all requirements a user may have, but did you know that SAP GRC should also be used alongside any system you may have in place. As times change risks become more advanced and due to this SAP GRC is crucial to the running of a business.

SAP GRC, or governance, risk and compliance uses various methods to test and refine operational procedures that a business requires to function, in order to highlight any potential risks and work though to a mutually agreed solution. Risks can be identified in all areas of your business, but the three main areas which are looked at initially are; Access Control, Process Control and Risk Management. There are ways in which all three of these areas can be a risk to your business and can be not fully recognized, and this is where SAP GRC becomes so valuable.

Here are ways in which SAP GRC can help you and your business:

Access Control – access risks do present a large problem to all businesses as fraud is on the increase and ways to crack into IT systems are continually being found and refined. In order to protect your business you need to keep ahead of the pack and identify such risks whilst they are still a risk and not a problem. Using SAP GRC will enable you find these risks and act on them appropriately. Some businesses find that their compliance with security measures is not as tight as it could be, if this is the case for your business, we can assist in developing training programmes and refresher courses to keep compliance in the minds of your staff.

Process Control – for many businesses process control is not situated centrally, and this can present a multitude of problems if and when there is a problem with your system. SAP GRC can assist you with enabling a central process control without causing disruption to your business. One of the biggest advantages to having process control centrally located is that response time to problems is vastly cut down and working hours are saved.

Risk Management – risk management can make or break a business and penalties can be imposed on a business for relatively small infringements of processes. In order to prevent this use SAP GRC and stop the penalties for your business. By doing this penalties will decrease and the performance of your business will increase, which is of benefit to your business.

By using SAP GRC you will not only safeguard your business against risks which are both real and potential but you will also ensure a more productive day to day running of your business. In short if you value your business and want it to continue and progress for years to come SAP GRC will be of real help to you. Waiting for problems to present themselves is not a productive way of running a business, predict and stop them with SAP GRC.

Starting a Successful Business

So you’ve decided to start your own business. You have lots of ideas and want to jump right in and get started. Well, the first thing to do is take a deep breathe and think through the entire process before you invest any of your hard earned cash or the cash of others.

This article is design to help you think through the process of starting a new venture. Every new venture takes research, time, hard work and, of course, capital. It is important to work through all the “what ifs” before you make the final decision to start any new endeavor.

Determine what the business will do

Decide what the business will actually do. To start a business you will need to select or come up with a completely innovative business idea. While this is an obvious step, many people who go into business don’t have an idea, only the desire to be an entrepreneur.

After you develop a realistic business idea, you need to create a business name. A good business name is essential to the growth and development of your business.

  • It should reflect the activity of the enterprise.
  • It should be memorable so your potential customers think of you when they want the product or service you offer.
  • It should be easy to use so marketing doesn’t become an issue.
  • It should create the proper mental image when heard by the customer. You don’t want to turn customers off by calling your bicycle repair shop “The Flat Tire” or something equally deflating.

Remember, a lot rides on how well you position your business in the minds of prospective customers and creditors.

For the budding entrepreneur, there are many options: buying a franchise, purchasing or becoming a partner in an existing business, or simply using someone else’s ideas for a start-up business. Once you have determined the business you wish to start, the real work begins.

Develop a business plan

A viable business plan is an essential aspect of navigating the often tumultuous wars of the business world. Whether you’re a new startup, require additional funding, or need to monitor the current condition of your business, creating a business plan is the first step on the path to success. A developed business plan is an essential weapon in the arsenal of a startup venture. If you require any credit or other financing you will need to present your plan for review. But frankly, even if you are using your own capital, a business plan helps to keep you focused. Many new ventures fail simply due to a lack of direction.

With your business plan in hand, you are ready to seek outside sources of capitalization, if necessary. Generally speaking there are four basic financing options.

  • Friends and/or family members
  • Investors, including venture capital
  • Loans from banks
  • Government sources, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA)

There are drawbacks to each of these options. Often times, investors, even friends and family members, may want a say in the operation of the business. In the case of venture capital, they will more than likely make this a condition for getting the assistance. Loans carry with them the burden of not only the principle, but also interest. Government assistance, though possible, is probably the least likely alternative for most startup businesses. It’s important to choose your option wisely.

When looking at financing a business, the following points are critical:

  • Make sure you compute the financial “break-even point” for your business
  • Determine the start-up costs for your business

Develop a marketing strategy

A key element within the business plan is the marketing plan, which delineates marketing strategies that you intend to use to advertise and promote the products or services. The goal setting steps of the plan help you analyze the process of doing business in future years and clearly illustrate the capital needed to operate the company to make a profit.

There are many marketing factors to be considered when starting a business. You must:

  • Determine your target market and determine if the market has the economic ability to sustain your business. Don’t create a business for a market that doesn’t have the money to afford what you’re selling even if it is something they want or need.
  • Find resources for gathering and evaluating demographic data and information about your customers.
  • Learn about your business competitors. Will you be able to out market them to overcome their current market position?
  • Learn about marketing trends in your business industry. Is the market expanding or contracting?

Structuring your business

Okay, you’ve created your plan, you have the financing in place and you have the required level of enthusiasm for the task at hand. It seems like you’re ready to begin, right? Not quite yet. You still need to consider the legal issues. You need to select a legal structure, i.e. Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation. Your financing decisions determine your choice of legal status. If you are not a sole proprietor you will have to get a federal tax id number and file with the state to incorporate if you choose that structure. Make sure you understand the tax requirements associated with the business structure you select. You may also need to look into getting:

  • Special license requirements or permits, and how to obtain them
  • An EIN (Employer Identification Number )

Determine what technology is required to operate and manage the business

More and more commerce is transacted digitally. Depending on the nature of your business, you might consider some kind of presence on the World Wide Web — if not a full blown catalog/merchandising apparatus, at least a promotional/advertising presence. In other words, you will need a good website.

There are a number of options available to startups to get their website up and running. First of all, you want your customers to feel secure in transactions, because every customer will be conscious of the financial danger and the potential for abuse of their identity. So make sure you find a reliable hosting service. Nothing drains consumer confidence like a site that is always out of commission.

When selecting an ISP, make sure there is proper support to assist you when creating your site. If you take the Web-hosting ads at face value you would believe that you can have your site up and running in a few minutes. This may not be the case. Be sure to do your homework.

  • Learn about software for managing and operations.
  • Determine what IT personnel will be required. Can you do it yourself or will you need to hire employees or consultants?

Final Word

These are the rudimentary requirements for starting a business. They are by no means all the factors involved with a startup, but if you begin your journey with at least these few guidelines in mind, the trip will probably be both enjoyable and profitable.