You can and will efficiently launch your own small business when you apply these eight steps:
– Set Yourself Up For Success
Your first step to turn your small business dreams into a reality should be to acquire funding for your business, either by self-funding your business, obtaining a small business loan, or finding investors.
Next, you should meet with both a personal accountant and a financial planner to setup both your personal and business finances correctly. They will both know the ins-and-outs of your taxes and will help you schedule quarterly estimated taxes in order to pay tax on your income that is not subject to withholding.
You will also need to decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.
Setting up business licenses and taxes for your business can be a pain, but nobody really wants to go through the process of setting up any of these financial things. My best advice here would be for you to set up all of these financial needs at first, so you don’t have to worry about them later.
– Craft A Powerful Business Plan
Do you ever wonder how other small startups grew to be large businesses? The answer lies in having a plan and clear vision for where they wanted to go. These businesses understand who it is they are and who they want to become in the future. Having a plan to provide direction and motivation ensures that you, your investors, your upper management team, and all other employees will be on the same page.
– Construct A Detailed Marketing Plan
A successful business rises or falls on the details, and this includes the details that pertain to your marketing plan. After you come up with a name for your business that briefly and clearly describes the services or products that you will offer with your business and register it with your state government, it is also important to have a memorable logo that people will be able to eventually recognize and associate with your brand. Your brand name and stunning logo can then be placed on all promotional items that you create in the future.
Once you have your name and logo, it is time to design a plan for how to advertise your new business. A great place to begin is to build an online audience to enjoy your products and services. This is especially true if your new business is an online business. You can begin by creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and building your own website and/or blog. Also, don’t forget to begin building your email list by using the best way to send better email, mailchimp.
Sure, it is important to have a presence on every outlet you feel a need to be on to attract the customers that you want to attract, but email remains the most crucial form of online marketing that there is and it always will be.
Or if it is traditional marketing that you want to start with to create buzz and increase word-of-mouth, print newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail pieces, radio spots, television commercials, public events, VIP events, and phone calls will be the different forms of advertisement that you will want to include in your marketing plan. Or, you can just do online and traditional marketing both at the same time.
– Realize That You Can’t Possibly Do Everything Well On Your Own
Now that you have both your business plan and marketing plan, it’s time to see just how important it is to hire a team of some sorts. This is because there’s no chance that you can do every single thing that it takes to operate a successful business exceptionally well by yourself.
Whether you need to hire a traditional team of employees helping you carry out your dreams or a team of virtual assistants, you need experts in their own specific fields to help you carry out your plans. Doing this frees up more time for you to focus on your own specific priorities in your new business.
I found that within the first few months I was trying to do everything on my own, and it was creating excessive unneeded stress. When you surround yourself with a great team and allow them to excel in their strengths, you will create an exceptional experience for everyone involved.
– Combine Hard Work With Focus And Fun
Too many people that I have talked to start a restaurant or begin a clothing line just because it seems like the occupation they are most interested in, but they become an entrepreneur blind to the extent of the hard work that actually goes into the production of the finished product. This being said, the previous steps have assisted you in creating plans and have also helped put together a team to direct you in conquering your dreams for your business. Now, all you need to do is to put the time and effort in.
Hard work is the one thing that I cannot possibly teach you, but if you are driven enough and passionate enough about starting your own new business, you are well on your way to running a successful small business.
Maybe you already have the work ethic, but don’t know where to turn next. I will help you here. Your next step is to focus. This is the state of mind that will help you succeed, so you will definitely want to do everything you can to bring focus into your life. My absolute best tip for you to remain focused for the long haul and to streamline your life is to have a schedule for everything. I personally use Calendar for iPhone, but Google Calendar is also a great calendar alternative.
Whether you want to use a digital calendar or a timeless desk calendar, knowing where you and your team needs to be at all times is a priority. You can use your scheduling system for planning strategic meetings, making employee’s schedules, running different forms of advertising, detailing travel plans, forming social media posts, and so much more.
Scheduling specific people within your business individual tasks increases the strength of communication between your team, engages everyone involved, and gives employees some type of ownership in your small business and also allows them to contribute to the bigger plan.
Another important way to remain focused is to have an easy way to take notes. Because I am on the go all the time, I accomplish effortless note-taking with Evernote. It puts all of my important information in one centralized location and keeps me organized at all times.
Just remember that in all of this scheduled work and focus, don’t forget to have fun! Know that when you are doing what you love to do, you will never work a day in your life. It is important not only to enjoy the fun for yourself, but make sure to spread this fun and the joy that goes along with it to your entire team.
– Offer An Amazing Product
Without a product that people want, you are just a building or a website. It would be pretty difficult to gain attention from consumers if this one thing isn’t right. When you work diligently to provide an amazing product for your clients, they will continue to purchase current products from you and will then come back to experience any products that you offer in the future.
– Search Relentlessly For A Great Location
If you are primarily running an online business, then setting up your website with great SEO (search engine optimization), so that people can find you by searching keywords is extremely important. You can also hire a web designer to help you with the design that best suits you and your customers.
If you have a traditional business structure with a storefront, it is deeply important to research the area that you want to serve. How does traffic flow? What are the best hours to be open for the area your business is in? What are current real estate trends? Can a real estate agent help you discover the best possible situation for you and your small business?
If people can’t find you, then of course they won’t be able to give you the business that you have worked hard to profit from.
– Train Your Team For Remarkable Customer Service
Again, you can’t do everything, so at some point along the way your customers won’t be dealing directly with you, but they will be corresponding with someone on your team. This is why it is so important to train your staff to handle situations the exact way that you want them handled and then duplicate those solutions.
You will also need to train yourself if you aren’t already knowledgeable in every area of business. Hopefully you already have what it takes to run a successful operation, but don’t forget to train yourself on the legal side of running a business as well. You will need to know what your responsibilities are as an employer for insurance, workers’ compensation, and unemployment.
Scheduling a meeting with a business consultant is a great way to gain knowledge and allow for someone else’s expertise to quickly catch you up to speed.
These are the eight necessities to starting your own small business. No, starting your own business from scratch won’t be easy, but this is the roadmap that will help you be successful.