The world is crowded with small businesses. No wonder they’re everywhere since many people not only have unique business ideas they want to achieve, but they continuously strive to attain financial independence and design a career that’s flexible enough to grow with them. On the other hand, just about 2/3 of businesses survive up to 2 years, and about half of the rest manage to live up to 5 years. To launch a business and maintain it is a challenge, especially in the beginning which is considered to be the hardest phase for a young business owner.
The one thing that rookie entrepreneurs need to understand is – the business evolves constantly. Thus, adaptation skills are crucial to coping with all the changes that may await you on the road towards success, whether we’re talking about a switch in customer behavior patterns or the latest technological advancements. Smart entrepreneurs know how to play their cards right. Even though every business is a story for itself, there are certain common steps that every business owner needs to undertake in order to successfully launch a business.
1. Fuel the business with your passion
The first tip is the one that makes the most sense – you won’t succeed if you don’t like your business. For example, starting a business that forces you to deal with people constantly is a bad business choice if you don’t enjoy interacting with people. If you’re unsure what kind of business you want to start, just be honest with yourself. Where are your strengths? Where do you add value?
Once you identify your business idea, you need to ask yourself whether it has the potential to succeed. Before you go any further, you need to see whether your business offers something that the market wants, solves a problem, or fulfills a certain need. You have to identify this need by exploring the market and answering the following questions: Who needs it? Is there competition and what it’s like? How will your business fit into the whole picture?
In order to turn your business idea into a reality, you need to plan thoroughly. Create a business plan that will be the core guidelines of your business, a blueprint that will guide you through all the phases of your company’s growth.
If you want to get your business off the ground, you should do some financial planning to smartly allocate your initial investments and determine whether you’ll be able to cover all the ongoing expenses. Startups require acquiring permits and licenses, insurance, legal fees, equipment, property leases, inventory, market research, etc., so try to anticipate how much you’ll need to get it up and running for at least a year. A startup can be funded in different ways, ranging from small business loans and grants, crowdfunding, angel investors, venture investors, trading equity, to partnering up with somebody.
When planning, don’t be a perfectionist and delay your product/service launch because you’re trying to develop the “perfect product.” Launch, communicate, get feedback, and improve.
4. Choose a business structure and register its name
There is a variety of business structures to choose from. Your business can be an LLC (limited liability company), a partnership, or a sole proprietorship. This choice will have an impact on many business aspects, from how you file your taxes, your liability, to your business name. If the chosen business structure needs to change as your business grow, you can reevaluate and change it when necessary.
As for your business name, don’t think that it doesn’t play an important role. It will affect every aspect of your business, so better come up with a powerful one. When you pick a name, check whether it’s currently in use or trademarked. If not, register it when the business formation paperwork is completed (LLC and corporations), or register it with your state or county clerk approves it (sole proprietor). Also, register your domain name as soon as possible, to make sure that someone doesn’t take it in the meanwhile.
5. Hire employees
The best thing about living in the 21st century is that you can outsource employees, specialists from all over the world, to create a team that will help you launch your startup. Outline the positions you need to fill, create job descriptions, decide whether you need an in-house or remote workforce, and hire your first employees. Hiring remote workers is a great solution for startups, and you can greatly benefit if you hire telephone answering service staff for managing customer requests, web designers, freelance writers, promotional video makers, and email marketers to work from home.
Avoid hiring family and friends, and work with someone you trust. Family members may find working for you off-putting or awkward. This may be dangerous, as the personal may easily interfere with the business sphere of your relationship, so you could be better off working on your own or with professionals.
Once your business is launched, start promoting it to attract customers and clients. Create a marketing plan and write a USP (unique selling proposition). Explore all the potential small business marketing ideas, choose those that suit your business needs, and combine them to create your own marketing plan that your business will benefit from the most. These tips cover all the basics but know that hard work is required and that success doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the right pieces of advice and consistent work, your chances of success will be increased.
About the Author:
Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find his luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to a wider audience, getting the chance to showcase his expertise and receive recognition. He is a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.