Starting your own business can be an exciting time, but it’s also a lot of hard work. For many small business owners, however, they say that their new venture is a labor of love. While it’s true that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life again, starting a business can be a financial nightmare for the unwary and unprepared. Here are some keys to starting your own business that can help your launch – and follow up – be successful.
Do Your Research and Plan
Before you go into business, you’ll need to do a little research about the market for your product or service. Determine whether you’re planning to do business primarily in your community or if you’re going to have an online model, with a global reach. Once you’ve done that, then take a survey about how many other businesses like yours are in your target market. If there aren’t many – great! You don’t have much competition. However, if there are many, then you’ll have to have something special to stand out.
You’ll then create a business plan that states your goals, budget, and forecasted revenue. This is very necessary, and you may not be able to get a bank loan without one.
Set Your Budget and Secure Financing
Part of your business plan is setting your budget. Include start-up costs, as well as daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. Then, you’ll determine what you’ll need to price your goods or service at in order to cover your costs and turn a profit. Sticking to your budget and watching your costs carefully can set good habits that lead to long-term success.
Register Your Business, Including Licenses and Permits
Your business plan may also include research into what types of licensing and permits you’ll need for your establishment. This is especially necessary if you have a brick-and-mortar store or if you’re planning on selling and serving any type of food or beverage. A quick trip to your county clerk’s office can help you determine what licenses you’ll need, as well as the cost and what you’ll need to do to apply.
Set Your Location
If you’re planning to have a physical store, then determine an ideal location for your business – but don’t get in over your head on rent. After all, if you’re turning a big profit, you can always upgrade, but if you don’t make enough money to cover your lease, then you’ll be out of business fast. If you’re planning on an online model, then determine where you’ll prepare goods for sale or where you’ll work to perform services, such as accounting or consulting. A home office or dedicated assembly area will help you produce.
Hire a Great Team
Finally, it’s time to hire your staff! Make sure to advertise heavily, and select the best and brightest to help you launch. Hiring fairs are fantastic, and professional display booth designers can make something to attract the best employees. You’ll want a team of hard workers, as well as people that are flexible. You might realize after a week or two that certain procedures just don’t work – flexible workers are more amenable to changing the way they do their job and understand that a new business has “growing pains.”
Make sure that you’re prepared financially and physically – and good luck with your new business!