Innovation is an essential ingredient to entrepreneurship. The entire entrepreneurship process begins with innovation. The entrepreneur must be an innovator, he must be able to come up with new breakthrough ideas which no one else has come across.

An entrepreneur constantly scans the environment for novel and innovative ideas. He looks at a situation in its totality. He comprehensively understands the situation and is able to break it down into parts and analyze each part in its totality. He then looks at the problems and difficulties faced in each part as well as the situation as a whole, after which he tries to come out with an innovative way to overcome the problems faced. The solution may be in a tangible form i.e. a product or may be in an intangible form i.e. a service rendered.

 

The solution the entrepreneur proposes is never an abstract idea which cannot be implemented in reality i.e. the entrepreneur solution is a concrete idea which can be developed and marketed in the most cost efficient, within the required quality permissible limits and at the same time the time to provide such a solution to the customer must be minimum i.e. there should a minimum time gap between the time to produce and the time to market to customer. The entrepreneur never forgets the fact that the idea develop must be capable to being functional i.e. it must have functionality and the customer must be able to use the solution without much problem or hassles.

 

Entrepreneurs are the most critical part of any nation’s innovative process. This is because these entrepreneurs run small firms which are more dynamic as compared to large enterprises which put several constraints on the amount of risk to be undertaken, finance and capital risks and other risks associated with technology. These small firms become the breeding ground for innovations which at times get sold over to larger commercial organizations to commercialize and market such innovations. One must remember that the entrepreneur’s innovation output may not only be limited to products and services, innovation can also be done with respect to a process i.e. the entrepreneur can innovate with respect to an existing process and find a new, better, faster and cheaper manner to produce or manufacture a product or render a service.

Starting your own business is a fantastic, exciting endeavor. It has unique joys and pitfalls. Here are a few tips that the Iceland in 8 Days owner (home of such incredible articles like a full guide to Iceland flights and such attractions as the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck) found helped us make it to 1 million dollars in revenue and climbing.

  1. Sell: Out of the gate you might not have much to offer but get something to sell and sell it. Sell it at discount but sell something. Our little company had very little to offer but we got out there and aggressively sold it. Do not hide from your customers, get out there, sell, lose a few, learn what they want, refine and sell again.
  2. Be Flexible: You might have a grand vision for your product but once you get out there, you may find the market is not as excited about your vision as you are. Adapt, beg, borrow and steal to make your product better than your competitors. After a year, we are selling a completely different product to what we started with and our targeted clients have gone from selling one at a time to bulk, enterprise sales.
  3. It is hard to get someone else to sell your product: Partnerships and recruiting militia salespeople to sell for you is very, very difficult, you might as well just sell it yourself until you are better known and established.
  4. Entrepreneurs want stock: Once the majority of the pie is split between partners, you are no longer looking to hire entrepreneurs as you cannot give them what they want. This stage of growth is the hardest where your business has matured somewhat. You now need staff, not new partners and they need money, benefits and security. Think with that when you want another team member … you better have money to hire them.
  5. Be careful of experienced salesmen who are unemployed: If they are so good, why were they let go. Good salesmen stay employed.
  6. Organize as early as you can: At first, everyone seems to do everything but as soon as possible, get the partners and staff into a structured role or department. A business is chaos once it gets beyond a few people with no organization.
  7. Thrifty: So you made a few dollars extra last month, you made a profit. This is the time to get tighter with money rather than getting all those things you really wanted but could not afford. Budgeting is key when you finally make a profit. Before that the budgeting pretty much handles itself. We blew through too much cash once we made a profit due to loose controls on spending.
  8. Think bigger: As you make a mark, always be looking for the bigger deal, the bigger customer, the bulk sale. You will always run into the problem of how many sales can a salesperson make per month. Scaling with personnel is expensive.
  9. Make friends: Within whatever industry you sell to, there are voices who are listened to more than others. Make friends with them so they can forward your message. This speeds up branding like nothing else and in many cases is the cheap route.
  10. Avoid Investment as much as possible for as long as possible: You are going to give your company away and more so for less the earlier you accept money. We had no income for a year, you would be surprised how far you can get if you just hustle to keep the rent paid.

Do you want to start your own small business? Many people who are tired of working for someone else or who have been laid off find themselves taking the road of entrepreneurship. I found myself on that road many years ago and have never looked back. I discovered some simple secrets to success that I want to share with you!

Ten years ago I answered a small help wanted ad in the local newspaper for a rep to sell advertising space on movie screens. Having no experience in ad sales, I bluffed my way through the interview. The company sales manager had been interviewing all day so I knew my competition was formidable. I really wanted the job, so I sent a big bouquet of flowers to my interviewer along with a thank you note. Guess who got the job?

 

I went through training and learned I was only allowed to sell ad space at certain movie theaters in town but not all. Many of my new clients wanted to advertise market-wide on all the theaters in my city. I began to see a need for someone to help these advertisers make a seamless media buy that involved various theater companies. This unmet need became the seed for my new business idea.

 

I resigned from my position and started a full service ad agency that bought all forms of media but specialized in movie theater advertising. I built a database of every movie theater in the country that offered an ad program. Now an advertiser had access to a one-stop shop to place a media buy across a market, a state, or the entire U.S. My idea was a big hit! My first client was Disney.

 

Over the past 10 years, I have bought cinema media for clients such as the state of Florida, the city of Los Angeles, Disney, Haagen-Dazs, U.S. Army, the Justice Department, state of Virginia, Royal Purple Motor Oil, New York Courts, Nordstrom, and more.

 

Here are some secrets to my small business success. If you are planning to start your own business these ideas will launch you in the right direction!

 

  1. Do What You Know

 

It only makes sense to start a small business in an industry that you understand and have experience with. Do not try to venture into uncharted waters. If you have a business idea for an industry you are not familiar with, go work for another company in that industry for a year. This will give you a basic understanding of the major players, business models, and needs of the industry.

 

  1. Find a Need Not Being Met

 

Business is about filling needs. The most successful companies have found a consumer demand that was unfulfilled. Sometimes large companies get lost in pleasing shareholders and move slowly in responding to customer needs. Find a niche and become an expert. Customers will begin flowing in.

 

  1. Become a Partner to Your Client

 

Your goal should be to create a product or service that helps your client make more money or solve a problem. Your approach should be stepping into the shoes of a business partner to your client. Successful business owners approach new customers with the attitude, “How can I help you grow your business?” If you wear the persona of a typical sales rep, only wanting to make a profit for yourself, you will struggle to find new clients.

 

  1. Say Thank-You in Creative Ways

 

Knowing that other ad agencies typically send out holiday cards at the end of the year, I send out cards to my clients at Thanksgiving time. This way I am ahead of the pack and really stand out. I also send some gourmet popcorn or movie passes. Clients appreciate knowing you value their business. I also send gifts or handwritten notes after completing a project for one of my customers. A personal gesture of appreciation builds brand loyalty between your company and your clients.

 

  1. Use Social Networking to Build Your Brand

 

As soon as possible, build a top-notch website and begin branding your company across the internet on websites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I used WordPress to create a simple blog that is integrated with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. When I post a new blog entry, it automatically migrates to my other social network websites, saving me time. Email programs such as MailChimp.com, can be set up to send out an email with your newest WordPress blog post. Building your brand online builds your credibility. Show off your knowledge and expertise in the industry to attract new clients. Allowing your customers to interact with you personally on websites such as Facebook or MySpace strengthens your relationships and increases your chances for repeat business.

 

I started out with no money or employees – just a great idea that filled a need in an industry I understood. Take inventory of all your experiences and think about products or services that no one else is offering. Focus on helping your clients achieve their goals and success will follow!

Various business grants are available for those entrepreneurs who want to have some additional funding for the development of their businesses. You can get business grant application either form the government agencies that offer grants or from the website of the federal, state and local government. These grants are also available by different private and non-profit organizations apart from the government agencies. The entrepreneurs have to ensure that they are eligible to apply for the relevant grant and filling the application form is vital because only then you will be able to get the grant money.

The government wants to help business people so that the additional fund that they require gets fulfilled and they are able to concentrate on the development and promotion of their business. The main thing is that these entrepreneurs do not have to worry about repaying this grant money. These are free financial aids offered by the government to those individuals who have a great business idea or the government believes in the idea and the market survey they produce along with it. The approval of the application is not so easy and most often you have to take lot of precautions and go through the lengthy process.

 

Now you can get, fill and submit the business grant application online. It has made the entire process easy and convenient which was very tedious and tiring before. The facility of getting all information online has also helped entrepreneurs save their time and effort. It is easy to fill the application form online where there is less time and physical involvement. You will get complete information on the government website and they are mentioned clearly there.

 

When you are applying for business grants you will have to make a good business plan along with the application that you need to submit. The business plan should include the budget and plan that you have of how to spend the money that you have requested from the government. Business grant application has to be filled and submitted before due date of submission and the business plan should be persuasive to get approved without hassle.

When you start a business, you want it to be successful, right? No one embarks on a venture hoping to fail! Yet, for so many, their destination points in that direction right from the get go.

Why? A lot of times, entrepreneur hopefuls don’t do what they are supposed to: they don’t plan well, they don’t do enough research, they are not passionate about what they are doing…basically, they start off on he wrong foot and end up tripping or falling flat on their faces.

Here are some things you might need to consider should you really be serious about opening shop.

Know your stuff

You want to open a restaurant but don’t even know that adding sugar to a dish helps cut down chili hotness. You can’t cook a proper dish. You don’t know where to get ingredients at the best prices.

 

Now, how do you expect to succeed?

At the car service centre, how does it feel like when the mechanic says, “Oh! This particular spare part costs $900.” And you can’t say that you think it’s too expensive because you don’t know the real cost. So, you just resign yourself to this suggestion, but with that feeling that you’ve just been taken for a ride.

It’s the same at you restaurant, you need to know your stuff.

 

Research

A great location for a certain business might not be suitable for another.

You can operate a luxury car dealership that retails most expensive Maseratis in rather secluded area and still you will get your customers because he cars appeal to a certain market where affluent buyers will go anywhere to get they want

But when you open a stall or restaurant, it would be better if it’s located in an area where there are other food outlets, and where the traffic is high.

You mustn’t be afraid of competition as it creates choice for the consumer

You also need to know the type of crowd you are catering to and price your product correctly.

 

Passion

Just because you like to cook, don’t think you can make it as a restaurateur. At home, you might be used to cooking for family. You might even love hosting the occasional party with 30 friends dropping by.

 

At the outlet, it’s a daily affair.

It’s a lot of work in hot kitchen. And it’s not just the quality of food you have to be concerned about. You need to look at the service your staff provides. Don’t forget the occasional difficult customer.

 

You have to be passionate enough to work very, very hard.

 

Be hands on

If you want to open a business you need to be there, at least for a year, so that you’d know the ins and outs of the business enough and to make accurate assessments and estimations of stock take, customer flow and such.

 

Then no one will be able to cheat you. Also, after a year, your workers would more or less have an idea as to the way you like things done and what displeases you

 

Today, people are loosing their jobs. More than ever, people turn to making their own way. This year is the time to make a bold move, if you have the support. There are openings in many industries, but patience will be necessary. In South Florida, people will see many businesses closing and leaving infrastructure that could be transferred into something else. Making bold moves are specifically for people that have experience in business though. This is not a time for the casual entrepreneurs. Going South could be the next move for anyone struggling in the North and Midwest. Keep in mind, Florida does not have state income tax, so you can keep more of your income. Also, Texas is another state that offers this same perk. The warm weather will limit the need for seasonal expenses, like clothes and car care too. Therefore, this leaves more opportunity for allowing entrepreneurship to be king. This could mean starting a home business, or starting their dream brick and mortar operation. Entrepreneurial motivation can be felt across the country. The days of working at a local factory for 30 years is over. This equates the desire to create the new era of American workers and business people that are self sufficient. The lack of trust in big government, corporate jobs, and layoffs have fueled this situation. The only thing left is to accept entrepreneurship king. Innovation comes about and real transition will ensure America’s survival as a world leader.

The lack of options creates a life of uncertainty. Moreover, making entrepreneurship the main solution for tough times could create a society of business minded individuals.These people may not be ready for the challenge to operate a business, but they will have to quickly discover a way to make money. The ability to create your way of earning a living is a great sense of pride, but society has taught everyone to get a good job. Therefore, this is problematic for most people to transition. The new added responsibility for yourself can be traumatic. However, there is a strategy to solve the issue of fear. Just do it. Be well educated on the new entrepreneurship idea first, and then make a move. Understand that you are not alone, and that entrepreneurship is king for this new American era. Most people may not see it yet, but having a side business is becoming the norm. One job people are becoming obsolete. Therefore, if you are working full time, take on a good paying hobby to earn some extra cash to prepare for the “entrepreneurship king” trend. This will enable a competitive advantage for when you may have to become a full time entrepreneur due to unforeseen circumstances. Also, the earlier you start the better. Think of this as taking on another task and get creativity juices flowing. After all, we sell our worth to bosses everyday, so why not reap all the benefits.

 

In summation, entrepreneurship is king due to economic factors. We can’t change the situations, so we must make the best strategic decisions. Gaining extra skills that are well paid could be a great income booster. Community colleges offer great options for working adults with classes that enhance skills, and this can be used to build upon. Financial aid is available in many cases, so there is little excuse not to try. If you feel fear of loosing your financial security, accept that entrepreneurship is king, and make it work to your advantage with a new army of tools.

Those entrepreneurs that have limited fund can take the advantage of grants for small business owners. These grants are specially designed and created to help those business owners that find difficulty running their business swiftly because of lack of fund. When people hear about grants, some think that it is very easy to get the free money from the government while others think this is not meant for them as government grants are only for low income group of people. Both the concept is not completely true.

Government grants are neither too easy nor very difficult to get. You have to follow a certain procedure and submit the application for the relevant grant to the respective agency. If you are a small business owner, you need to analyze your business needs, find out what are the requirements of your business and list them according to the preferences. This will help you search for the right grant and fulfill the needs in sequence. Once you have sorted out your financial needs, it is time to find the grants that can fulfill them.

 

Complete information on grants for small business owners is available on Internet. Be careful and conscious while browsing the net because there are many fake companies and cheat individuals that will try to misguide you. Try to log on to legitimate websites particularly that of the government. Although these grants come under federal government grants, they are available with local and state governments. You can also find out the details with your state and local government agencies.

 

It is a time consuming job to find the grants and review their requirements. But once you have found the grant, see to it that you qualify for the grants. It is good to go through the guidelines for submission of the application form of that grant. Make sure you meet all the requirements and provide complete information while filling the application form. If possible, find out the constraints, expectations and budget of the grants for small business owners that you are going to apply. This will help you in presenting your application and persuading the panel to approve it.

Luck has nothing to do with someone being their own boss or making their home staging business a success. “Luck” is when you win the lottery despite odds of one in 28 million. Of course if you never buy a ticket, you’ll never be that lucky “one.”

Was Sara Blakely lucky to invent Spanx from her apartment and turn $5,000 in savings into a huge success story? Was Sandra Wilson lucky to invent Robeez when she cut up old purses to make baby booties for her son, eventually selling her company for $30.5 million?

Both women were passionate about what they were doing and refused to quit even when others told them, “it will never work.”

Comments like, “You’re so lucky you get to work from home” and “Oh, I wish I was lucky enough to be my own boss” discount the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into making opportunities happen in one’s life.

That mother working from home to be there for her family isn’t just lucky. She has taken risks and invested hundreds of hours of hard work to create that life for herself and her family.

 

She isn’t doing anything you couldn’t do yourself if you really wanted to.

You can’t waste your life wishing you could fire your boss and go into business for yourself unless you make a move to make that happen.

Being in the right place at the right time can play some part in the success of a business, but it’s commitment, hard work and doing something you’re passion about that will let you make your own “luck” in this world. What are you going to do with your future? Will you leave it to luck, or will you work hard to create the life you want to be living?

Instead of waiting for luck to help you start your new career as a home stager, download the home staging courses written by home staging expert, Debra Gould, who has helped more than 4000 people around the world learn how to become home stagers.

She is donating $100 from her business‘ profits to Save the Children’s relief efforts in Haiti. It may not sound like much, but Ariana Smith-Bland is not the president of a multi-million-dollar corporation. She is the owner of Monai Enterprise, a one-woman, Cleveland-based business specializing in hand-made decorative tissue holders. The 18-year-old Shaker Heights, Ohio, native has used an e-mail campaign to encourage other entrepreneurs-both novice and veteran-to contribute as well. So far the response has been great, according to Smith-Bland.

In February, she sent just 10 e-mails to colleagues telling them that Monai Enterprise had donated $100 to Save the Children’s Haiti relief effort. She asked those colleagues to meet or beat that pledge. The e-mail spread virally, reaching hundreds of young entrepreneurs as well as established professionals and business owners in Greater Cleveland. The e-mail even made its way to one of her teachers at John Carroll University, who said that two of his children were making donations.

 

Smith-Bland is keeping track of the donations promised and hopes that the money will allow children in Haiti to realize their dreams. “I selected Save the Children because so many kids want to have their own businesses, and I would definitely like to help the children of Haiti start their own companies,” she says.

 

The entrepreneurial bug bit Smith-Bland when she was 13. “I was part of Caring Communities, a business and entrepreneurial development class (in Cleveland),” she says. “My aunt gave me the idea for my business.”

 

Smith-Bland sews all of the fabric tissue holders herself, although these days the college freshman employs the help of her grandmother to assemble them. The tissue holders are sold at a local boutique and an art gallery, but she says that word of mouth is her best form of marketing.

 

Currently working toward a degree in business management with a minor in entrepreneurship, Smith-Bland’s long-term dream is to graduate from law school and open her own firm. She says that running her own business at a young age will give her the skills needed to accomplish that goal.

 

In high school, Smith-Bland’s business sense was heightened while attending classes at E-City, a nonprofit organization that teaches Cleveland-area students entrepreneurial, business and life skills. E-City, she says, reinforced the importance of entrepreneurs giving back to their communities.

 

Smith-Bland took those words to heart and for years has volunteered locally with Coats for Kids, the Cleveland Food Bank and the City Mission, among other organizations. In 2007, her company donated more than $200 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina as well as AIDS victims in Africa.

 

After seeing the devastation following the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, Smith-Bland knew she had to help.

 

Giving back, she says, is a way to say thank you to those who in the past have helped her and to give others a chance at success. “If people invested time and energy in me, I should reinvest my time and energy in others,” she says.

 

Sources:

http://www.ecitycleveland.com

http://www.savethechildren.org/countries/latin-america-caribbean/haiti.html

Bad things can happen to good entrepreneurs with fantastic ideas. This statement is not meant to burst your bubble – it’s meant to nudge you in the direction of being realistic about your planning efforts long before you’re left with nothing but a soapy residue on the floor because you failed to implement the best practices for protecting your personal assets.

Take the Proper Steps

 

It’s all too easy to get carried away with the thrill of being your own boss and finally pushing the results of your hard work onto the marketplace. There isn’t any serious entrepreneur that at some time has not put their own money on the line, but the cold, hard fact is you can lose your investment if something goes wrong and your business fails. If you have not taken precautions, you could lose everything you own, destroy your personal credit and be left with no choice but to start over.

 

Form a corporation. Most people start out as sole proprietors and register with the state as such, but eventually you will need to form a corporation. You’ll need to form a C Corp, an S Corp or a limited liability company (LLC). If you don’t know the difference, do the research or consult with a business attorney. Consider the tax consequences for the various types in incorporations, and most of all your protection from personal liability. Remember this point – you and your business are not one and the same. Your business is a separate entity with its own life and should be managed as such.

 

Build business credit. The moment you submit your incorporation papers to the state, apply for a federal tax identification number. Once you have that, register with Dun  amp; Bradstreet to start building a business credit score based on your business activity. Get your services and vendor accounts transferred into your name. Set up a bank account under your business name and Tax ID number. If you apply for credit cards or lines of credit for business use, put them in your name, not your personal name.

 

In the beginning you may be asked to provide a personal guarantee for some of your business needs but limit these to as few as possible. Taking these steps will help you remove the personal liability from your business affairs. It is also wise to consider getting a loan when you need financing rather than pulling the cash from your own pocket. If your business does fail, you have not lost all your money. You can learn from your mistakes and start over again – the most successful business people in the world have all experiences flops.

 

Use Business Credit to Get Financing

 

If you feel bad about losing someone else’s money, take heart. Business credit lenders are fully aware of the risks they take in lending money to small business start ups. You can use this to your advantage – they will insist on seeing a viable business plan before they fork over the cash you want and with a well.