Starting your own business is terrifying because you just don’t know what you have until you launch. You can put a great idea on paper, but that does not mean it will take off with the public.
Not to mention, there is so much heavy-lifting to just get a business from the idea to opening day. So, here are some tips to make those early days a little easier.
Way easier than it sounds right…but you just need to get started. Take the concept you are fiddling around with and start to journey map it into existence. What would you need to launch?
If you don’t do anything to get your business going, it literally will not go anywhere—absolutely nothing will happen if you don’t make it happen.
Whatever it is that might be keeping you from launching your business, just take that step to start. Register your domain name, design your prototype, draw up your first product. Nothing is standing in your way except yourself.
The creator of Walmart, Sam Walton, started by selling something that you could by at any convenience store. The founder of CNN, Ted Turner, sold TV broadcasting and advertising. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks sold coffee.
What we are getting at is this: you don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Sell your product and highlight what makes it unique, but don’t think you need to make something completely new to have a great business.
Key Takeaway: You do not have to be an innovator to be an entrepreneur. You don’t have to come up with a fantastic new product that no one has ever thought of before. You just have to make it different or better in a small way.
Write a Business Plan
Once you’ve started your business and you have some sales, you should begin to write your business plan. There are numerous templates online that you can use if you have no clue how to get started. Most templates will ask you to answer questions about the purpose of your business, who your target market group is, and what are your goals.
This is a crucial step if you are going to be seeking out financial help from investors. To get someone to invest in your idea, you have to show them that you know what you are doing.
Do some research, find out what is required to be on a business plan by an investor, and write a killer plan.
Whether you are funding the business yourself, with investors, or with a business loan, you will need to have secure funding to be able to reach your long term goals. Think about what is the most realistic route for you to take.
If you have the money to fund the business on your own or with a partner, fantastic. Don’t bring on any debt.
If you need to apply for a business loan make sure you have the required qualifications. If you are going to seek out funding from investors, make sure you present a solid business plan to get them interested in your product and the scope of your business.
Hire Remote and Contract Workers
Becoming an employer to other people can be incredibly hard. It will require a ton of work and may even slow down the process of starting your business.
A good way to get the help you need in the easiest, most efficient way possible is to work with contract workers.
You can work with contract workers in the same city or you can hire remote workers so they can do the work you give them from anywhere in the world. See some more pros and cons in the link below:
This will help take some of the load off of you without having to have employees that are relying on you at all times.
Consider a Co-Founder
It is one thing to have drive and passion and the hard work to back it up. You also need specific skills and inspiration that you might not have yourself.
If you have a close friend or relative that has the skills you may be lacking, consider becoming a team. This will also be more beneficial if you seek out investors for your company.
When deciding on a co-founder, you should be sure to choose someone who pushes you to be the best. Choose someone who will challenge you when they don’t think you are making the right decision. Don’t choose someone who does not offer a unique skillset and won’t challenge your thinking.
Registering your Business
Before you can register your company legally, you will need to decide what kind of entity your business will be registered as an LLC, Non-Profit 403b, or any other structure that suits your business model.
The structure of your business legally affects your liability in case of a lawsuit to the manner you file taxes.
If you are the sole owner of the business and you will be the only person responsible for obligations and debts, you will be able to register as a sole proprietorship. You will need to keep in mind that this can affect your credit.
If you are starting your business with a co-founder, you can register your business as a partnership. This means that you and the other person will both be held liable for the business.
Key Takeaway: Do plenty of research into your corporate structure as it will have important ramifications for your business.
Forming a Corporation
If you want to keep your personal liability separate from your business liability, you will want to consider registering your business as one of the different corporation types.
This will allow your business to be completely separate—allowing the company to file taxes on its own, own property on its own, and assume all liability if any lawsuits occur.
The most common small business structure is the limited liability corporation or LLC. This is a hybrid structure allowing your business the legal protections of a corporation with the benefits of filing taxes as a partnership.
Do Not Focus on Money
When you are rolling out the business, you shouldn’t worry about where the income will come from. If you have a good idea for a product or service, the money will come along naturally—just make sure you don’t have any roadblocks in the way like a bad website or zero marketing.
If you focus solely on money, this can throw your business off track. Moreover, if you set unrealistic financial goals, you will be disappointed and may have a hard time finding the will to keep moving forward.
Whether you have been denied funding or do not have the capital right away, that’s okay. Focus on selling your product or service, not on making money.
Marketing Is Key
As alluded to above, marketing is by far one of the best things you will be able to do for your business. By marketing your product or service, you will be able to reach people who will be buying it. Marketing is not a waste of time, it is a necessary investment that can change the direction of your business.
Talk to Potential Customers
A startup will never be a startup if it exists in your mind only. You are going to need help from potential customers. You will need to learn everything you can about your potential client base and what they will want from your business.
Talking with people who will want to purchase your product will benefit your business in the long run. You will be able to learn how they would like to see your product or service marketed and how much they would realistically pay for what you are offering.
Talk to Other Entrepreneurs
One of the most beneficial things you can do is talk to other people who know what you are going through—other entrepreneurs!
Find a group page on the internet filled with people who have created their own startup companies. Listen to their stories, take their advice, ask them as many questions as you need to feel confident.
The people in groups like these all started out in your shoes, and they took that first step to get their business off the ground. They join these groups to help people who don’t know where to start. They will be happy to answer any questions you might have about how they have been successful.