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7 Tips on How to Start a Small Business in 2013

Need a New Year resolution? How about starting up your entrepreneurial journey in 2013 with a brand new business?

Well, as usual, starting a small business calls for a high potential business idea, practical approach, flair for marketing and the willingness to network and of course overcoming your fear of failure and experimentation. If you are up to the challenge early in 2013, here are 7 tips on how you can start your small business…

startup tips 2013

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1. Look Around You

That’s how you’ll get ideas and inspiration. You will also be able to spot gaps in the market and exploit them to your advantage. For instance a young mother who dropped her kids off to school every day found the opportunity to start her own school bus service when she found that there were few services that functioned in a professional manner.

Do you enjoy hanging out on social networking sites very much? Well, you can start your search for ideas from them; follow and see what business and marketing people have been up to by observing their timelines – I guarantee you to get an idea or two in no time!

2. Spot Your Target Market

Obviously no business exists without customers so the idea for a plus size garment store came from looking at people who couldn’t fit in to regular stuff, looked for style, comfort and great pricing. Also the idea to do nail art by a college student who loved painting was the next best thing to do as her customers were well within her reach.

Again, make use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to learn what your target market is looking for right now, and try to follow through by giving exactly what they want.

3. Look at Alternative Distribution Options

Starting a business and keeping it running is much easier when you are willing to look at alternative distribution channels. You don’t really need to set up shop and spend on rent and real estate if you are willing to tie up with courier services and ship out of home.

Alternatively you could explore online platforms like Etsy, CafePress, Zazzle and some others to sell your goodies online from a virtual store. Buying a car or van that helps you deliver products and services at your customers’ doorsteps is another option.

You could also consider trying out pop up retail and garage sales if you feel inclined to.

4. Explore Crowdsourcing Opportunities

If you’d like to make an entry in to the business world and are willing to collaborate, co-create and raise funds then Kickstarter is a great platform to explore. Alternatively if you are in to freelancing on small projects then Fiverr is a great place to make a beginning. Or you can always go for the established marketplace, such as, oDesk, and so on.

5. Find a Partner if You Need One

If you need someone else to support and work with you then taking on a partner makes sense. However, heed this: Unless you are sharing the same vision and mission, partnership is rather a tall order; it’s bound to last and breakup is often inevitable and not a pleasant experience personally and professionally.

Sometimes two are better than one but not always though. So whether you look for a partner or go without one the decision is entirely yours.

6. Don’t Go Looking for Funding if You Don’t Really Need It

Most small business startups worry too much about funding and almost always spend a lot of time in looking for funding. However, the best thing to do is to begin with the practical approach to money, realizing that funding will have to be repaid at some point.

Don’t take on the burden unnecessarily. If you can start small and dip in to your savings to start off. That way you won’t have to worry about replacement at least.

7. Use Free Tools and Platforms to Get the Word Around

Using free platforms and tools like Pinterest, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, p and so on will help you get the words around. Pictures always appeal more than just words so go out and make people notice your work. Investing in a blog or signing up for a free one on WordPress or blogger is a great way to promote your business too.


Small business startups are as simple as you make them. The key to success with your small business is starting small and steadily building a following from there.

And, oh, please enjoy the ride while it last :)

Do you have any tips and pointers on how to start up efficiently and effectively? Please share yours by leaving a comment on this post!

Ivan Widjaya
Starting a business

About author

Ivan Widjaya
Ivan Widjaya 2594 posts

Ivan Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of, as well as several other blogs. He is a business blogger, web publisher and content marketer for SMEs.

Funding Note

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  • Oliver,

    Cheers – yes, low-overhead business should be very appealing :)

  • Oliver,

    Cheers :) Less expense, more revenue – that’s simply a prefect biz idea!

  • Brilliant strategy Ivan, your tips act as big help for everybody who are desiring to build their business in this year. Additional information to the builders, be resourceful choose the business that is essential and available, to have a lesser expense.

  • Hi,

    Yes, certainly :)

  • Good advice. All of these are really essential for a business. Knowing your target market would mean a world of difference. Is this based on Real life experience?

  • Sarah,

    Well said – your business is challenging, especially in the competition department. But if you brand your service right (which I know you are doing it right!) you can get much more leverage – other than funding :)

  • canadian franchises,

    You know what, you are right… following the right startup checklist can get your small business up and running in timely manner. What’s holding most people back is the emotional factor: Fear, worries, etc. Trying to overcome your fear for starting up is probably the most important step…

  • Jonnalyn,

    The most important thing is action :) Tips and ideas are rather useless if they are not acted upon… thanks for your comment!

  • This is a great post! I’m starting my own editing business, and I’m continuously shocked at how little “funding” I need to get my business off the ground. I need a new computer, but since I’m not leasing office space and I need no inventory, that’s pretty much it — there are so many opportunities to market for free or for a very low cost, I’ve been able to spend most of my time on working, not looking for unnecessary funding!

  • Well said Ivan. There is a ton of opportunity out there that is just waiting for someone to find. If you find a product or service you enjoy it makes it that much easier. One other point that is extremely useful to people that are just starting out is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Be smart and use your free resources. Thanks for the great tips!

  • Starting a small business model is not much tough that its seems. One has to just follow some points like Follow your passion, Plan, do your market research, Incorporate your test results and Financing and Cash Flow.

  • Great article Ivan. It can really help a lot to those who want to start a small business in the year 2013. Truly small business are in demand and have lot of knowledge and strategy to start it.