Be Clear on Why You want to Start a Business
Taking control of your work life by starting out on your own may be daunting, but doing nothing cis not a better alternative. If you’re truly passionate about doing your own thing and you’re ready to go for it with everything you’ve got, then starting your own business can be the most frustrating and the most rewarding adventure you’ve ever undertaken.
Determine Your Business Type
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The best idea for your business may be something that’s already out there, but different because of your personal twist. Take a look around and you’ll see no shortage of repeatable ideas: People need accountants, other businesses need consultants, many folks are apprehensive about large law firms, and people appreciate financial advisors who are close by. You just have to execute your version really well. So nail your idea – and keep in mind that a service business (a service you provide based on your expertise) is much less expensive to launch than a product business where it costs money to create a tangible item to sell.
Create a Simple Business Plan
Many new aspiring businesses owners think they’re supposed to sit down and write a detailed and lengthy business plan. Some people worry so much about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” until their plan is just perfect that they never start their business. A basic business plan can be as simple as a one-page plan that covers what you will offer, who your target market is, what your price(s) will be and how you plan on marketing the business. The Small Business Administration website () is a great resource for writing your business plan as well as other good advice on starting and running your business.
Nail Your Target Customer
Determine exactly who your customers are with great specificity- this is key. Define your marketing strategy: I’m going to provide bookkeeping services for restaurants; I’m going to create social media campaigns for self-published authors, you get the idea. The more you can pinpoint your targeted client, the more focused your marketing efforts will be to reach them. You’ll be able to ask for the right referrals and you’ll know who and what to search for on the Internet.
Perfect Your Pricing
Your pricing must cover your costs AND it must also generate a profit. A classic mistake is to undervalue your time and talent, don’t make it. One option is to work the numbers from the top down: What are you looking to make annually? How does that break down monthly and weekly? How many products must you sell or how many clients will you need to bring in to meet those numbers? What are all of the costs associated with delivering that product or service? Review your assumptions often once you get going and tweak where necessary.
How to Fund Your Dream
Until you start bringing in sales, you must keep costs down. Think creatively. Forget hiring a full staff; ask friends for help and train interns. Negotiate for key services. Keep your costs low by considering an executive suite or shared office environment to house your business.
If tapping personal savings isn’t an option or if you need a more creative financing option, one of the fastest growing trends today is crowdfunding. Google “how does crowdfunding work?” to learn more. The SBA website also has great advice and resources for this.
Go Out and Get Customers
Nothing happens until somebody sells something and nothing else matters if you don’t have customers. The majority of your time and effort must focus on sales. Having a smart marketing plan to attract interested people, and then convert them to customers is your number one priority. Create a list of 50 potential prospects (your target customer) that you’ll go after and begin making calls. Learn how to build a serious social media presence for your business.
Dreaming about how fabulous your business can be is good; but doing the work to get it there is sensational. It’s all about your passion and hustle. The decisions you make and the actions you take each and every day will get you where you want to go.
Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch provides the office suites, technology and communication services small businesses and startups need to propel them to success. And our budget-friendly service lets you hit the ground running without a ton of startup costs that those going it on their own are faced with. To learn more contact us today! 941.373.1400.