Starting a small business can be a nerve-wracking and overwhelming experience, especially if you feel alone on this journey. Luckily JewSurf can be used as a tool to help you grow and maintain your business with help from like minded people in your online community. We at JewSurf want to encourage you to take a chance on running the business of your dreams by creating a space where you can ask questions and give advice to other businesspeople, share your dreams and encourage each other, and even find others with similar goals that you can collaborate with. Throughout history Jewish people have been considered to be good businesspeople. In the past when most common people were illiterate, Jewish people were the exception. Unlike other religions at the time the Jewish religion required many people to be able to read the Torah. As a result of this widespread literacy Jewish people had the rare and necessary skill to write up contracts for different businesses, which was a great advantage for business people at the time. Nowadays small businesses thrive through repeat customers and building a community. We already have a community here online at JewSurf and we want you to get the most out of this shared online space. If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together - African proverb Teamwork is an important part of every aspect of the human experience, and is especially important for business! Even if your business is a one person job, it is always good to have a team of supporters behind you to cheer you on and to seek advice from. You can post about your small business goals online in one of our forums and find someone who is in a similar position to you to exchange ideas and tips with, or even collaborate with on a future business endeavour. Once you find someone you want to speak with, you can send them a private message by clicking on their name. Make sure you have a profile picture that is a picture of your face and some personal information attached to your profile such as your age, your country of residence and some facts about yourself so that you look more trustworthy to the person you are reaching out to. To help authenticate your identity and their identity further, you can move your conversation from JewSurf to a professional platform such as LinkedIn or even Facebook, where it is difficult to fake your identity. Here are some general tips for starting your own business: 1. Find out the legal requirements for starting a business: Every country (and sometimes every state!) is different, so make sure you find out all the legal requirements for starting and operating a business in your local area. You may need to register a business name with the government, get a licence to run a business, have a certain kind of insurance etc. Make sure you do all of this before you even start to think about selling a product or service. 2. Create a detailed expenses list and budget accordingly: There are always going to unexpected costs with any business venture, but having a detailed plan helps minimise the number of times this will happen. Being as organised as possible in this aspect also helps you to accurately price your product or service. 3. Knowledge is power, do your research: Check out any competitors in the area and take notes on how they present their business, how much they charge, what their customers look like etc. If there are not any competitors in your area make sure you do your research to see if your product or service will be in demand where you are, or if you need to have your business in a different location. Ask your friends and family if they would be interested in your business and how much they would expect to pay for the product or service. You can even send out an anonymous survey to them. You can also use JewSurf to ask other business owners for tips and advice. 4. Make people aware of your business: No one will go to your business if they don’t know it exists! Shout it from the rooftops and tell all your friends to do the same. You can post about your business on our Jwall to let other JewSurf members know about it. People love buying from local businesses as they feel happy knowing that their money is going to an ordinary person like them, and not a faceless big business. You can also use social media websites such as Instagram and Facebook to market your business for free. 5. Nothing is better than a recommendation: There is no better recommendation for a business than when a friend tells another friend about it. Encourage your customers to refer their friends to you or to leave you a positive review on yelp or google maps. There are two ways to encourage this depending on the type of business you run. You could create a referral program where your original customer gets a discount on a future product or service when someone else mentions them when buying from your business. You can also offer a small discount of 5%-10% for anyone who can show you they have left a 5 star review of your business. This is very low cost marketing that will make your business look like a crowd favorite. Remember that every big business started out as a small business, and with hard work and the support of your community both in the real world and online here at JewSurf.com, anything is possible.