So you’re ready to take the leap.
You’re going to strike out on your own, be your own boss, chase your own dreams (and profits.) Good for you! Now, let’s get back to reality. First off, most businesses aren’t get rich quick schemes. And even when you work for yourself, you’ll have to answer to customers, suppliers, and even your own employees.
We’re not saying this to discourage you. Far from it. Success is rarely easy but with the right effort and strategies you can succeed! That’s why we’re going to offer seven quick tips for launching a small business.
First, Know WHY You’re Starting a Business
WHY are you starting a business? “To make money” isn’t good enough. You have to have something more meaningful or you’re likely to flame out. Maybe you want to offer the best cookies in town through your bakery. Or perhaps you want to build an awesome new app that will improve peoples’ lives. Figure out that “why” first.
Know What Resources YOU Have
How much money do you have in your bank account? Go and take a look. When it comes to starting a small business, you’ll probably have to put some of your own cash on the line. So make sure you understand what you can afford to spend. When you launch, it’s often best to limit yourself to risk capital, or money you can afford to lose.
Know Your MARKET and OPPORTUNITY
Let’s say you want to open up a pizza shop. There’s just one problem, there are five pizza shops right in your area and they are all highly regarded. How you have to ask yourself, “is the market too crowded?” If so, there might not be an opportunity.
And if you do go forward, understand that you will have to be competitive. That might mean offering a better pizza, or it could mean offering a more affordable one. Ideally, you’ll offer a mix of both.
Get To KNOW Your Customers
Before investing your hard earned cash, talk to some potential customers first. Continuing with our pizza shop example, you can ask people what they like and don’t like about the current shops in town. Maybe prices are high, or perhaps the pizza parlors skimp on toppings. Insights could yield competitive advantages. Also, once you’ve started your business, make sure you encourage customer reviews, those could be vital for your further success.
Develop a SIGNATURE Product
You need to stand out and markets can be crowded. That’s why it’s important to develop a signature product. You need something that’s unique, preferably something that no one else offers. Maybe it’s a pizza with wild toppings or chili sauce instead of pizza sauce, for example. Unique products can help you stand out even if the market is crowded.
Establish An ONLINE Presence Early
One of the first steps you should take is to register a domain name for your business. You should also begin setting up social media profiles and the like. By the way, read a bit about how often to post on social media for a successful campaign. For nearly any business, a strong online presence is vital. Even when customers are shopping locally, they often do research online first.
Get Legally Set Up
You want to research the different types of legal entities you can set up before you launch your business. Different entities offer different advantages. For example, LLCs separate your business from your person. This provides certain legal advantages, such as reducing liabilities.
On the other hand, a sole proprietorship is often the easiest to set up. You won’t have to deal with stocks and all the messy paperwork and obligations that often comes with setting up an LLC. No matter what, it’s important to weigh your options.
…And Then You Execute
After you’re all set up, the last thing to do is execute. Yes, execution is usually the trickiest part and sometimes even good ideas and great leaders fail. Still, with the right products and strategies, you stand a great chance of succeeding!