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
Based on the work licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License (source: http://www.vecteezy.com/technology/29528-retro-rocket-vector )

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 Freelancer.com, 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.

Takeaway

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