Starting your own business can be a very exciting time; the plan of action you have put in place to reach this goal is becoming a reality. This thrilling new endeavor can also be a stressful hectic time as well. Once you open your doors, there’s no way in knowing how everything you plan and prepare for will play out. Based on what many different small business owners have experienced in the beginning, here are some points that can help you be more prepared after that first big step of establishing yourself.
Before you open your doors:
- Do you have all your legal documents in place, such as operating agreements/ licensing, insurance, or articles of incorporation?
- Is there an accounting system or bookkeeping in place?
Having these in place can be a good foundation as your business grows and develops with the possibility of needing more people on staff besides yourself to keep everything running.
After the business launches:
- Focus on your product or service: Superior quality especially in the beginning will establish your reputation on why your business came to be and will continue to exist. Does your new eatery have a menu that features the best ingredients or something different or unique? Are you providing a service, such as home renovations or website design, which showcases your skills or expertise? You bring something to your area that no one else can; be the best and bring your A game.
- Make sales and marketing a top priority: Along with quality products or services, making sure you have clients or customers is essential to ensure your business stays in business. Without people who know about your business, it won’t matter if you are best at what you provide. Think about different ways to get peoples attention: a very nice laid out website and/or social media page, business cards, flyers, and never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Think about who your customers are and how you can reach them. Plan and create a marketing strategy and incorporate what methods are the best to target your audience.
- Network with/ ask advice of other small business owners: There are plenty of other people in your area that are either new or well established that have been in your shoes. Ask them about their experiences and what worked for them. Is there anything they struggled with as they started out? Share anything that worked for you or you may still have issues with. Networking is good for growth and development; both parties can help one another.
- Look forward: While starting small and focusing on getting yourself established, it’s important to think ahead and what the next steps will be as your business continues to grow. Will you outgrow the space you are in and if so where would be another good option for expansion? If you find yourself too busy to the point of not having time to devote to duties such as accounting, website/marketing or other operational tasks such as inventory or upkeep of properties, it may be time to hire more people. Is there something that takes up too much of your time where you can’t focus on what you want or is there something you just don’t like doing? Take time to find the right people to do these for you. Hire someone to do the bookkeeping or assign a person who has a talent for creating a website or can handle all your sales and marketing for you. Growth of your business may require more people to help; you can do anything but not everything.
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