Launching a business is different from getting a new job. And there is various advice for entrepreneurs on starting a small business. Because as a startup entrepreneur, you have many things to contend with in the early stage of your business.
It’s not just about your product. Unfortunately, many aspiring business owners don’t realize this quickly enough.
Businesses don’t start and end with products and services. There is more to starting and running a successful business. And that explains why many are scared to start up their businesses.
“A big business starts small,” says Richard Branson. And to help you kickstart your business, the tips below have been compiled for you.
13 Tips for Starting Your own Business
1. Define your WHY
Running a successful business is more than registering a business name. But it starts by knowing the sole purpose for wanting to start a business. With that said, many people believe it’s more about monetizing your passion.
Of course, it’s a good thing to start a business out of your passion. But you don’t want to start a business that lacks a sufficient market. So that’s why you must find a solid connection between your passion and what people need in the marketplace.
2. Determine the need you want to meet
After you’ve spelled out your WHY, it’s time to identify the gap your business propose to fill in the marketplace. And that involves mapping out the niche or industry of your business. As well as the products or services you want to offer.
For example, there are a lot of business owners who don’t have an online presence. So helping them to achieve that by setting up professional-looking websites for their business may be the need you’ve identified to meet.
3. Identify your Customers
Heard of the well-known mantra in business and marketing “Customers are king”?
It’s true, especially when trying to launch your business. There’s no business without customers. So it is expedient you know who your customers are. You can ask questions like:
- What is their social class?
- What is their demography?
- Where do they stay?
- Are they online or offline?
Answering those questions will give you a better understanding of who your customers are. You can only serve your customers when you know them better than your competitors.
4. Conduct your market research
One of the tips for starting your own business is that you do careful market research. And that involves researching products that can stand as competition to yours.
Through that, you’ll be able to make yours better with a matchless unique selling point. You can achieve that through primary and secondary research and executing accurate SWOT analysis.
Through primary research, you can get first-hand information directly from your potential customers. You can know what is in their hearts by administering questionnaires or adopting surveys and interviews.
Also, you can consult, study and analyze secondary data from the research work of others on current trends that relate to your product, service, and business.
5. Get business name
After researching your competitors and market, it’s time to choose a name for your business. But to do that, you should carry out your research and ensure it is a name available for ownership in your state or country, as the case may be.
Also, this involves getting a domain name for your business to establish an online presence. Interestingly, there are free tools to help you check the availability of a domain name. It’s not as difficult as you may think. Google can help you with this research.
Related Post: Easy business to start with little capital
Advice to Entrepreneurs on Starting a Small Business
6. Decide the structure for your business
The structure of a business organization has so much to tell of its legal ownership, rights, roles, and nature of liability, amongst other things. And there are different categories of business structure that you can legally pick.
But that would depend on some essential factors and, of course, the overall goal and mission of your business.
Some of the most common types of business structures include:
A. Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is the oldest form of business; it’s popularly known as a single-man business. As the name implies, it is owned and run by a single person referred to as the sole proprietor.
And the liability of the owner of this type of business is unlimited. Just as there are some advantages of a sole proprietorship, there are a few bottlenecks. But these are some of what you should consider if you want to start your business as a sole proprietorship.
This type of business organization is a little different from a sole proprietorship. A partnership is owned and run by two or more people who pool their resources together with the sole aim of making a profit.
However, unlike a sole proprietorship, its legal procedure and paperwork are somewhat demanding. But not like other business organizations, except the sole proprietorship.
In a partnership business, partners are liable for liabilities or financial obligations that may arise from the operations and conduct of the business organization. But in such instances, partners may be expected to dispose of their assets to offset their business debts.
Corporations are usually big businesses. And for that reason, they are often expensive to establish. For this business organization, owners are considered separate legal entities from the enterprise.
But there are stricter legal demands, such as tax requirements and regulations owners must follow duly.
But for this type of business structure to get into operation, it must get incorporated as a corporation first. That said, corporations can go public by trading stock or shares to the public through an initial public offering (IPO).
D. Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company is similar to a corporation in terms of limited liability attributes. However, it is a corporate business structure that relieves members from the liability arising from the company’s debt liabilities and financial losses.
In other words, in the event of business failure, consequent financial obligations are settled by the company and not the shareholders.
7. Write a business plan
Every successful business person knows the importance of drafting a detailed plan for your business. So you shouldn’t consider this as just a tip for starting your own business but as a necessity.
Unfortunately, many startups crash too early because they never spend quality time writing a clear business plan.
A business plan will serve as a road map for running a successful business from the point you kickstart. Surprisingly, many newbie entrepreneurs mistake it for business proposals. Yet they are different.
The following are parts (and detail) you’ll find in a business plan:
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Analysis.
- Competitive Analysis
- Marketing Plan
- Financial plan
- Management Team
- Revenue Projections
Now, those are typical contents of a business plan. However, no two business plans are the same. The most important thing is that you provide answers to core questions tied to the successful operations of your business.
That way, you’ll be able to take practical actions in the right direction.
8. Find a location for your business
Not all businesses need a physical office, but it is essential. That said, finding a perfect location for your business can be daunting. But it depends on many factors, such as the type of products or services you offer.
If you intend to sell physical products that may have a suitable warehouse, citing your business in a place that’s easily accessible is paramount.
But that’s not all that you should consider. Other things you should take into perspective when trying to find a befitting location for your business are:
- The security of the area
- Level of competition inherent in that location
- The type of skill available in such a location
- Potential for growth for your business
Advice to Entrepreneurs on Starting a Small Business
9. Register your Business Name
Different legal frameworks and regulations govern how a business registration gets done in your city, state, region, or country. And as it is, they are different from those in other places.
But for your business to operate legally without violating predetermined laws, you must first register your business with a concerned body that handles company registration in region or state.
10. Be Prudent with expenses
Many startups have packed up because owners couldn’t curtail expenses. But you don’t want that. Thus, you must apply financial wisdom in your spending concerning your business operations.
And you don’t want (and shouldn’t allow) your expenses to outweigh your income. Because when that repeatedly happens, you’ll be out of business sooner than you imagine.
11. Build your Team
Starting a sole proprietorship as a business may appear easy, but operating as a one-man in this age can be tiring. There’s little you can achieve all alone. That’s to say, you need a formidable team. Your team doesn’t necessarily have to start with 20 people. You can be three and then grow from there.
The size of your team will depend on the nature of your business. Also, the extent of the resources you have at your disposal can affect how large your business team will (or should) be. However, the fact remains that the more your business (and its customer base) grow, the larger the team members you need. And at such a point, you may want to consider seeking business partnership opportunities.
12. Create a professional brand for your business
You cannot afford not to give your business a professional face. And to do that in this age, setting up a professional website for your business is paramount. This will allow people to find you online with ease by simply typing your website URL
But beyond having a nice-looking website, you need to seize the goldmine social media has to offer to your business. So you can create social media accounts for your business across different and relevant social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. And the must be well interlinked with your website.
So choose the ones you feel can help you boost your business through effective social media marketing.
13. Get professional help
It’s good you know early that running a business is not a bed of roses. Nor is it a piece of cake. Some challenges may arise in your operation that would demand you seek professional help. Don’t be too rigid not to ask for help. It could be legal, financial, technical, or as the case may be.
A final thought on Advice to Entrepreneurs on Starting a Small Business
It’s true that there are hundreds of tips on how to start a small business available for your consumption across the internet. Be it blogs like this you’re reading, podcasts, or YouTube videos. However, you should extract every piece of wisdom applicable to your unique situation.
On that note, as a startup owner, ensure you’re not acting outside the legal provisions in your territory. If it means getting a legal practitioner to walk you through legal requirements in your city, please do. It will positively impact your business in the long run.
Hope you found this article helpful? Do share it with others.
And If you have any thoughts to share, use the comment section.