It should go without saying that starting a business is a huge decision that requires a carefully thought out strategy as well as resources before you can make it become a reality. For some people it does not take a lot of time to have everything figured out but some people may not know where to begin. It can be very frustrating trying to figure out how you’re going to start your career as a business owner because bringing your idea to life is easier said then done. Here are some simple steps that you have to take before you start your business so that you’re not overwhelmed.
A business plan is a written out guide of what you want to accomplish in your business. It can tell you how you will start and run your business, give background information about the business you plan on starting and can may target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, taxpayer, or larger community. Though important as a future business owner you shouldn’t be so focused creating the biggest and greatest business plan unless your planning on getting investors on board or getting financed from another party because cost time is another luxury you can’t waste. A Simple 6-Step Process to Starting a Small Business by MATTHEW TOREN best list the process of starting a business plan through 5 other steps.
- Defining your vision- Where will your business be when all is said and done?
- Defining your mission- A summation of why you want your business to exist.
- Defining your objective- What are your target objectives that would help you achieve them both.
- Outlining your basic strategies-How you’re going to meet those objectives.
- Write a simple plan action- Break down the main objectives into smaller tasks to make it easier to accomplish.
When you’re just starting out it can be very stressful trying to come up with ideas by yourself which is why getting assistance from experts is an opportunity you should take. There are free business assistance programs out there that provide people with the tools, knowledge and resources to learn the in and outs of trying to start a business. From counseling to business training services to securing finances and deciding on where to you would like your business to be are all helpful services that are provided for free. Taking help from where ever you can get it can go a long way for your business.
Small businesses can get funding from a number of sources such as government backed funding from banks, business funding firms, venture capitals and grants to a limited degree but the most important source of financing should come from you. If you saved and planned carefully you should be able to save enough for the initial operating expenses and other costs that come with running a business in the early phase of its existence. If you don’t have enough now you could always get some support from family and friends if they’re comfortable lending money to you. Another thing about finance that you must worry about is budgeting because your most likely your business is not at a place where you can spend what you want on what you need which is why you must estimate your monthly cash spending or burn rate. Analyze how long you think your business can operate to generate revenue which should be at least between 1-3 months and have a safety reserve for when business gets slow.
You must determined how you want your business to be set up which is whether you want to be the sole owner, a partnership, limited liability company etc and the paper work alone is time consuming and could be pretty expensive because of legal documents such as licensing ,entity fees state and local tax registrations too. Always research the required documents and the fees you have to pay for your state and city to avoid further problems that could come if you do not file them properly. Sole proprietorships usually deal with less paperwork but they have their own risk to using them so always do a cost benefit analysis before you decide on how you want your business model to be set up as. Also keep your business finance separate from your personal finances to avoid another headache and luckily there are financial institutions that can help with that all you need is the right documents, type of ownership licensing information and an initial deposit to get set up.
Next when you get all of the above done you can start letting people know about your business and what services you can offer them and the best platform to do this is through a cost effective marketing strategy. Websites, flyers and billboards are some of the ways that you can advertise your business but having people give referrals can help you just as much. People that you know would be the best place to turn to get the word out but if you want your marketing campaign to be more web oriented you could create a social media account for your business which in this time is something that is almost expected of from any business. For websites you need to buy URL’s in which you can purchase website domain addresses from places like iPage, NameCheap and GoDaddy for a fee. An online presence can help you reach out to more people then you ever could talking face-to-face but physical interaction is still very important too.
Now that you’ve got the most important things together it’s time for your business to take off which is where you can now test your businesses sales operations. Try to get people to try the services you offer to get their opinions at community events or network with other business owners so that you can help each other out. This is where you would measure traffic coming through your online platforms as well like through ads that at a small cost can be posted and using tools like Google AdWords to test how many people are actually looking at your website.
You can go through these guides as you’re planning your business so that you can carefully assess if it would be profitable in the long run or not.
This article was sourced and rewritten from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248802