Business Segment


So you want to start your own business, huh? With all the ins and outs and the plethora of information available now, more than ever, it’s the best time to get started. Studies show that in 2018, 45% of small business owners were minority ethnic groups. This was already a dramatic increase from 2015, when the amount of minority business owners was just 15%. The biggest increase among minority small business owners, however, has been the huge increase in the number of African American small business owners year over year from 2017 to 2018. The increase? Drum roll please… a whopping 400%! Hispanics represented the next largest group at 14%. Meanwhile, Asians made up 8% while Native American business owners came in at 4%.

With growth like this it’s easy to indulge in the vision of creating a living by using your God-given gifts. The very thought of living your best life while doing what comes naturally to you is exhilarating in itself. Still, taking that first step can be intimidating. Maybe you’ve put off becoming an entrepreneur because you think you don’t have the money, the tools, or the time to start a business. Well I’m here today to help you send those fears to their final resting place. It’s time to #LiveLive and bring those dreams to fruition! Take a walk with me as I share some tips on how to get started with your business… on a budget, of course!

You’ve Gotta Research!

You don’t want to start your business only to find out one’s already in your city and it’s actually in your neighborhood! A simple Google search of the name of your product or service will tell you who (if anyone) is creating your product or offering your service in your city, how much they charge, and where these companies are located. Go online to google.com and plug the name into the search bar.

To get no-cost counseling or mentoring, visit or go online to your local Score chapter www.score.org or Small Business Administration office www.sba.gov. You can find a mentor, take courses, ask questions, get help writing your business plan, and use a variety of tools--all for free!

Now Make a Plan!

Creating a business plan and developing your strategy are essential to the success of your business. I know, it sounds daunting, but if you start right you won’t have to get right later! This plan will help you to determine the who, the what, and the how of turning your weekend hobby into a real business.

There are many online sources to give you guidance and even free templates and forms to write your business plan.

Don’t know what a biz plan looks like? Need an example? Business plans at www.bplans.com has over 500 complete plans and is a great place to begin looking at business plan examples and templates.

Google Business

Two Words: Google Docs (docs.google.com)

You
can create documents, contracts, spreadsheets and
forms. All of these documents are online or in the “cloud” so they can be accessed with any computer just by signing on to your Gmail account. Cost? $FREE99!

But wait…There’s more!

Google also offers the following free business options.

Email: Setup a free email account in minutes.


Google Talk: Chat online (instant message) for free with anyone else who has a Google email account

Google Voice: Get a free Google phone number you can use for business, for a promotion, or for a second line. You can add voicemail to this number, receive your messages in a text and email, or decide to answer. Many uses—no cost!

Google Duo: Make high quality video calls from your smartphone, tablet, and computer. It works on iOS & Android platforms. Service-based entrepreneurs this is an excellent option when facilitating, consultations and YES! It’s FREE! I’m just sayin…

Google Docs: Create business forms from scratch or use the forms templates and upload the forms directly to your site. Add your company logo, and now you have professional looking documents.

Calendar: Keep your schedule organized, invite associates to meetings, and forward this calendar to your iPhone, Android, or other device for wait, what’s that again?? Oh, okay… FREE!

Sidebar:

Yes, the startup phase of opening your business on a budget will require a bit of elbow grease but look at it this way: We value what we invest in. Sure you can pay for the work to be done but personally, I’d rather do what I can on my own and utilize the coins I saved to perfect my products and services. More on that on another day! Let’s keep going…

Marketing News, Marketing Research, Publicity

Think you can’t do your own marketing starting out? Well, not only can you DIY: Do it Yourself when starting up, you can market your company efficiently & professionally. To DIY, you must know what works for your industry, your prospective clients, & your time.

Research, Research, Research (sounding redundant yet? Good!)

By now, Google should have become your goodest, bestist friend. You can search “Free Marketing” and find a ton of information on ways to get the word out about your products and services. You can also visit Digital Marketing Resources at www.cmo.com to learn what corporate marketing officers use to brand and market their companies.