4 Reasons Why Starting a Small Business is Easier than You Think

by Linsey Knerl on 23 April 2014 (1 comment)

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When I began dabbling in online media in 2007, it never occurred to me that I was “building a business.” I understood people who started companies as high-profile risk takers, trust-fund babies, and those with an invention the world just couldn’t live without. Little did I realize that there was a market for the distinctive skills and abilities I would bring to the table as a freelance writer and social media enthusiast. Work ethic, the willingness to research, and the love of sharing best practices were eventually a trademark for the development of my solo endeavor into a full-fledged business. 

Through these years, I have seen many others with the same traits develop a brand of their own, despite an uncertain economy. Here is why I think they have succeeded, and why it’s the right time for you to step out and start a business of your own, as well.

Certificates, degrees, and licenses can be optional.

There will always be those small businesses that require approval from collegiate groups and government oversight. For those of us with no goal of becoming a doctor, HVAC subcontractor, or real estate guru, however, there are plenty of profitable businesses that can be had without the “official” stamp of approval. Unique experiences, an eye for the most effective way to do things, and a brilliant way with people can take your talent from hobby to enterprise in less time than a part-time Masters program will allow. (And if you do happen to have formal training, it’s a plus that can separate you from your eventual competition.)

Challenge: Compare the course and degree offerings of a college today from its offerings 5 years ago. New departments and fields of study should point you to sectors in the job market that are also in need of new service providers – with or without formal training.

People appreciate a job well done.

Have you convinced yourself that, to be the best, you also have to be first to market? While technology often demands that innovative products and services be launched before competition heats up, there is still a reason to bring your version of the latest trend to a craving audience. Creative services, business support offerings, and technical problem solvers may flood the marketplace, but the lack of businesses who are willing to provide on-time services with excellent customer service leave an opening for many more start-ups to enter the fray. If you aren’t happy until your client is happy, you’ll stand out and get the repeat business that keeps revenue rolling in during the driest economic seasons.

Challenge: Do an internet search for your specific small business focus with the words “complaint,” “unsatisfied,” “regret,” and “rip-off.” Read through some of the experiences you find, and make a note of ways you can ensure you are better than your competition.

Communication is easier (and more affordable) than ever before. 

Today’s new businesses are overwhelmed with cost-effectives choices for conferencing, messaging, and teaching clients, meaning that there will be more ways to ensure that your are meeting the ever-changing needs of your customer. One great option is Skype, which offers features even the smallest businesses can use effectively; whether you are messaging clients with a question, using video to demonstrate a new product, or keeping international calls under budget with Skype Credit, the widely recognized brand of Skype lets customers know that you have an reliable way for them to reach you whenever they need it — no messy infrastructure required! (Check here for Skype’s low domestic and international calling rates.)

Challenge: If you’re considering starting a small business in 2014, read up on the ways that potential customers in your niche prefer to communicate. Is it social media? Video conferencing? Calls? Think of how you can market yourself as a company that embraces the needs of a diverse clientele by offering more than just one or two ways to be reached. Consider how Skype can play into that marketing as a highly-recognizable communications tool.

“Consulting” is a very real thing

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “those that can’t… teach.” If you take a look at some of the most successful small businesses started in the past 5 years, however, many of them qualify as “consultancy” businesses. This is proof that knowledge and instruction have a value far beyond what companies are spending to educate themselves, and your proven skills in any number of business sectors can be marketed and sold as “expertise”! While it’s not recommended that everyone become an author, public speaker, or self-help guru, there are some ways to expand your new business offerings to include mentoring. 

Challenge: Think about the business professionals that you credit with inspiring you to take the first step in your business. What qualities do they share, and how can you polish those same qualities in yourself as marketable traits for a consultancy business? 

Sponsored by Skype — Use Skype Credit to call mobiles and landlines home and abroad at low rates.

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These are all great points to consider when working on a Small business. I think a lot of people get intimidated by the word "business," but it doesn't mean the same sort of thing it did fifty years ago. With online resources, finding some ways to make money is easier than before. I think your point about communication is particularly true. All you've got to do is see what resources are about and how you might use them.