So, you have an idea for a company but aren’t sure how to launch a business.
Starting a business may sound challenging, but by following these five manageable tips, you can turn your dream of becoming an entrepreneur into a reality.
1. Research, research, research
First and foremost, you should learn about your potential market. Research your competition. Research your target market. Research materials, manufacturing, and shipping costs.
The goal of this research is to uncover whether there is a viable, sustainable market for your business idea. According to CB Insights, the primary reason that startups fail is because there’s no market need for their services or products, so you should be 100 percent certain that your idea is viable before you go any further.
Your research process will likely begin online, but you should try talking to potential shoppers and supporters as well. Ned Dwyer, founder of Elto, told Business Victoria that “it sounds obvious, but find out what your market really wants. Engage your customers early and often, and ask for feedback.”
2. Create a business plan
Once you understand the marketplace, you’re ready to draft a business plan. This crucial document will serve as a road map for the early years of your business, outlining important elements like your company’s organization, target market, sales and marketing strategies, financial projections, and more.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers many resources to assist in the creation of a thorough business plan. It even features free courses to walk you through the process.
While your business plan isn’t set in stone and will likely change over time, you should put careful thought, consideration, and research into it. At the end of the day, it’s an invaluable tool that details your plan for every essential aspect of your new business.
3. Figure out financing
Your business plan will likely address your company’s funding, but you may need to take additional steps to plan for and secure the necessary finances to launch a business.
According to The SBA, the average small business requires around $10,000 in startup capital. There are multiple funding options available, ranging from self-funding and crowdfunding to more traditional loans.
You might initially be concerned with securing money to launch your business, but don’t forget to plan for recurring expenses like rent, salaries, utilities, equipment, and so on. According to CB Insights, almost 30 percent of failed startups report that their biggest problem was running out of money.
4. Carefully consider your branding
When starting out, many small businesses neglect their branding. Key aspects like a name, logo, colors, messaging, social values, and overall brand personality can make or break your identity.
TSL Marketing reveals that successful branding translates into increased loyalty, improved image, and a relatable identity — all essentials for up-and-coming businesses. Further, Lucidpress found that presenting a consistent brand image results in an average revenue increase of 23 percent.
If you come out of the gate with a strong brand, you’ll set your business up for success.
5. Grow an online presence
In today’s digital world, your business needs a strong online presence from day one, beginning with a great business website builder.
“No matter what type of business you run, if you have customers, it’s necessary to have some sort of information online, at least a page describing who you are and offering contact information,” Max Elman, founder of Razorfrog Web Design, reported to Clutch.
Further, social media marketing is a valuable tool, as it allows you to connect with new followers and further increase your brand recognition. Don’t underestimate the power of these low-cost marketing platforms! Business2Community reports that 71 percent of people are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that they follow on social sites.
Launching a business may seem daunting, but it’s completely doable. By breaking down the process into manageable steps and following the above tips, you’ll be positioned to bring your business idea to life.
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