Starting a small business is not an easy task. This endeavor requires a large amount of planning, knowledge, and guts to be successful. While it can be difficult to navigate the obstacles of creating a booming business on your own, these key tips can help you begin your journey.
From financial blunders to licensing mistakes, there are a variety of things that can go wrong during the initial setup of a business, and these unfortunately often lead to failure. Avoid these mistakes and read on to find out how you can best help your small business succeed.
1) Solidify Your Business Plan
Don’t start a business without first outlining your business plan. This includes looking at all of your goals, defining exactly what your business will do, determining operating procedures, and taking a look at your competitors. It doesn’t need to be extremely detailed, but should give an overview of the basics. Conceive a plan that combines your strengths and resources in a way that will garner you the most profits. Once you’ve got a plan, set to looking at comparable businesses and learn from their successes or failures.
Getting a loan without a business plan is impossible, so do your research and be prepared to answer the big and small questions. If you need guidance, there are plenty of software options designed to make the process easier
2) Finagle Your Finances
Be sure to maintain separation between your financial accounts. Combining personal and business transactions is a big mistake, and can cause legality issues that you don’t expect. Open a business account and be prepared to give your bank all of your company details. Differing financial institutions may have varied specifications, so be sure to inquire about the information you’ll need. If desired, apply for a business line of credit to develop strong vendor and supplier relationships.
3) Fund Your Venture
You’ll need capital to start your business, and there are a variety of avenues to choose from. If personal investment isn’t an option, you can look at loans from banks or the government. Find out if research grants may be applicable to your business. Take a creative route and use the exceedingly popular donation websites available at the click of a mouse. Websites like www.gofundme.com allow family and friends to easily donate the money that could help make your small business a reality.
4) Handle Licensing Issues
If you plan to hire employees or form a partnership in the future, you’ll need to secure an EIN, or Employer Identification number. It’s free, easy to apply, and protects you against major hurdles like identity theft. Get your business license as soon as possible and find out your community’s permit requirements, as they differ by locality.
5) Outsource Services When Possible
The stresses of starting a small business are many, but there are ways to save yourself time and a few headaches by outsourcing some of the back-end operations. One example could be outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping services to an experienced and reputable tax company, like www.communitytax.com. The amount of decisions required to run a small business are countless, why not hand over accounting issues that you are not well-versed in? Learning to do your own accounting can be extremely detailed and difficult, and may run you into devastating legal consequences. This frees up valuable time which you can dedicate to your business operations, and gives you the peace of mind that some of your most important assets are in qualified hands. This method is also cost-effective, as you won’t have to hire full-time onsite employees to handle your finances.
6) Find Your Market
A small business that doesn’t constantly seek out new customers will not succeed. Make yourself seen and get noticed. Create a strong social media presence, utilize all marketing materials at your disposal, and hit the streets to create some brand awareness. Building your customer base can be as easy as offering discounted services on a daily deals site, offering referral bonuses, or trying out a social media outlet you’ve never used before. Don’t ignore the classic techniques. Utilizing marketing methods like posters remains a lucrative form of brand promotion for even the largest of companies.
7) Securing A Business Space
Many small business owners choose to start their company within the comfort of their own home. This can have its setbacks. It may not provide the exposure needed to garner a large client base and there are often licensing and zoning issues that may require extra effort. Will you or your family have to deal with undesirable living condition changes? These are all things to consider before you settle on running a business from inside your home.
If you’re ready to start your very own small business and have the tenacity to see it through, follow these tips and make your dreams a reality.