ProLiteracy recently interviewed immigrants who own small businesses about their business tactics and how they have become successful. After listening to their insight, they each shared similar points on how to run their businesses. Each owner mainly focused on six main issues: their product, process, price, paperwork, promotion, and their business plan. This is the overview of their basic strategy on how to run a business.
Before you start a business, you should ask yourself a few questions:
How do I select the right type of business? This is easer said than done but you need to try to find something that people are lacking and would be willing to pay for.
For example, are there any reputable mechanics in the area? Is Taco Bell the only Mexican restaurant near where you live? How can I use my skills and experiences to satisfy the demand that my potential customers are looking for? Are you an honest mechanic? Do you love cooking and know how to cook ethnic dishes?
What are the steps you need to take to get your services/product into the market and how can your steps be improved? Remember, don’t just work in your business, work on your business. You need to write out your process and define the steps you have to take to get your product/services from your supplier to your customers to create the most efficient plan possible.
Set your price on what you think the market will let you charge. Based on the laws of supply and demand, you can charge more if there is a high demand for your product/services.
Supply and demand is perhaps one of the most fundamental concepts of economics. Demand refers to how much of a product or service is desired by buyers. Supply represents how much the market can offer. The correlation between price and how much of a good or service is supplied to the market is known as the supply relationship and price is the reflection of supply and demand.
Without recording your business expenses and income, it is very difficult to keep track of what you owe and who owes you. This can lead you into debt and lose income.
Remember: Business’ money should stay with the business so your business can grow. That means keeping your personal budget separate.
You never know when you could meet a potential customer or business partner. So you should have remarks about your business prepared in advance and you should be able to state the overview of your business in 30 seconds; similar to an elevator speech.
Also, create brand guidelines for your business. This doesn’t just mean your logo. It is a set of associations, both emotional and physical, that are made about your business and you should use these guidelines to keep your brand consistent.
This is where it all comes together. Apply the P’s in your business plan and write out what you are going to do. Your plan will show how you are going to make your business succeed.
The 6 P Overview
What you plan to sell.
The steps necessary to get your product made and sold.
How much you can change for your product or services.
How to keep track of income and expenses.
How to attract customers.
How to make your business succeed.
To learn more about starting and running your own business, or to help someone else start one, read Small Business Basics, Promoting Self-Reliance Through Small Business Development.