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About six months ago I woke up and decided to start my own business. Using my background in tutoring and marketing, I put up an ad on Craigslist to obtain private clients. This came to me because I figured if the economy didn’t pick up soon, I would be out of luck and maybe struggling to make ends meet.

In today’s economy, you have to learn to be eclectic when it comes to maintaining a reasonable income. Starting your own business while waiting for that dream job is a great way to make reasonable funds.

Working for yourself is more effective in making you a better future employee. The motivation you have when it’s your funds on the line is amazing. I’ve found myself working harder than I’ve ever worked before because everything depends solely on me. In order to start a business you need to think about the basics and start from scratch. Here are five tips from my personal experience to get your business off the ground:

1. Do Your Research

One way to start a successful business is to make sure what you want to sell is marketable. Do some research on a hot item that you can create or a trade that is in demand. This step is the first and most important one to take because you don’t want to waste your time on something that may end up being a failure because people don’t need the product or service.

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2. Do What You Know

This is very important, don’t pick something that you have no idea how to do. The business I chose to create was something I had experience in for three years. If you start marketing yourself as a professional house cleaner, but haven’t picked up a broom in years, you may be at risk of ruining your credibility which can follow you for years to come. So if you don’t know how to do it and want to do it, I would suggest that you look up training courses or maybe volunteer to gain some experience.

3. Know The Cost

Mapping out a budget for the start of your business is very important. If you plan a grand opening that costs more than what you will make in the first mouth, than chances are you will be in debt before you know it. My suggestion is to start small. Try marketing on a widely viewed website like Craigslist, Facebook, Myspace or Twitter. Also, print fliers and hand them out. Half the people who take them will look at them, I reassure you. You have to spend money to make money sometimes. So don’t think that you will be able to spend nothing and make everything.

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4. Find Your Target Audience

Don’t just hand out fliers to anyone or focus your marketing on the general public. Find the very people you think need this service or item. It doesn’t take much research, just some brainstorming. What you want to sell won’t be for everyone. Finding your target audience is important to your success.

5. Hang In There

Being persistent is the key to making your business successful. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months for your business to take off. I would definitely suggest holding down a part-time job while building your business. It will help lower the frustration when things don’t take off as fast as you would like them to. Sticking with your business will pay off in the end. Put in a lot of hard work, it will pay off in the long run.