Starting your business can be an exciting time, but it can also be very scary. Taking a leap of faith into the unknown takes guts, and many people put it off because they are afraid they’ll fail or be in over their heads and not know how to handle it.
However, you don’t need to take one huge leap of faith to succeed in business. You can simply take baby steps. Slow and steady really does win the race when it comes to starting a business, so make sure you figure out the baby steps you could be taking to get your business off the ground. Baby steps might not seem as courageous or exciting as taking this leap of faith that everybody talks about, but they are totally necessary if you’re going to keep moving forward and get to where you want to be.
Below we have 10 baby steps you can use to start your business with confidence. Take your time with each one!
Do As Much Research As You Can
Research, research, and more research – that’s what you need to do if you’re going to start a successful business that has the potential to last. Who are your audience? Who are your competitors? What can you do differently in the industry? Learn as much as you can about the industry and the type of business you want to set up.
Just don’t wait until you feel like you know absolutely everything, or you’ll be waiting a long time. Sometimes, you simply need to be willing to learn as you go.
Create A Business Plan
A business plan will solidify your business idea and make you feel more confident that the idea you have is actually going to work. You can come up with a plan A, as well as a plan B and C just in case the first doesn’t work out. Outline what your business will do, where you want to be in a few years time, how you’re going to provide value and make money, and more. This is a great resource to help keep you focused, as well as a resource that investors and lenders may want to see before handing over their cash.
Figure Out How You’ll Finance Your Idea
Financing your idea is usually going to be very important. Most entrepreneurs don’t have the money upfront to start a business, and it has to come from somewhere. Some of it might come from your own personal savings, but you may want to look at loans for the rest. You can find more details on short term business loans and other kinds of loans online. Make sure you select the type of loan that suits you best.
Choose a Business Structure
There are many business structures to choose from, and it’s essential you choose the right one. You can choose from one of the following:
- a sole proprietorship
- a partnership
- a limited liability company (LLC)
- a corporation
The one you go for will impact lots of things, from your business name to how you deal with your taxes. It’s totally possible for you to choose a structure and then change it as your business grows and your needs change. Getting a consultation from an attorney is the smartest way to choose the right structure so you can make sure you’re making the best choice. Be sure to consult your legal advisor or an attorney before making any decisions.
Get Licenses And Permits Suitable For Your Area
Make sure you know what licenses and permits are needed for the business you’re starting. This will vary from state to state, country to country, so make sure you do your research. This will also help you if you plan on opening a second business somewhere else at some point. Get everything in place before you start so you have peace of mind.
Figure Out How You’ll Keep Track Of Expenses
Keeping track of your expenses and earnings right from the get-go is a must. The best way to do this is of course, with a reputable accountant. However, those who want to save money and may only be starting up at home at first may choose to do it themselves. This is totally fine, but you have to make sure you know what you’re doing when you file your taxes. It’s also worth noting that an accountant may actually be able to save you even more money, even though you’ll have the expense of paying them. However, there’s also software you can use if you still want to save money without having to outsource anything just yet.
Come Up With Ideas To Promote Your Business
Promoting your business is also essential; people aren’t going to know that your business even exists if you don’t start promoting and marketing it properly. Making sure you have a website, social media profiles, and figure out what marketing techniques you’re going to use, such as email marketing, PPC, and SEO is a must. Using a mixture will help you to diversify your efforts and get the best results. Just make sure you do the following:
- This is something you’re likely going to need to outsource to get the best results. Having a marketing budget at the beginning is important. If you attempt to do it yourself, you may make mistakes that are hard to rectify.
- Always monitor your results so you know what’s working and what isn’t.
- Do lots of research to find a reputable, experienced company. Make sure they don’t simply try to dazzle you with jargon!
Create A Brand Personality And Voice
Giving your business its very own brand personality and voice is a great way for you to relate to your audience and make your business more interesting.
Get Acquainted With Your Audience
Make sure you get acquainted with your audience. Know your customers, their wants, needs and everything else you can find out. Use social media to ask them questions and create surveys to get feedback.
Come Up With A Plan For Your Website
Have a plan in place for your website. Who will build it? How will you manage it and keep it updated with fresh content? This is your 24/7 storefront, so don’t neglect to take care of it!