There’s a lot to consider and many roadblocks. But, if you’re determined, ambitious with a clear idea there is nothing stopping you making huge profits as the owner of your first business.
There are certainly plenty of advantages to being your own boss, but you shouldn’t take it for granted. Make sure you want to get started in the business world for the right reasons.
Do not do it to make an easy living because this will be anything but easy. But, if you use this guide you should find the road ahead is not as steep. So let’s get started.
#1 Formulate A Plan
You probably already have an idea of what you’d like your business to look like. Ideally, it’s in an industry that you’re very familiar with and are highly passionate about.
Of course, you’ll continue to grow and learn along the way (we’d be worried if you didn’t!), but going in, you’ve got to offer something exceptional and unique if you hope to stand out in your marketplace.
Fake it til you make it is definitely not the advice you want to follow when launching off. You need to have a clear plan and set realistic goals for yourself.
#2 Be a Social Butterfly
Begin building your online empire right from jump. Snatch up not only your URL, but as many of your social media usernames as possible.
For example, we have facebook.com/themogulmom, twitter.com/themogulmom, etc. Sometimes, your ideal suffix/username will taken already. You can’t win ‘em all. Just do your best to keep things consistent whenever and wherever possible.
Once you’ve got your social media neighborhoods set up, get out there and join in (or start!) important conversations. Leave comments in forums and blogs. Get your name out there in social circles however you can.
Remember not to be overly self-promotional. You don’t want to be a traveling infomercial. The purpose of social media, especially in the beginning, is to place yourself in relevant circles and begin to make a name for yourself. To get yourself associated within your marketplace. To strive to become a front-of-mind choice.
A blog is another social media avenue you need to get familiar with. So many people new to blogging think they won’t have much to say, especially as they’re starting out. But you’ll probably be surprised.
It’s not only a venue for you to get your voice heard, it also allows you a dedicated platform to get your voice heard and position yourself as an expert. You can also offer the option of guest posting. Allowing others to share content on your site and then share in their social circles. You’ll benefit from being introduced to their audience, and they from yours. Everyone wins.
Overwhelmed? Don’t be! If the prospect of building a proper social media presence feels daunting, you may want to check into Get Social for some expert guidance.
#3 Get Funded
There are ways to get started on a shoestring. We even tell you how in this post where we shared five ways to start a business for under $100. But not all businesses can launch with personal investments alone and may require private funding. You can secure some financial backing in a variety of different ways.
Seek out investors. There are always those looking to lend their money to ventures they feel have great potential. The amount of funding you need will obviously depend on how and what you’re launching. It’s advisable to keep things simple and start small wherever possible. This minimizes potential losses not only for investors, but for yourself.
There are plenty of quality funding sources out there for new entrepreneurs. Check into The Small Business Association. They’re a wealth of information on acquiring funding or grants.
You can also consult with Kabbage. They exist to help fund small business ventures. They’re great to work with and likely have just what you need.
Whatever the case, if you want to get funded, you’ll need a pointed, well thought out business plan. Details, details, details. Learn how to get started with Kabbage free, right here.
Getting funded may be easier than you think. You just have to have an excellent handle on what you truly want, and then go about researching your options.
#4 Get The Equipment
Depending on the type of business you are setting up, you might need to spend a good portion of funding. Don’t worry if this is the case because it is better to invest in the latest tech rather than limiting your efficiency.
You might also want to consider outsourcing the job of setting up and maintaining this tech. It will a) save you money and b) giving you a team that can get it back up and running if it breaks down.
IT outsourcing companies are brilliant because they will install a computer network for your business. Then they will be at the end of a phone 24/7 in case there are any issues.
#5 Stock Up
If you’re business intends to sell tangible product, you’ll obviously need to have some inventory.
You can sell in a brick and mortar location, on your own website, on another online venue, through a Facebook store. You can also get your product in stores and sell to retail locations.
#6 Office Space
Once you’ve got the tech, you need to decide whether to rent office space or if you can run your business entirely from home.
Typically, even home run offices have a small rented space to meet clients and show that they are indeed successful.
But, if you are a small company working mainly online, you will probably find that most of your employees can work from home. This is one of the ways that new start-up companies start cutting their costs from the word go.
#7 Hiring The Right Employees
You may want to get the expertise of a consultant when choosing which employees to hire for your business. But a good rule of thumb is that a small skilled workforce is far better than a larger one that is not as reliable.
I deal with this on a constant basis hiring new employees for my company and it’s very important that you take your time to find the best employees because the wrong employee can cause a lot of big problems from poor quality of work to infighting within the business.
It is also important that you look after your employees and do not take them for granted. Remember, their work will decide whether your business is a success or a failure.
Spend some time deciding the right people to hire and don’t be afraid to advertise positions to people a great distance away. The right employee will be worth paying the cost of travel to meet them.
#8 Market Your Business
Your final step is to market your business, but you will have already started this process. Remember, you already have social networks set up and a blog. You just need a website that is stylish and easy to use.
Then you need to organize an SEO company to make sure it is seen by consumers. Once that happens, your business is complete and active on the market. You now have to keep it active in consumers minds and make sure it stays profitable.
The first year is always tough so don’t panic. Tackle each problem you face with a clear mind and you will claim future success.
As I wrap this article up I just want to say I’ve running various business on my own since 2004 and I’m always amazed at what challenges they always bring up.
However what I’ve learned over the years is that a business is either growing or dying and that their is no such thing as a middle of the road business.
So do you own a small business or do you plan to start a small business? What struggles are you facing? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.