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The following article
was written by Coleman Patterson and
appeared in the Business section of the Abilene Reporter-News.
Some businesses require
more start-up time and effort than others, July 28, 2006, 7D.
Most people typically look at a variety
of homes before choosing one to buy. With
each home visited in the search process, potential buyers evaluate the condition of the
house and assess how much work will be required to make it ready to live in. Some houses might require maintenance,
redecorating, or remodeling while others might be in ready to move into
condition and require minimal work for the homebuyer.
The amount of work required to make a new house livable for the
buyer is dependent upon the needs, wants, and interests of the buyer and the
characteristics of the home. Some houses are
easy to move into and others require some work.
The same notions hold true for starting a
businesssome are neat, clean, and easy to start while others require considerable
work and preparation to make them ready. Businesses
exist to exchange goods and services for resources with those outside the organization. Anything that is wanted or needed by people in a
society can be the source of a business venture. There
are several options available to people wanting to start and run their own
businesseach with different degrees of work required to get it up and running.
One option is to start your own business
from scratch. The advantages to this method
include being able to build and shape the venture from the ground floor up with total
freedom and control. Building from nothing is
also the biggest challenge for business people choosing this method. Without a stream of customers or proven method or
model of success, entrepreneurs starting from scratch face tremendous uncertainty and
risk. The amount of work required to build a
business from scratch can be considerable.
Another option is to buy an existing
business or buy into a business system. Purchasing
an existing business could be an advantage because it might have a record of successful
operation and a favorable reputation with customers, suppliers, and people in the
community. It is also possible to inherit a
poor business reputation from previous owners.
Franchising and business opportunities
are two other methods of buying into proven business systems. Some of these options come with complete
turn-key solutionswhere new business owners need little more than to
open their doors for business. Having proven
sales and marketing systems and providing new business owners with all of the things
needed to start and maintain the business make these options very attractive to many
Before choosing to start a business,
prospective entrepreneurs should thoroughly investigate their options and research the
costs and investments associated with various alternatives. Many sources of information exist for people who
need help assessing business ideas and opportunities.
Aspiring entrepreneurs can find books, websites, and college courses
dedicated to entrepreneurship and small business. The
government also provides a wealth of information to citizens through the U.S. Small
Business Administration (www.sba.gov), local Small
Business Development Centers (including one in Abilene), and related agencies and
programs. For more information about
resources and issues to consider before starting a business, visit the HSU SIFE website at
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