Establishing a startup can be overwhelming at times, simply because of the resources, energy and time that goes into making it work. You need to be on top of a lot of facets of the business such as finance, operations, sales and marketing. Some startups are attractive in that they demand minimal start up costs to get going, such as house cleaning and painting. Others require considerably more investment to become operational.
A recent study showed that about 62% of people in the US are interested in becoming business owners. So, if you are one of these and are exploring options for what venture could be right for you, read on for tips and advice on how to get started and succeed as an entrepreneur.
- Formulate a great business idea
Planning is crucial for every step you take on your startup journey. Invest considerable time in researching, choosing and refining your business idea and understanding what it is you want to achieve and how. Carefully consider a business name that really encompases the essence of what your business is about and is memorable.
90% of startups fail to realise their full potential because of inevitable challenges that they come up against. If your plan includes steps to tackle certain unforeseen circumstances, you stand in a stronger position to overcome them.
The adoption of technology can also be a great help in quickly getting up and running and being able to service your customers professionally from the get go. Whatever niche your business is in, you can find industry specific software to support you with your internal processes and systems. Taking the example of a plumbing business for instance, if you want to effectively compete in the market place and be able to offer flexible appointment scheduling and accurate estimates for jobs, Jobber might be your business management app of choice.
- Plan your finances
Financial investment is crucial when planning to start any business. Before you start, you need to ensure you have enough money to be able to do so. There are various ways you can acquire capital, including the below:
- Bank loan or mobile lenders
- A loan from family and friends
- Personal savings
- Equipment loaning services
Some startups require relatively little capital to get going such as house cleaning. This makes ventures like these more attractive as the risks are lower if it doesn’t work out. Crucially, however you choose to finance your startup, be smart with your money. For a service business like cleaning, pricing jobs can be quite complex as no job is the same so it’s important to have a solid grasp of how to charge correctly. In order for your business to be successful and sustainable – you will need to know what factors to consider and how to achieve an acceptable level of profit margin. Depending on the complexity of the startup you are embarking on, you may want to hire a financial advisor to help you get going.
- Create a business plan
Once you have a solid idea of what you plan to do, it’s time to formulate a detailed business plan. Research the market and identify what other companies in your niche are doing, what they are doing well and less so, and what elements you like and dislike. Can you identify any opportunities or potential growth areas? Your business plan should also cover what problems you may encounter along the way, and if so, what strategy you would adopt in each given situation.
Are you going to start your new venture as a side hustle or as a full-time job? Do you need to consider things like:
- Renting office spaces
- Hiring staff
- Purchasing work materials
- Finding a supplier for your business
If you hire staff, they could help you handle administrative tasks such as:
- Answering client requests
- Making bookings and appointments
- Sending invoices and receiving payments
Alternatively, you may need to hire highly skilled staff with specific expertise.
- Look into legal structures
Do not overlook the legal rules and guidelines of setting up a new business. Do you require any permits or licences? These can vary depending on:
- the county or city where your business is based;
- your work station, depending on whether you’ll be based in an office or at home; and
- permit regulations for business licences
The last thing you want is to be liable for any fines or penalties due to poor oversight when it comes to legal formalities and setting up your business registration.
- Create a website
The internet can be one of the fastest tools to grow a business. For this reason, when establishing a startup, you would be well advised to create a well optimised website, showcasing your products and/or services. This will help potential customers to find you easily, and encourage them into your sales funnel by being there for when customers are in the research phase and considering who to approach. Thus, a website enables you to broaden your clientele and grow the number of customers you can serve. Consequently, your business can more effectively scale, become profitable and grow.
Starting a business is a lot more feasible and successful with proper thought, consideration and planning. Considerable investment needs to be made in the planning phase, when coming up with your business idea, creating your business plan, making an assessment of the finances, putting all the legal structures in place and then attracting customers to avail of your products or services. Once you are able to set the groundwork for getting going, you will find the rest falls into place much more easily and your chances of success are considerably greater.