My friend and I are thinking about going into business together. He's creative, he's hardworking -- and he's very irresponsible with money (he once bought a vintage video game machine instead of paying his rent). His credit isn't so hot, either. Are there ways I can protect myself?
How can you tell if your business idea will be profitable? Honestly, you can't. But this shouldn't keep you from researching the financial soundness of your idea. Prepare a "break-even analysis" (determine your "break-even point") to get an idea of whether your business will succeed.
A good business plan has two basic goals: It should describe the fundamentals of your business idea and provide financial data to show that you will make good money. Beyond that, the content of your business plan depends on how you intend to use it. Depending on whether you're trying to attract investors or are creating a blueprint for your own use, a business plan can take somewhat different forms.
Just as a builder uses a blueprint to ensure that a building will be structurally sound, the process of creating and writing a "blueprint" for your business -- called a business plan -- will help you determine whether your business will be strong from the start. Without a business plan, you leave far too many things to chance. Even if you won't seek outside financing, creating financial forecasts for your business is indispensable.
Most small businesses fail within the first five years, often from a lack of planning at the outset. There are a number of financial pitfalls that new businesses must avoid. You can improve your new business' chance of succeeding by learning about, and taking steps to avoid, the top ten mistakes new business owners make.
If you want to work for yourself, but don't have a particular business in mind, you're probably wondering what kind of business you should start. Fortunately, the answer is always the same: Pick a venture you know intimately, and then research it some more.
The top priority for any entrepreneur starting a new business should be to develop a solid revenue plan. New business owners often worry about details such as getting a business license or negotiating a lease before they have figured out whether their new business can be profitable. Developing a business plan first forces you to think through the details of your business idea, including its financial feasibility.
More women than ever before are grabbing the reins and starting their own businesses. The number of women-owned small businesses is growing approximately twice as quickly as the national average for all start-ups. But, as many women business owners will tell you, the road to success for women often involves its own unique set of hazards.
Almost everyone has bought or sold something on eBay. After all, at any given moment, there are 113 million listings on the eBay site. And thousands of entrepreneurs have grown from occasional eBay users into businesses. You, too, can turn your eBay hobby into a great business opportunity. Read on for tips on what to sell, making the sale, and keeping track of your costs.