Small Business Start Up Tips

by Dawn Fotopulos on March 22, 2012

Meet Isabelle. She attended the most recent networking event for Fordham University students interested in entrepreneurship. She studied fashion merchandising at Parson’s before she transferred to Fordham. Her dream is to create a gym that is completely off the grid.

It’s a brilliant idea and I can’t tell you ALL the details and violate her confidence, but if you keep reading, you’ll see some small business start up tips I gave her.

A gym usually has high start up costs. These include the hidden charges no one ever thinks about like liability insurance.

Whatever she does, her first priority would be to find a mentor who knows the industry.

Her local SCORE office or her local Small Business Development Center Office at a local college will be invaluable. The people who donate their time at these organizations are amazing.

And their support services include everything from creating business plans to finding funding for your new business idea. And it doesn’t cost a dime. Incredible.

The right mentor will have experience in the field Isabelle wants to go into. They’ll also get just as excited about her idea and help her build a road map or business plan to her dream.

Next, she needs to build her business plan on a very small scale to test her idea in the real world. Will the right people be attracted? What are the true costs of running the enterprise?

What are her gross margins and how do they compare to her projections?

Can she improve them in any way? (In short, you can ALWAYS improve gross margins.)

There are also tons of opportunities to collaborate with synergistic businesses that might sublet space for a great idea. We gave Isabelle a ton of ideas on how that might work out.

Just remember, the key is to maximize your gross margin, then scale the business. Once you’ve proven the business case, investors will find YOU.

If you need help or get stuck, DON’T PANIC! Hit our “Ask Dawn” button and I or my help desk gurus will get back to you. It’s the only help  desk online for small businesses.

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