Small Business: What You need To Set One Up06/05/2015 18:41:35

Careers in Small Business 

Most businesses are small businesses.

Though many small businesses fail, the chances of failure can be drastically reduced by careful planning and good management.

People commonly fail in a small business because they are pursuing a dream first, and a business second. 

Making money always need to be the first goal of any business.

It’s nice to be your own boss, have flexible hours, and be doing something you like doing; but if these goals are achieved at the expense of making a profit, the business will not survive.

The message is simple:

Don’t go into business unless you can keep a clear focus

on profit as your number one goal

What Type of Business

The first decision is deciding what you are going to sell.

Businesses either supply services and goods. Most do mainly one or the other, but not both. Many businesses are started because the founder has an interest in, or ability to supply a particular type of product or service.

Just because you like or know about a particular product or service does not necessarily mean it is a good idea to start up a business though.

Whatever you offer in the market place, you will need customers, and an ability to convince people to trade with you rather than anyone else.

Businesses that succeed are often those that do things a little differently, or at a different time to everyone else.


Risks & Stresses

Maintaining cash flow, dealing with fluctuations in workloads, and getting away for a holiday, can all be a problem at times; but for many, these negatives are outweighed by the advantage of being your own boss.

Different industries bring with them unique risks. If the service you are providing is more dangerous, then liability for something going wrong can be a greater risk. If the work is time sensitive, you will have a greater risk if you fail to meet a timetable.


How to Distinguish Yourself from the Competition.

Every small businessman needs certain basic skills (eg. Financial management, marketing, time management, resource management, communications, computer skills, etc). Successful but often mediocre business operators may know how to do all of these things to an adequate level; but often do not excel in any. People who develop strengths that are exceptional in one area or another will have an advantage over their competition. You can increase your chances of having such an advantage by ensuring your education is NOT the same as everyone else’s.

If you do the same business certificate, diploma or degree as everyone else, you are more likely to have a similar mix of skills, and think in a similar way to everyone else.

If you choose different electives, or study a course which is not being taken by thousands of others, you are more likely to be capable of thinking in a different way, and finding niches to exploit in the business world which others are less able to exploit.


Professional Bodies and other Organisation

Networking is important, more so in some industries than others. Join professional associations, institutes, etc. Even service clubs (eg. Lions, Rotary), church groups, sporting clubs and gyms can be fertile ground for networking.

Professional bodies have the added benefit of keeping you informed on trends and developments relevant to your work (eg. Changes in consumer law, business law, new technologies etc).



Different types of businesses will have different legal obligations with respect to the following:

  • Trading hours
  • Staff employment ((wages and conditions)
  • Consumer protection
  • Legislation re: sale of goods
  • Health laws
  • Town Planning requirements
  • Weights and measures laws
  • Uncollected goods laws
  • Sales tax
  • Lay-by regulations
  • Laws relating to shoplifting
  • Restrictive trade practice laws
  • Prices justification legislation

Be sure you know the implications of these laws on your proposed business before commencing or committing yourself. 


Any business needs to take out insurance to cover the following:

  • Fire
  • Burglary and theft
  • Public liability
  • Employers liability (eg. workers compensation or work care)
  • Plate glass insurance
  • Loss of profits
  • Vehicle loss or damage
  • Laws do vary from country to country, and are always changing.

Many small businesses rely on an accountant (and sometimes a business consultant or lawyer) to guide them on legal matters.

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