Posts Tagged ‘start-ups’

Business Incubators

start-up firms

The idea of business incubators (some people call the business accelerators) was originally established in USA in 1959, with the Batavia Industrial Center.  Since then the idea is greatly adopted by many worldwide start up businesses.

Business incubators are programs developed and designed to increase the growth of a company while reducing the capital required to anticipate this growth.  There are a number of tactics and strategies the companies adopt to take their business to the next level and companies hire various kinds of people to increase their growth. These programs are designed to help and encourage new business entities and also help in their growth. There are many firms that provide incubation services for companies. These new entities are scheduled to be under incubation for a year or two. After this incubation period these companies are said to graduate and then they can pursue business on their own. The success rate of this process is fairly high. The companies that follow this incubation process are said to have been successful and this rate stands at a staggering 87%. This is enough to prove the effectiveness of these programs.

In short Incubators, provide the basic and advanced management to the company in all sections and they train the employees so that they can become professional and can continue the growth that these incubators have initiated in the company. The process for a company to apply for incubation is different. Unlike other business development programs, these companies have their selection criteria and select their clients based on various set of requirements.

Business incubators usually offer a wide range of services to their clients. Some of the basic services that you will be able to find in most incubation programs include:

  • Basic business activities (i.e networking with other entrepreneurs, funding advice)
  • Infrastructural activities (i.e. IT Support, Telephone answering, meeting rooms, libraries, secretary)
  • Marketing activities (i.e. advice, special rates)
  • Accounting (i.e. bookkeeping)
  • Business training programs (i.e. funding, expanding your business, marketing your products)

So if you were an entrepreneur that you wanted to create your own start-up firm, instead of having to rent an office space, employee a secretary, buy and install an IT and Telephone Infrastructure and find a good accountant, you could instead find a good Incubator that could offer all of these for just a fixed monthly fee.  In reality depending on your location, you may be one of the lucky ones, that there is a non-profit incubator around you (usually developed by Universities).

A company that wishes to be incubated has to apply for incubation at the chose business incubator.  Usually incubators do not approve all start-ups firms. They usually first analyse the business plan of the company, investigate its growth potentials and then decide on whether to accepted.   Start-up businesses usually remain in an incubation stage for a period of no more than 3 years.  After this period, start-ups usually “graduate “and deploy and use their own infrastructure to anticipate growth.

But selecting an appropriate incubator is not easy. As a new entrepreneur there are quite a few information that you need to know a quite a few questions that you need to ask.  Remember that the success of your start-up could be based on the incubator that you are going to choose. The next few lines are some questions that may need to ask before selecting an incubator for your business.:

  • What it the Incubator’s Track Record?
  • What are the Services (i.e. financial, accounting, legal) offered by the Incubation Company?
  • Are there any partners that can offer services in privileged rates?
  • What fees does the incubation company asks for?
  • How long does the incubation will last?
  • What are the CVs of the people that offer the services (i.e. business consultants, accountants)
  • What is the number of management staff that the Incubator has?
  • What is the % of manages’ time advising incubation clients (or tenants) ?
  • What is the survival rate of incubation clients three years after leaving the incubation program (i.e. graduating)
  • Is it easy to expand (i.e. request more office space, request a dedicate secretary)


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Starting a Home Business

More and more people are opening up to the idea of having their own home-based business. Having your own home based business has its own benefits, you can spend some quality time with your children, help household chores, keep yourself fit by dedicating some time towards the right exercise regime and most important make the right use of the money you have earned.

I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think bigDonald Trump

Benefits of Home Based Business.

There are many more benefits that will look here, and you need to work in your day-to-day life. All these benefits are impossible to achieve with a full time job and meeting deadlines. You bank balance certainly gets multiplied but your quality of life hampers in the long run. With your home based business you can create a perfect balance with work and family without compromising on your lifestyle. You will be able to pay complete attention to your family and children. Also, you will get lots of free time in your hand, which you use for some other activities.

The best part about starting your own home-based business is that you don’t need much of investment in the initial stages. You just need little knowledge and properly organizing the whole thing. As it would be run from home, there is no need to worry about the rents or utility bills at the end of the month. If it were going to be based on the Internet you would require only a personal computer with a dedicated Internet connection to start with. Just see to it, you have a high-speed connection so that it becomes easy for you to work properly. If you intend to offer a niche product or services through your home based business then you need to also workout where you could find your niche customers. You can do these by thinking about the product and services in the real world and the people who would like to take it up. This is very important for any beginner who is starting their business; you must know what your clients need. You shall get to know which section of people you need to target and work accordingly.

Are You Ready to Start?

If you have made up your mind to have your very own home based business then, the next thing you need to look for a product or services that you offer your clients. You need to know what you can give to your costumers, and it is very important that whatever product you choose, you need to have complete knowledge about that product. If you have a formal training in any particular field you can offer a consultancy services for the same, or you can look out for an option in home based business on the internet. You shall come across a number of home-based business ideas and options that could appeal to you. On the other hand, else you can opt for a niche product or services that are likely to catch up the market soon. Any business ideas you come up with make sure you do some thorough research on it before you start implementing it. Doing research is very important, and you need to completely what the market exactly needs that you can offer. Especially if you are a beginner, I am highly advisable for you to do an extensive research on the business you would like to start and the business plan.  It is very important that you do the right kind of research on the internet before you commit to any business model and find all related information regarding the competitors, your target –group of customers and also draw your marketing strategy.

Depending on the type of products /services that you will offer there are may be many other types of information that you will need to collect and analyze. Some examples are Import/export taxes and local laws. A good way to start your planning and analysis is to use the S.W.O.T analysis tool. (S)trengths  (W)eaknesses (O)pportunities (T)hreats is a strategic planning tool which in reality helps you to identify if a business project is viable or not.  In reality the SWOT analysis will help you to answer important questions like:

•    Do you have any advantages over competitors (i.e patents, capital)?

•    Are there any things that can be improved?

•    Are there any steps that can be avoided?

•    Are there any favorable circumstances that can be used?

•    Is changing technology threatening your position?

•    Is your company entering new markets?

Of course when start your home based business you may don’t have all the information to answer a complete set of SWOT questions. But having this tool on your mind will greatly help in doing you research right.  Some example questions that can be answered are provided in the drawing below:

SWOT AnalyisB

A lot of people however know nothing about what is available, and therefore, it is imperative to go through the foundations. Successful business people generally start small & grow their business. They don’t have a lot of irons in fire at one time so their efforts are not at all diffused. Also, they give everything that they have and think that the hard work counts and, try very hard until they get the success that they are searching for. Furthermore, most of them have the positive attitude. Some general advices that can be provided to anyone starting a home business are given below.

Build a Corporate Image

The Internet is a powerful marketing and sales tool ensuring that you have the power to reach millions of people. Confidently & concisely describing your whole business in some sentences is very powerful. Work on making a short description that will easily get remembered by the others and publish this over the Internet so that they will read it and  discuss it with their friends and family. Keep in mind that word of mouth is extremely powerful. This is a very powerful way to make profit even without having a product of your own and there are lots of people who have made a fortune with this.

It is a pretty recognizable brand name. Originally it was “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” but we settled on “Yahoo”. Jerry Yang

Know the Product Well

Know your service or product “like the back of your hand” prior to start market it and sell it. By knowing a product one must make sure that knows all the products advantages/disadvantages, customer target group as well as the competition. Customers are always interested in buying a quality product or service, and for sure they will always ask “why your product and not the competitors”. Be sure to always display the quality related information of your product/service and its advantages. Keep in mind the product and service, which you are marketing and selling might not be something that you use yourself, but it must be something that you believe in & know intimately. As an example, consider some women which might choose to sell  men’s related products but still know all the products benefits & features in order to satisfy their customers.  If you know your product well then there are better chances that you can explain its benefits well and this will help you “earn” one more customer. As a rule of thumb that you must have is that if you do not trust your products, the customer’s will always know it and they will simply do not buy. Don’t try to rip off your customers. A happy customer means that he will return for more products and he will also share his happiness about your products with his friends and family.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better”  Jeff Bezos

Start small

It is always advisable to handle a single product or services in the beginning to get in to the skin of the home based business. Whether your client will approve your products and services that you are offering. Eventually, you can diversify your products and services and also your client base. You can change the theme if you feel that your costumers are not approving for the earlier one. Now that you know which section of people to target, you need to market your product or services for people to know. One of the best methods to market your product is through the Internet having your very own website with an impressive home page. Creating a good web design and having proper content is very important for your website. Make sure the website is informative and impressive for the prospective buyer to spend more time browsing through it. If the traffic of your website increases it is a sign of business and prosperity. Now you need to be extremely quick in getting back to your clients in case of any queries or questions and clear their doubts. Make sure you make a note of every client writing or calling you regarding the product. Do not forget to take their email ids and contact numbers, as you would be building your very own database for future use.

Take Help

A business is not a ” one man show”. Finding someone with experience, especially if you are new is a very. What should basically happen, is striving to find a company that has relevant experience to the products/services that you are selling. One of the most rewarding things in starting a simple home business is that other people also reap the rewards beside you. There are many other small companies and freelancers out there that can really helped you build a successful Brand while at the same time keeping the cost into low levels .

Patient is a Virtue

Success will not come overnight & it is good that you enter in the business area with this in your mind. Most of these successful entrepreneurs on Internet, the majority of them have persisted for some time & surmounted many of obstacles to get where they are now. If you think yourself as  a professional who understands things well then it will help you a great deal in understanding and overcoming the problems which you might come across. Always don’t forget, that we are just humans, and humans make mistakes. Don’t be afraid of the mistakes that you will make in your  first business activities. Avoiding them is difficult if possible at all. Try to learn from them. Try to turn every mistake into an advantage.

“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”. Oscar Wilde

Initially, the response for your product can be cold but do not lose hope you need to keep trying and aggressively market your product through every which way possible. Later you will definitely get the market in your hand and will be able to get good profit. As you develop awareness for your product so will you get more enquires and enquiries shall bring in business shortly.

Hard Work

Hard work is always involved when starting your own business and time must be set aside every day to work non-stop on the current project. The “non-stop” means avoidance of a lot of time that is spent on the useless activities such as constantly checking commission statistics and email accounts for the new sales. Focus on the business and connect in one positive thing every day to add little value to the business. It is very important that you work hard as if you do not then you will be out.

“ I’ve always worked very, very hard, and the harder I worked, the luckier I got”  Alan Bond

Be Positive and Confident

Look at these beliefs that are holding you back, as an example; do you harbor a belief that a lot of money may bring more of responsibility than what you can handle? You have to drop such thoughts immediately, or it can sabotage your success efforts. Finally, one must devote some time to working on “inner” beliefs, which propel or else hinder business success as to planning & hard work, which it takes for reach our aims.

“Confidence can get you where you want to go, and getting there is a daily process. It’s so much easier when you feel good about yourself, your abilities and talents.”  Donald Trump

Starting a Home based business can be extremely easy tasks but running it successfully requires a lot of patience, focus and perseverance. Stick on and work hard, and you shall soon see the results with some great profit margins. The earning options with home-based business are excellent as there is no much investment you would be making initially. The impact of good customer service and timely delivery shall help you in getting many customers thus making your business a very successful venture.

Looking at your success there would be many to follow your footsteps, so be prepared and work doubly hard henceforth. Do not forget, networking is the key for any home based business.

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