How to Start a Small Business in One Week Part 3
Lesson #4: The fun begins.
As business plans progress, and the business is legalized, you can begin to embark on some of the more enjoyable aspects of starting a new business. It is always important to continue to evaluate the goals and needs of the business as well as the organization along the way. Consider the fact that depending on the type of business you wish to run, there may be other steps in the process to getting it started such as obtaining financing and a business site, etc. This lesson is based upon a home based or internet based business. The benefits to a business operated out of the home or via the internet are that costs and overhead tend to be much smaller.
Now that the business is well on its way to becoming legal and an effective and complete business plan is in place, it is time to focus efforts on the medium by which the company will be based such as the website and supplies. The supplies will be easy, but can get expensive so be sure to shop around and leave yourself enough time to budget your funds. It is important to save the receipts for everything purchased. In my case, I saved the receipts in an envelope and I have documented everything in an accounting ledger.
Before going out to buy those supplies, make a list of everything that will be needed to run your business effectively. For example, you will need office supplies such as pens, paper, computer, ink, etc. You may also need software for accounting or other aspects of the business. If a product or service is involved, be sure to imagine yourself in the day to day business activities and what will be needed to perform the job effectively. As the new business begins, you may find that there are other things you will need, try to plan for those in advance if possible. I like to make contingency plans for everything, and I feel you can never be too prepared.
In addition to the supplies, you will need a website, as most companies run off of websites. For example, think about how many times in one day you go to the computer to research something, and how many links come up for everything you search. Your business could be one of those links for someone. Now, consider that the website could be a form of advertisement, but it could also be the main business application for completing orders, transactions, and communications. The website is pretty important.
There are several companies that offer website domains and hosting packages. There are even companies that will design the site for you or provide you with the tools needed to design you own site. Websites are generally coded in html which stands for Hyper Text Make up Language. One can learn this coding by researching it online, and a great site which offers lessons for this is http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/tut/. This site is free and offers a comprehensive education and resources for creating your own website, but it can be quite time consuming, so there are other options to consider.
Great options for designing a website is to either hire someone (but this is just not as much fun), to buy software such as Image café, Coffee cup, or Dreamweaver. Another options is to purchase an all in one package that allows you to design your own website with the aid of tools. This last option is the most fun as it allows you to add your personal touches to the site, and it is the most inexpensive.
To find the sites that sell domains, web hosting packages, and design options, one can always google the key words or here is a list of some to check out: http://netoworksolutions.com, http://godaddy.com, http://web.com, etc. I used network solutions because it offered great pricing, easy to use tools, and economic packages. With Network Solutions, I receive one on one assistance 24/7, a free domain, web hosting, design tools, and maintenance. In addition to all of this, I also receive several other items such as the ability to create free links, forums, message boards, buttons, and my account also came with 1000 web pages and 1000 email addresses. So, as you can see, companies like this offer comprehensive all in one programs, and the fees are very nominal. For example, I was able to pay for one full year in advance and with all the perks it cost me under two hundred dollars. This is not an effort to promote or advertise for these sites, but to advise you of what can be out there for you.
Once the website domain is purchased and you can begin the design process you will find yourself completely absorbed in the work. Designing your own website is very fun and a little stressful. Be sure to take breaks and get some rest. Remember, your mind works better when it is well rested an refreshed. Have fun with this, and don’t worry, if you make a mistake, you can usually fix it. Good Luck.