10 Things to Consider When Starting Your Own Business

Often times we need just a hint or a couple of steps to get started on a project. This article does exactly that with 10 easy steps to help guide you in starting your own business. Remember, getting there is half the fun!

10 Things to Consider When Starting Your Own Business

It’s time to stop talking about starting a business and begin to do it! Now, don’t get me wrong: starting a business is challenging, and requires plenty of work. But with a little organization and planning, as well as the following list, you’ll be off on the right foot.

I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs starting a business, and I’ve compiled what I’ve seen into the following 10 tips.

1. Being Specific About What You’ll Sell Will Start You Off Well

Maybe you know exactly what type of business you want, or maybe you just like the idea of working for yourself. Either way, start off by really narrowing your product or service offerings. The more specific your wares, the better you can target your customers later. You’ll never be all things to all people, so find your niche early.

2. Understanding Your Market Will Set You Up for Success

The other side of this first part is to gauge market interest. Make a list of other companies who sell the same (or similar) products. If you’re a local business, include the towns near you. If you’re virtual, you’ll have to include national companies. Do market research to figure out if people are actually interested in what you want to offer.

3. Starting a Business Broke Sets You Up for Failure

Without the proper finances, your new business can end up failing before it’s really begun. You’ll need close to a year of expenses covered (you can’t guarantee profits will come quickly) so pull from savings, take out an SBA loan, or find investors. If you don’t have the money, wait until you do, otherwise you’ll be doomed for failure. It takes money to grow a business!

4. The Business Structure You Choose Will Set Your Course

Many newbie entrepreneurs just go with the default sole proprietor business structure, but it’s extremely important that you spend time assessing whether that’s the best structure for your type of business. Choosing an LLC or corporation can protect your personal assets and provide tax benefits.

5. Branding is Essential

Too many business owners think they don’t need to invest in making their brand visually appealing, but I’d beg to differ. This might be your first sizeable investment in your business, and it’s definitely one you shouldn’t skimp on. Hire a professional designer to create a unique logo for your company as well as a website that will attract visitors.

6. You Can’t Grow Without Marketing

Marketing is one of the single most important components for a successful business, so start now by deciding which channels you’ll use to reach your customers (first, find out where they’re spending time online). Develop a budget for the year, even if it’s just $200 a month to begin with. Social media, blogging, advertising, and email are all effective (and affordable) ways to get the word out about your business.

7. Delegating from the Start Will Help You Do More

Will you start your business as its only employee, or will you need all the help you can get, right from the start? Hiring help, even a freelancer or part-timer, can free you up to work on your business strategy and growth. If you’re hiring, hire before you start operating to provide time to train new employees and have them ready when you open.

8. You’re Not Alone; Leverage Small Business Resources

Take advantage of any and every resource you can find to grow your business. Your city or town likely has organizations and resources for small business, such as SCORE or SBA. Leverage the mentors, workshops, and materials that you can find there to set your business up for success.

9. The Only Way to Accomplish Business Goals is to Set Them

The best way to measure your new business’ success is to create goals from the start. Make them actionable and measurable, such as “I want to increase sales to $100,000 by the end of 2014.” Then measure the goals, assess results, and change them if necessary.

10. It’ll Never Be the Perfect Time

Don’t keep waiting for the ideal moment to launch your business. There will never be one. Once everything else is in place, just do it. Take a deep breath and accept the fact that you are now a business owner!

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