Being an entrepreneur is a dream that most of us have. The United States Census Bureau has found that last year over 4.4 million businesses were started up. Some of this is due to the current pandemic. Others simply want to be free and responsible for their own success. Working for large corporations for a wage under the amount needed to survive has become outdated. When launching a new business to start your own career you will need to keep a few things in mind.
- Business Plan - Step one, in any type of business venture, is the making of a strategic business plan. This is a required step if you plan to apply for some type of financing. If you already have start-up money you will still want to build a good plan before you begin. A great plan will include several things, starting with a summary of the business that you plan to start. That will need to be followed by a description of what you are doing and after that a plan on how you are going to market your business. A breakdown of the competitors in your field comes next, and then you will need a detailed plan on how you will design, and build, your company. The final three steps that need to be included in the documentation are an operations plan, management plan, and a detailed breakdown of your financial plan.
- Networking - This is a step that you should have been doing long before you startup. Go to events and make yourself known. Be active on social media platforms. Get a LinkedIn account, if you do not already have one. Consider going back to school to earn a DBA degree in business or management. Develop as many network connections as you can. Focus on people that can help you in your field, or that are able to help you build your business up.
- Legal - You should have done all your homework by now so you already know what licensing you will need to have. What insurance do you need to acquire? What fees do you need to cover? These are steps that you will need to complete before going on to any of the other steps. You want to make sure that you are legal before opening your doors, or website, to the public. You will also want to do all your hiring if you need people. Have them on the payroll and ready to go.
- Financing - If you have not gotten financing yet now is the time to research and find the business loan lender that works best for you. Even if you have start-up money it is suggested that you get some financial backing before proceeding.
- Consumers - Whether you are opening a business that sells products, or you are a service-based company, the next step is to build up a customer base. Advertise discounts, specials, or giveaways to build up some customers. These first customers are more important than you may realize. They can be your biggest asset or your guarantee to failure. Keep your customer base happy. Additionally, monitor your customer satisfaction to help identify issues and allow you to focus on areas for improvement.
- Marketing - You will want to constantly market. It is the best way to grow your business. Remember to go slowly. You do not want to overdo it. Use every avenue that you can, especially social media platforms.
Starting your own business is a rewarding experience. The more time that you put into it, the more likely you are to succeed. It will be your new career path, so you must treat it as such.
Also published on Medium.