If you have had enough of working for someone else and figure you can do much better if you set up your own company, you certainly wouldn’t be alone; many Americans have taken the plunge and run successful businesses in all fields. It isn’t all plain sailing however and success is certainly not a given, especially in 2023, when we are moving out of a pandemic.
We asked a group of seasoned business gurus to give us good advice for beginners and here is the pick of the list.
1. Create a concept
Every business needs to have an identity; it might be to offer a comprehensive service, or to be unbeatable on price, something that defines you and your organization. How do you see your company being any different to your competitors? This is a good question to ask yourself and that will help you create a business concept that you can brand.
2. Compile a business plan
This should be your guideline to success and a good business plan would be 25-50 pages in length, covering everything from start-up capital to long-term profit forecasts and everything in between. There should be an organization flowchart that clearly shows each person’s role in the business, a general overview and a complete section on marketing; your business plan should answer any questions a private investor might have and when you think it is complete, run it by a business coach and see what they have to say.
The business plan will tell you exactly how much money you need to get the venture off the ground and you should also have access to additional funding to support the business through the first year. It only takes a few unpaid invoices to put a small business in the red, so make sure you have fast access to a few thousand dollars, just in case.
4. Cover all the bases
If you build and repair roofs, for example, check out roofers insurance cost, which would cover you for any eventuality; whatever sector, you need some general liability insurance, while vehicles, tools and stock all need to be insured. Minimizing risks to the business gives you added security and a single accident could cost you more money than you have. A single commercial insurer can put together a package that protects your business in many ways and you can move forward with some confidence.
5. Get your marketing on point
Marketing is the cutting edge of every business and professional help can be found with the digital marketing agency. They help the client to identify target groups and work out the best digital platforms to reach those who have an interest in your product/service. Without a dynamic digital marketing plan in place, your chances of long-term success are reduced; social media and SEO are both to be explored and with a professional team of online marketers in your corner, your message will reach the right people. How to start?
Contact a local digital marketing agency and they would take a closer look at your digital profile, which enables them to put forward an online marketing plan. This would include search engine optimization and social media and once implemented, you can expect to see traffic on your website.
6. Be flexible
While you should have a firm direction, business variables can easily change and that might mean a change of strategy. You must be able to adapt to a changing business environment, which might involve online selling or delivering your services virtually. Always be prepared to go that extra mile for the customer and this will stand you in good stead.
7. Register the business
The days of moonlighting are long gone and you would have no credibility if the business isn’t registered.
The US government offers some financial incentives to some sectors, plus they can assist you with the business registration process. Here is some tax information for small businesses, which you should read and understand. Talk to a business attorney about the type of business to register and you will receive the best advice on which is the right path to take.
8. Be enthusiastic
It is important to be passionate about what you do and this will rub off on others in the organization. It helps if you are a good person with excellent communication skills, as that motivates key players to excel.
Management is an art and as your business grows, so will you, learning how to be diplomatic and firm when necessary, while never losing sight of your goals.
9. Think outside the box
There are times when you’ll need to be creative and don’t be afraid to try something different; necessity is the mother of creation, as the saying goes. There may be solutions in places you hadn’t thought of looking; a key attribute of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to think outside the box.
10. Be customer focused
Every successful business has the customer at the core of their focus, indeed, some business gurus say 5-star customer service is all the marketing you need. You might find yourself in a situation whereby to keep the customer happy, you must forego your profit, yet this is a wise long-term investment that will pay big dividends. One shouldn’t be complacent with customer service; carry out some research and discover how your service really rates and if there is room for improvement, make it better. Here are a few qualities to be found in a top salesperson, which might help when recruiting a team.
The road to long-term success is long and sometimes it’s an uphill struggle, when you need to dig deep and if you are passionate about what you do, your enterprise should grow from strength to strength and become well-known in the local community. There are those who will warn you of failure, yet fortune does favor the brave and if you’ve done your homework and you have the money, there’s every reason to expect success.