Make a list of your skills and interests. Talk to some people in your neighborhood to get ideas about what kinds of products and services are needed in your community. Make a list of businesses that would combine your skills and interests with your community 's needs.
Think about a business you could start now, either by yourself or with others. Answer the following questions:
What product or service will you provide?
Who is doing that business in your community right now?
What special licences, permits or certification do you need?
Who will your customers be?
What will the name of your business be?
How will you get the money or supplies you need to start?
How much will you charge for your product or service?
How will you advertise your product or service?
How will you keep accurate records of income and expenses?
Your answers make up the outline of your business plan.
Share your plan with knowledgeable professionals who have direct experience with some aspect of the business/industry you're interested in.
Talk to a friend who is interested in starting a business with you, and create guidelines that will help to guarantee a successful working relationship.
Setting prices for your product or service can be tricky. Not only must you cover your expenses, but you must also make a profit! PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Interview someone who has their own business and find out how he or she determines expenses, including materials, office supplies, phone and computer expenses, advertising costs, lighting, and postage. If you are in a service business, ask for help with determining what your time is worth.
Create an advertising campaign for your real or imaginary business using flyers, posters, brochures, or advertisements--or any other means you think will work. How much will it cost to make these items and to place them where customers will see them? Where is the BEST place to find customers who are interested in your business? Use your common sense. Would you advertise alcoholic beverages at an Alcoholics Anonymous convention? NO!
Demonstrate the way you would like to present yourself and your product or service to your customers: Don't tell them, SHOW them what your business is all about. You could do this by trying out your business manners when you meet or greet someone in person, on the phone, or online.
Prepare some sample business letters and powerpoint presentations about your product or service for 1. An imaginary customer, 2. A potential funder and 3. A potential partner. Think about their lifestyles, their interests and needs. Make sure your language, images and presentation is tailored to fit your audience. What are three things you need each of them to think, feel and do as a result of your presentation?
Seek out an opportunity to take part in running a business according to your business plan for at least one month.
Find out how to open a savings or checking account for a business. Find out about the services offered by the bank specially for business customers.