You thought about starting your company, being your own boss and making the big decisions but you don’t know where to start? The risk of getting into this new venture seems intimidating?
It’s not surprising!
The fact that a lot of small companies fail before their five-year mark is frightening. Building your own business from the ground up can, without a doubt, be a challenging task.
But with a few useful tips and some entrepreneurial spirit, you can do your best in making your idea a profitable reality.
You already have an idea. Now it’s time to develop a proper strategy for it. A business plan is not a final, unchangeable product, but will serve you as a guideline along the way.
So make your plan flexible and adjustable, but also focused and task-oriented. It is a draft for all the further details that you will have to get into, like financial situation, branding, target audience, etc.
Don’t forget that you’re in charge of all decisions! Consider your leadership skills, your strengths and weaknesses. Try to be as objective as possible.
First of all, you need to choose your business structure: a partnership, a corporation, an LLC, etc. After that, you need to think about acquiring the right permits accordingly and making your company legal.
Reminder: Starting a business can differ from place to place.
For example, if your business is based in Louisiana be sure to do the research about how to form an LLC in Louisiana. Having all the useful information in one place can save you a lot of time and effort.
Before you start looking for outside investments, you need to make sure you fully understand your personal finances and their limitations.
It goes without saying that you will need some kind of initial capital. The amount of seed money will, of course, depend on the business itself.
In case you are only relying on your own investments, start small. As the business grows, there will be time for further expansions. If your budget allows you, hire an accountant or a bookkeeper in order to deal with all the financial issues.
Business bank account
After reviewing your financial situation and making a proper financial strategy, make sure you open a bank account for your company.
Separating your company’s account from the personal one will aid you tremendously in keeping track of your business expenses and investments.
When considering this part of your business strategy there are a few questions you need to think about:
- Who is my target demographic?
- How can I reach them?
- What is the best way to present my product or my service?
- How do I retain customers and how do I acquire new ones?
Understanding your customer is crucial!
Without them, your business is just an idea, they are the ones that will make it profitable. Your job is to know your customers and accommodate them to the best of your abilities.
Do surveys and research in order to anticipate their future needs. Don’t forget that improving your customer service and expanding your target demographic requires constant effort.
It might sound like an overwhelming task, but luckily there are tools that can help you with all that.
We live in a world dominated by social media. Use this to your advantage!
There is no easier (or cheaper) way of getting a word around. It is an effective method of reaching your target audience.
Online tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc are a very direct way to establish a connection with your buyers or clients.
Not only are you able to communicate with them, but you can also just broadcast any and all news and information about your business. Keep them interested and motivated to buy.
You can also use social media as a means of connecting with other business owners. Keep track of other success stories and experience, while also sharing your own insights.
Additional tip: Don’t forget about the other means of spreading the word around. Besides the social media platforms, use email, blogs, newsletters, articles, and of course the phone.
It might seem old-fashioned but interacting with people over the phone is still an effective marketing strategy.
Building your brand
It is important to construct a brand around yourself and your business and to stay true to it throughout your ventures.
There is no better tool for this than social media platforms. Think about the image you want your company to portray and take it from there.
Whether it is about your product or your service, building a brand will help you reach your target audience.
It is All About the Location
You know how they say in the real estate business: Location, location, location!
This is also true when it comes to starting your own company. Think about setting up your office in a location that is accessible and easy to find.
You also need to consider the size of the place, the rent, and investing in the proper equipment for you and your employees before committing to a certain space.
If you are starting small, a home office is a good solution. This way you can cut your additional expenses to a minimum.
You do, however, need to think about making a professional work environment.
Whether it is a separate space in your home or just a part of a room, you should create your surroundings in a way that puts you in the working mindset, it should stimulate and inspire you.
This might also be the place where you are going to meet any potential clients, so it should always reflect your brand.
Hopefully, these few tips and pointers answered some of your concerns and guided you in the right direction. Maybe it prepared you to start planning and to develop your initial idea.
After you did the research, build the strategies, and made all the calculations, it’s time to take that leap of faith and start a new business chapter in your professional life!