Starting Your Local Business

Don’t mistake enthusiasm for intelligence. Starting a business takes planning and calculation and shouldn’t be rushed into. So, when you take your idea from paper to real life, hit the ground running, but do it carefully. Nothing’s worse than running out of cash before you even open for business.

There’s no secret initiation into the business world. There is no secret password or sworn oath. There is no mystical rite that makes you a local businessman, so stop thinking there is. You just go out and do it.

For my example, local business development would involve finding the best price on bulk t-shirt orders, and either buying a screen printer or negotiating a decent fee with someone who has one. Let’s say I can buy 200 plain white t-shirts for $2.50 each. That comes out to $500.

Then, I decide to buy a screen printer because a) I plan to make a lot of shirts and would rather invest the money in my business than pay someone else and b) I don’t want to hire the work out and risk them making their own competing t-shirts. Screen printers can cost thousands of dollars, but a starter screen printing set can be bought for about $250.

So right now I’ve invested $750. Throw in extra materials and bump the cost to $850. Now, where am I going to sell these?

If I’m trying to do things cheap, I start my local business on a table borrowed from my uncle at the town festival this weekend. I rent a booth ($75), have a couple of signs made ($50) and lay out my wares.

I’ve invested $1,025 so far and haven’t made a profit. That’s okay. I figure that per meteor shirt, I’ve spent a little over $3. I decide to be nice to by fellow locals and not charge outlandish prices for my shirts. I set the cost at $10. That means I’m covering the production costs of three shirts every time I sell one.

This is how you start your business. Find out what you need and then go get it. Make sure that you’re making enough in profit to cover your costs and have some extra (because that’s the whole reason you started a business in the first place). Local business development make take longer than it did in my example, but it pays off in the end.

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