3 September 2014
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If the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has its way, then better days are ahead for the Britons. The economy is likely to progress steadily in the coming two years – from 2.7% to 2.8% in 2014 and from 2.4% to 2.5% in 2015. The department is quite optimistic about the wage growth from mid-2014 that will help people to dare the inflation. Luckily, the unemployment rate is also expected to go down from 19.9% in Q4 2013 to 17.8% in Q4 2016.

Revitalizing economy, which witnessed 0.8% GDP growth in the 2014 Q2, the maiden hike after the 2008 crisis, is likely to boost the investment sentiment. It is expected to remain around 6.6% in 2014, 5.7% in 2015, and 5.7% in 2016. Thus the vibes sound good enough to come with small business ideas or start a small business.  Constraint with budget. Not to worry – there is no dearth of ideas; from personal services, to retail opportunities, to environmental services, to pet-related ideas, to technology businesses – there are unlimited avenues. Tread the one which is convenient.

Before starting a business, find out precise answers for the below questions.

  • Is there a business opportunity?

“Necessity is the mother of invention”. Are there enough takers for the products or services that you want to produce or market? If you are not so confident, change your small business ideas. Remember, a few market can be sluggish in the beginning, but may pick up momentum gradually. If you have the patience, and other factors like budget, legal compliance, and availability of infrastructure and manpower are supporting enough, go for that.

  • Does it make life easier or solve a problem?

What you offer, should help people or businesses? Because everyone loves to invest in products or services that help him/her do things in easier manner. Offerings should also add luxury to one’s lifestyle, however, without drilling holes in an individual’s pocket. That will also do no business harm, provided you succeed in offering elite features and fill a market gap.

  • Is it viable?

Be practical. Thinking about manufacturing something? Besides cost assessment linked with raw materials, workplace, labor and, eventually, the wholesale price, you need to visualize the availability of resources, merchantability of final products, and the accessibility of marketing channels. Being a startup venture, you must do the early homework.

  • Can it generate profit?

Figure out cost of manufacturing, after reckoning on employees’ salaries, expenses, administration costs, labor, transport and material costs. And set your profit margin to sustain your business. But do remember to compete with the prices of similar products or services offered by other businesses.

  • Do you have defined missions, visions and values?

What is your business objective? How do you want to work out them? What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to be in the long run say in a decade or so? Take out your notepad to define all these. Yes, set up your missions, visions and values, because a business is all about sustainable growth. It’s a never ending journey.

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My name is Anurag Sharma.
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