In today’s economy, you can be mistaken for being foolish when it comes to wanting to start your own business. that’s not to say your idea won’t be a success, but with over half of new businesses closing their doors within the first five years, you may want to think long and hard about whether or not this is something you really want to pursue.
That being said, if you perfect your business plan and do your homework, find your niche and can prove you have a market for your product/service, then there is nothing stopping you from chasing the American Dream to get yourself out there and doing what you love to do best. So in this post, we will be looking at the best ways you can ensure your business has the best start and foundation for success from before you open the doors. If you’re in this for the long run, then it pays to make sure you put in the effort from day one. Begin at conception and then bring your idea into fruition.
Why do you want to open a business?
Really ask yourself why? Is it because you want to be your own boss? This in itself is a perfectly reasonable desire, however that alone will not guarantee you success. You need passion and drive to be able to take something from an idea into a business capable of delivering a good quality product or service to the consumers that they will want to have and continue to want to purchase from you. This can’t be something you can deliver on a whim because you no longer want to be employed by others.
- Do you have knowledge in this area?
- What are your qualifications?
- What can you offer people?
- What are you prepared to do to make this succeed?
Once you know exactly why you want to start your business you can then look at turning your passion from a dream into a reality. This is where the hard work really starts.
Granted, in today’s world, you can start a business on a shoestring budget and without a college degree or education, but that isn’t what we are looking at for this point. Making sure you have done your research prior to starting your business is essential. Especially if you are delving into a sector that you aren’t too familiar with.
So do the leg work now, and build that foundation for success before you take the plunge. Starting a new business is more than just having a product or a service to sell to someone. It is having a plan and a desire to build your dreams.
- Is there a demand for what you are selling?
- How many employees will you need?
- How much capital will it take to get your business off the ground?
- What are your goals?
- How much do you need to be able to earn?
- What type of lifestyle are you hoping to gain?
These are simply a few things you need to be looking at before you start your own business. No one wants to open a company blind, this will only dramatically increase your chance of failure.
Search out competitors, see what they are offering their customers and how they operate. Is there anything you can learn from how they do business, good or bad? Use this to evaluate how you will be running your business. If there are any issues with the way they operate from a business and a customer point of view, then look at how you can eliminate this from your company to improve customer satisfaction.
Know what is going on in your niche. How many businesses in your area are you going to be competing with and what advances are there coming up? Keeping your finger on the pulse will only make sure you can be at the top of the game from the start without having to play catch up in that crucial first year of business.
This may include you needing to take further education in one form or another to help you stay up to date on new and current practices in your industry. If it has been a while since last trained for whatever reason then you may want to undertake a refresher course. Or, if you are totally new to the area you are setting up you may need to look at fully training to help you prepare for your role.
For example, if you are wanting to set up in the healthcare industry, yourself and any employees, current or future will need up to date training to complete your job role. Online nursing programs are available for those who can’t make it to a classroom or want to learn at their own pace. You can also take marketing courses for the healthcare industry to show you the best ways to help grow your new healthcare business. Look at learning all the new laws and practices when it comes to medicine and medical advances to help you make sure you don’t start your new company off on the back foot.
Money makes the world go round, but it also can be a huge stumbling block for new businesses. How are you going to fund your business and from when will you need to- or be expecting to make a profit?
Are you going to need employees, if so how many, and how do you expect to pay for them? Will you need to be turning over an income from the off or will you be able to lend enough money to keep you going? It is recommended that small businesses have finances to be able to pay staff and suppliers for the first year of business.
If this isn’t something that is feasible, how long do you expect it to take before you start to turn over a profit and can you sustain what you do until that time? If you are unsure then you may need to look into further funding options to help you with running costs until that point.
Register Your Business
There can be a lot of paperwork involved in registering your business and making everything official. Especially when it comes to obtaining licenses to allow you to sell certain products or services. So get this out of the way early to make sure you are ready to go once you have everything lined up. Getting it done early will also help to make sure no one swoops in and steals your idea before you get around to it. so make this a priority.
For a few ideas of things to make sure you take care of include;
- Register your business
- Federal tax ID
- State tax ID
- Obtain correct permits
- Any licenses
- Correct bank accounts
- Trademarks, copyrights or patents
In some instances, depending on your business model, you may be able to generate sales before you have officially started your business. However, overlooking a good solid marketing plan could be detrimental to your efforts thus far and hinder your chance to make your company the success it deserves to be.
Allow your marketing strategy time to bring in interest and sales and give it the financial support it needs to. Whether you choose to do this yourself, or you hire a professional marketing company, you want to make sure this area of your business isn’t overlooked and you are making it a priority.
There are many different ways you can market your new business. From traditional methods such as business cards, flyers, promotional items such as pens, USB drives, clothing etc to new ways. Avenues such as targeting social media users interested in your niche. Create a solid social media presence to support your business and keep potential customers interested and engaged. This can be a full-time job in itself however you can also look to outsource this to experienced companies or individuals.
Creating a website for people to visit is also essential. The internet has changed the marketing game and oy want to make sure you are utilizing that power for your business. Whether you create a website for people to browse or order from, you want to make sure you are ranking in internet searches as soon as possible. This will create visibility and awareness of who you are and what you can do for others even before you are ready and open for business.
In conclusion; there are a lot of aspects for you to consider and take on board when it comes to opening your own business, regardless of the sector you are in. It pays, in the long run, to make sure you are giving yourself the best start and are prepared for success with a solid business plan, an achievable goal strategy, and long term aim. So put your passion and hard work to the preparation to make sure you give yourself the best start in your new business.