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Checklist for Business

Checklist for Business

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Published by amm.1
Help with opening up a business
Help with opening up a business

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Published by: amm.1 on Nov 20, 2008
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CHECKLIST FOR GOING INTO BUSINESS
The material in this publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means --electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or other -- without the prior written permission of the U.S.Small Business Administration. All of SBA's programs and services are extended to the public on anondiscriminatory basis.
INTRODUCTION
Owning a business is the dream of many Americans ... starting that business converts your dream into reality.But there is a gap between your dream and reality that can only be filled with careful planning. As a businessowner, you will need a plan to avoid pitfalls, to achieve your goals and to build a profitable business.The "Checklist for Going into Business" is a guide to help you prepare a comprehensive business plan anddetermine if your idea is feasible, to identify questions and problems you will face in converting your idea intoreality and to prepare for starting your business.Operating a successful small business will depend ona practical plan with a solid foundation;dedication and willingness to sacrifice to reach your goal;technical skills; andbasic knowledge of management, finance, record keeping and market analysis.As a new owner, you will need to master these skills and techniques if your business is to be successful.
IDENTIFY YOUR REASONS
As a first and often overlooked step, ask yourself why you want to own your own business. Check the reasons thatapply to you.YES1.Freedom from the 9-5 daily work routine.___2.Being your own boss.___3.Doing what you want when you want to do it.___4.Improving your standard of living.___5.Boredom with your present job.___6.Having a product or service for which you feel there is a demand.___ Some reasons are better than others, none are wrong; however, be aware that there are tradeoffs. For example, youcan escape the 9- 5 daily routine, but you may replace it with a 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. routine.
A SELF-ANALYSIS
Going into business requires certain personal characteristics. This portion of the checklist deals with you, theindividual. These questions require serious thought. Try to be objective. Remember, it is your future that is atstake!Personal Characteristics YESNO
 
1.Are you a leader?______2.Do you like to make your own decisions?______3.Do others turn to you for help in making decisions?______4.Do you enjoy competition?______5.Do you have will power and self discipline?______6.Do you plan ahead?______7.Do you like people?______8.Do you get along well with others?______Personal ConditionsThis next group of questions though brief is vitally important to the success of your plan. It covers the physicalemotional and financial strains you will encounter in starting a new business.YESNO1.Are you aware that running your own business may requireworking 12-16 hours a day six days a week and maybe evenSundays and holidays?______2.Do you have the physical stamina to handle the workloadand schedule?______3.Do you have the emotional strength to withstand the strain?______ 4.Are you prepared if needed to temporarily lower your standardof living until your business is firmly established?______5.Is your family prepared to go along with the strains they,too, must bear?______6.Are you prepared to lose your savings?______
PERSONAL SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
Certain skills and experience are critical to the success of a business. Since it is unlikely that you possess all theskills and experience needed you'll need to hire personnel to supply those you lack. There are some basic andspecial skills you will need for your particular business.By answering the following questions you can identify the skills you possess and those you lack (your strengthsand weaknesses).YESNO1.Do you know what basic skills you will need in order to have asuccessful business?______2.Do you possess those skills?______3.When hiring personnel will you be able to determine if theapplicants' skills meet the requirements for the positionsyou are filling?______
 
4.Have you ever worked in a managerial or supervisory capacity?______ 5.Have you ever worked in a business similar to the one you wantto start?______6.Have you had any business training in school?______7.If you discover you don't have the basic skills needed for yourbusiness will yo be willing to delay your plans until you'veacquired the necessary skills?______
FINDING A NICHE
Small businesses range in size from a manufacturer with many employees and millions of dollars in equipment tothe lone window washer with a bucket and a sponge. Obviously the knowledge and skills required for these twoextremes are far apart but for success they have one thing in common: each has found a business niche and isfilling it.The most critical problems you will face in your early planning will be to find your niche and determine thefeasibility of your idea. "Get into the right business at the right time" is very good advice but following that advicemay be difficult. Many entrepreneurs plunge into a business venture so blinded by the dream that they fail tothoroughly evaluate its potential.Before you invest time effort and money the following exercise will help you separate sound ideas from thosebearing a high potential for failure.
IS YOUR IDEA FEASIBLE?
1.Identify and briefly describe the business you plan to start.2.Identify the product or service you plan to sell. 3.Does your product or service satisfy an unfilled need?Yes ___No ___4.Will your product or service serve an existing market inwhich demand exceeds supply?Yes ___No ___5.Will your product or service be competitive based on itsquality selection price or location?Yes ___No ___ Answering yes to any of these questions means you are on the right track; a negative answer means the road aheadcould be rough.
MARKET ANALYSIS
For a small business to be successful the owner must know the market. To learn the market you must analyze it a

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