So, you’re finally considering starting that business.
You even have a name and logo idea already.
You’re starting to set aside funds to secure your first shipment and even considering resigning from the traditional 9-5.
Well, here are a few things you should know before you get started.
1. Be passionate about your business. Listen, being a small business owner can be such a hard task sometimes. You don’t have the big bucks or loyal customers yet, so things can get a bit frustrating. When things get really frustrating and you’re even thinking of quitting, it’s the passion that keeps you there.
2. Identify your core values. Principles and values are what keep people focused. Find out what values you identify with and discover ways to translate them into your business. Doing this well could earn you a reputation amongst customers.
3. Understand the market. This is a very broad point. Understanding the market includes finding out how similar businesses are doing and whether there’s a future for the industry. You don’t want to start your business and then have to close in a year because the market was on a downward spiral when you joined in.
4. Write a marketing plan. I know you’re probably not a marketing strategist, but that doesn’t matter. One google search could lead you to the basics of what you need to know about writing marketing plans. This is where you identify what your potential client looks like and what you can do differently in order to secure them.
5. USP. No, this is not the distant cousin of a USB cable in case that’s what you were thinking :). Now that you know what the market looks like, who your potential customers are and how your competitors work, it’s time for you to find that thing that sets you apart from the competition. That’s what the Unique Selling Point (USP) is.
6. Get online. If you’re anywhere between 16 and the mid thirties, you probably already know the ins and outs of facebook and instagram at least. This means you don’t have to go through the hassle of learning about the apps anymore. You need to create accounts for your brand and work on pushing your stuff online. This part could get a bit technical for you but you have the chance to hire a social media manager. Since you’re just starting out and may be short on cash, your little cousin or brother could be your best bet. Just make sure to make provisions for their internet usage.
7. Numbers, numbers and even more numbers. If you hate Maths or fled from the Commercial classes in school, then be ready to face your nemesis; numbers. You need to keep a close track of how your business is faring. Keep a close eye on the sales, customers, amounts you spend from what you’ve made, and so on. As you grow, you can put measurement metrics (KPI or Key Performance Index) in your marketing plan.
8. Be ready for a slow start. Everyday, there’s a new story on the internet about how some early investors in today’s very big companies let their patience wear out at the beginning. Facebook, Tesla, apple, etc. Well, that’s the thing about small businesses, you don’t take off like a rocket. Things could be good for you at the start but there’s no guarantee. Either way, put work in to have a great start while expecting the worst just in case.
9. Separate your personal finances from your business finances. The best way to hinder the growth of your business is to spend all your revenue on yourself. I know it can get a bit hard, but setting those boundaries very early helps to cultivate a culture that would be very helpful along the line. Also, unless you desperately have to, keep your personal finances away from your business or else you could get carried away very quickly.
10. Find a mentor. Like for every other thing in life that requires patience and brings progress, you need mentors when starting a business. There are so many people who have done it before and have so much valuable knowledge to share. Find yourself one and watch yourself make more smarter choices as you drag your business to hour goals on the shoulders of these giants.
Starting a business can be very tough and even tougher if you don’t do your homework. Sit back, relax, take note of these 10 things even before you make payment for that first logo design and watch your business take small growth steps.
You can do this!
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