Running your own business is hard, but it can also be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. As the internet makes it easier than ever for many people to start pursuing their entrepreneur dreams, countless ambitious individuals are looking for information on how to start a small business with success.
The good news is that beginning your business journey doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, if you’ve got the right drive and plenty of motivation, then you should be able to get your company going in just a few days. To help you get started, we’ve put together this list of seven simple steps you’ll need to follow when bringing your professional dream to life.
1. Decide What You’re Going to Sell
This is probably the most complicated aspect of running any small business. If you want to be successful, you need to determine a gap in the market that you can fill. Think about the problems that you face in daily life, and how you might be able to fix them by introducing a new product or service. Alternatively, look at some of your favorite products and consider how you might be able to make them better.
Typically, it’s a good idea to choose something based on your personal passions and interests. If you naturally love what you sell, then you’re going to have a much easier time of running your business. Don’t jump into a business idea that you hate just because you think it might make money.
2. Find Your Source of Funding
Unfortunately, most businesses will require at least some investment to get them off the ground. Even if you’re thinking of starting a company that requires very little outgoing cash flow, you’ll probably need business financing or loan to help you pay for things like an office, or an internet connection, or even the design of your new website.
Sit down with a piece of paper or spreadsheet, and think about all the initial expenses you’ll need to manage to bring your business to life. Once you know exactly how much money you need to get started, you can then start thinking about applying for loans and speaking to banks.
3. Decide on Your Pricing
Speaking of money, you’re going to need to figure out how much you need to charge for your service or product to make a profit. If you’re new to the market, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to start off low and think about raising your price in the future. Newer companies present a bigger risk to buyers because there’s no evidence of your dependability on the market.
To start with, worry about making sure that you can pay your bills and manage your living expenses. Once you’ve gotten into the swing of things, you can begin to re-address your pricing structure if necessary.
4. Find Your Differentiators
Consumers don’t make decisions about what to purchase based entirely on price. You’re going to need to think about how you can set your service or product apart from the options offered by competitors in your marketplace. Think about whether you use a specific process to create your products that you can draw attention to, or whether you offer next-level customer service.
There are plenty of ways that you can stand out as a business today. Ideally, you’ll want to choose something that appeals directly to your target market, so make sure you assess their needs and pain points before you get started.
5. Know How to Market Yourself
Okay, so you have a business – now how are you going to get people to come to that business? Most companies start with a website and invest in things like search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing to help them bring in the first few leads. As you continue to develop your marketing solutions, you’ll be able to consider other options like podcasting and social media marketing.
Try to make sure that you tailor your marketing efforts to the needs and preferences of your audience.
6. Make Sure You’re Collecting the Right Information
Running your own business also means dealing with your own taxes. If you’re concerned about managing the accountancy side of your company yourself, you can always hire a professional to take some of the weight off your shoulders. In the meantime, remember to make copies of all your receipts and invoices, so you can send them to your accountant when tax time rolls around.
It’s also a good idea to set up a business bank account, which you can use to store your business loans and income.
7. Writing a Business Plan
Finally, you’re ready to sit down with your team and think about the steps you need to take towards success. Your business plan will indicate a sales strategy, the things that you need to accomplish in the first couple of years, and what your cash flow should look like if you’re getting everything right.
Your business plan can change as your business evolves, but it will help to keep you on track when you’re moving into the complicated world of sales.