So you have a great idea for a product or service and you want to start a business and monetize it? You’ll have to be ready to get your hands dirty, but starting your career can be very rewarding if you prepare correctly.
Here are some tips for getting your small business off the ground.
Start a Business with a Plan
Before you set anything in motion, sit down and flesh out a plan. Not sure where to start? There are plenty of free online templates that will help you get started and make sure you have your bases covered.
If you want something more advanced, try a business planning software that makes it easy to collaborate with partners. The most important parts to flush out on your plan include:
Description and purpose of your business
Sales and financial projections
The more elaborate your business plan, the more prepared you will be. Additionally, if you’re going to need to source financial support for your venture, investors and lenders will want as much detail as possible.
Develop Your Brand
You might not think it matters if you have a pretty run-of-the-mill business concept but your brand is an important aspect of your business that should not be taken lightly.
No matter your industry, you will want to take time developing a brand that reflects the personality of your business, your goods or services, and the market you serve.
For instance, something that might seem simple, like plumbing branding, can actually be what inspires a new customer to call your business instead of other seemingly interchangeable competitors.
Maybe your logo is pink and female-friendly instead of traditional blue, red, and black logos that are popular in the industry.
Branding can range from your business name and brand colors to the tone used for your advertising. You’ll want your branding to be consistent across everything you do.
Register Your Business
Depending on the type of business you’re going to have and whether you’re going to be running it on your own or with a partner, you may need to formally register it. This process might sound intimidating but it’s usually pretty straightforward.
In most cases, all you need to do is register your business’s name with your state and local governments. You’ll also need to get a federal tax ID.
However, you might also have to register with certain federal agencies if you need trademark protection or tax exemption.
Figure Out Your Finances
Even the smallest businesses require some capital to get them up and running. If you’re starting your business with little to no financial resources, you’ll need to find investors or take out a small business loan.
Crowdfunding may be another option you could explore that has been popular with new businesses in the digital era.
Before you begin any activities, open a business bank account so the finances are separate from your personal accounts. This will make it easier to keep track of expenses and sales.
You can get started with some aspects of your business before you’ve secured the full amount of financing you need but it is important not to get in over your head in debt.
Build Your Network
Every business is only as good as its supporters. Networking is something you should start working on as soon as possible. Go to industry events, hand out samples or sponsor community events, or even find a mentor who can connect you to the right people. T
here are many easy, and even fun, ways to network and create a buzz about your business without investing a lot of money.
While networking can be a time commitment, it can pay off in a big way by creating opportunities for cross-promotion, guest blogging, and generating word-of-mouth before you even open up shop.
The success of your startup lies in you. Following these tips is a good start to achieving your dream of becoming a business owner.
You’re sure to experience some challenges, but if use the resources available to you and make smart choices, you can make it happen.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement.
We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I have accepted that it is impossible to please everyone. I struggled for years to fit in with what I thought were the cool kids, but in the end, I was unhappy because I felt I could never be my true self.
Today, I now accept that to be my true self, as an individual, means that not everyone will like me and that I can’t please everyone. But I now understand that being myself brings to me the most fulfilling relationships
Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I have learned to appreciate my family more, flaws and all. When I was young, my parents had a very busy life and struggled to just make ends meet in our family. As a result, I became resentful that they never spent enough time with my siblings and me.
Now I appreciate them more because they worked so hard for our family, and I am grateful now that I can have a stronger relationship with them as an adult and have a truly fulfilling relationship with them.
Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
The most rewarding thing I have ever done was when I decided to study abroad in Barcelona for a semester. I really felt like I broke out of my shell.
Being in an unfamiliar place where you can’t speak the language is difficult, but I gained so much confidence in myself that I can achieve my dreams in life. I still have a passion for travel. I would love to become a travel writer one day and circle the globe!