Advice for Self-Starters: What Needs to be Done Before Opening a Business?
Advice for Self-Starters: What to be Done Before Opening a Business? – Starting a new business can be both exciting and scary, especially if it’s your first business. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before, during, and after starting a business, and all of these tasks can become overwhelming— especially if you don’t know where to start. Here are some of the basic steps to take before you can open the doors to your new business.
#1: Research Your Local Market
Market research is something that many first-time business owners tend to forget about before starting their business. Before you start a business, you need to ask yourself if there’s a market for the product(s) you’re wanting to sell or the service(s) you’re wanting to provide. Without a viable market, it’s not very likely that your business will be successful.
Fortunately for online businesses and other e-commerce, your search for a viable market isn’t limited to your location. For those businesses who are limited to a location and don’t have an online component, be sure to enlist the help of a market research analyst to help you determine if your business will be successful in your area.
#2: Write a Business Plan
Once you’ve determined if there’s a market for your business, you can start writing your business plan. A business plan is a detailed description of your business that explains the purpose of your business, why your product or service is needed, your market research that proves that your business has the potential to succeed, the materials needed to run the business, and how much money you project your business to make in the next 1-5 years.
Business plans are like the road map to success for your business, and it’s also a document that will help you get funds from investors to start up your business. You’ll want to be as detailed as possible, and remember that you can make revisions to your business plan throughout the years, if necessary.
#3: Registration, Licenses/Permits, and Insurance
The next step after writing a business plan is to register your business as a legal entity. By doing this, you’re providing legal protection to your business, as well as tax benefits. All you have to do is register the name of your business with your local, state, and federal governments.
This is also a good time to get any licenses and permits required of your business in order. Just about every type of business needs a general license or permit issued by the local government, and you may need more depending on your type of business.
All businesses also need insurance, and general liability insurance (GLI) is the most common type of insurance that all businesses use. There’s also commercial property insurance, business income insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and umbrella insurance to cover anything else that isn’t covered by those listed above.
#4: Tools, Materials, and Equipment
The next thing to think about is all of the materials you’ll need in order to successfully run your business. If you sell products, this will include your inventory, though some service-oriented businesses require some inventory too. You also need to think about any equipment that is necessary to run your business. This can be things like cash registers, medical equipment if you’re opening a medical practice, dumping hoppers if you’re in construction, or packaging supplies if you’re an e-commerce or providing shipping services to your customers. It can be overwhelming and easy to overlook some of the basic things you’ll need, so it’s a good idea to imagine what a typical day in your business would look like to get an idea of everything you’ll need.
#5: Hire Employees and Other Contractors
Even small businesses need employees— even if it’s only two or three more people. You’ll have to advertise that you’re hiring for your business, so you’ll need effective ways of doing so. You can post on job boards— niche job boards especially so that you can easily find help in your industry. Other alternatives to job advertising are to advertise on social media, or you can even hire a recruitment agency to help find the best candidates for you.
You may also need to outsource some other parts of your business to professionals. The most outsourced parts of the business include accounting and other financial services, human resources, and information technology. Many small businesses choose not to outsource at first because it can cost a lot of money. However, outsourcing saves you money over time, so definitely consider it.
Once you have all of these things taken care of, you can start advertising your business. Digital methods (i.e., social media, promoting your business website) are going to be the most effective methods of advertising to reach the largest possible audience. Also, remember to be patient and consistent in all of your efforts in order to see growth over time.
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