How Do I Start My Own Small Business?
Everyone knows that nobody got rich working for somebody else, so it’s no surprise that so many people want to start a small business. Fortunately, thanks to our digital-heavy culture, it’s never been easier to make this happen.
Since small businesses are independently owned and operated, that means you can take it as far as you want it to go. And before you start thinking that this is not a good time to take action on your business idea, know that there is never a bad time to launch your business so long as you’re willing to put in the work.
Even during uncertain economic times, people still need products and services, and if you do your homework, you might find out there’s a need for the business you’re thinking of starting.
However, you need to make sure that you are ready to become a small business owner. That means bearing the full responsibility of the day-to-day running of your business and the numerous small tasks that you will have to handle yourself at first, including bookkeeping and other necessary activities.
If you want to start a small business but don’t know where to start, don’t worry. A lot of successful entrepreneurs felt like you do now when they started. They have succeeded because they persisted, and that’s something anyone can do.
Given today’s new economic reality, more and more people have realized that the job they had always thought would be waiting for them when they graduate doesn’t actually exist anymore. Rather than remain unemployed, a lot turned to setting up a small business that perfectly fit with their own life goals.
No matter what your motivation is to start your own small business, you can start today.
How to Start Your Own Small Business
Here are some basic steps and guidelines that you can follow to make your small business a success.
Choose a Niche
There are a lot of different types of businesses that you can start, but the first step in deciding how to go forward is choosing your niche. The easiest way to decide on a niche is to start with something that you’re interested in, passionate about, or already have a lot of knowledge about.
If that initial niche you choose survives through the next step, then you’re ready to pursue a business in an area you love. However, keep in mind that a business idea may not be viable simply because you love it—you need to conduct the research to back up your idea.
Conduct Market Research
The way to make sure your business idea is viable is to conduct market research. This is the best way to figure out if there really is a demand for your product or services. Research if there are any other businesses doing something similar to what you want to do. Are they successful? Is there a way you can improve on what they’re doing?
Ultimately, the point of market research is to see if there is a need for your product or service. In other words, will people actually buy what you’re selling? Look for customer pain points in your niche to figure out what they need and how your business can meet that need.
Develop a Business Plan
One of the keys to success in business is good planning. Small businesses need to create a business plan in order to sharpen their focus, develop their priorities, and lay the roadmap toward success. Business plans are also incredibly important if you need to look for funding—they are essential to pitching your business to investors. In that vein, this is the perfect time to lay out how your business will be funded and to straighten out your finances. That means laying out how to manage your cash flow, developing a financial calendar, and planning for debt recovery
A good business plan includes basic details such as business name and branding, as well as sales projections, budgets, company hierarchy, milestones, and actionable tasks to get your business up and running. When developing your business plan remember that it can be dynamic. A good business owner is one who is flexible and can respond in real-time to challenges as they develop.
Create a Marketing Plan
Creating a small business marketing plan is your first step to landing your first customer. It should lay out who your target customer is, how you will find them, how you will turn them into customers, and how you will keep them.
While online marketing has a lot of advantages—such as being budget-friendly and easy to do on your own—your plan should consider both online and offline marketing. Some helpful online marketing tools for small businesses include:
- MailChimp – an email marketing service that saves customer emails securely.
- Google Analytics – a tool that helps you see who is visiting your website, where they’re coming from, and what they’re looking at.
- SEMrush – a tool that helps you perform search engine optimization (SEO), including keyword research, SEO audits, and more.
- Hootsuite – a tool that connects all your social media accounts in one place, making social media marketing a breeze.
Register Your Small Business
Once all these things are in place, you should then ensure that your papers are in order. There are services out there that make it easier for you to manage your registration, licensing, and compliance needs.
If you don’t want to get bogged down in the details, hire an individual or service to help you. This will free up your time so you can spend it on getting your business started and landing your first customer.
Create Your Small Business Website
Any business, big or small, needs to have a website. It is the foundation of all digital marketing you might engage in, and it is the online meeting place for your customers.
Before you start protesting that you don’t have the big bucks to hire a web designer, know this: you don’t need to have a big budget anymore to have a website. A few years ago, creating a professional, functional website meant spending thousands of dollars. Now, you can create one that looks just as good for a fraction of the cost, and it takes under 2 minutes to build.
The Bookmark Website Builder, for example, has an Artificial Intelligence Design Assistant that helps anyone—even those with zero coding or website building knowledge—create a professional looking website that’s a fit for any niche. With this website builder, virtually anyone can have a website. As a small business owner, you should definitely have one too.
There are a number of ways that you can start your own company. You just need to do your research, develop a plan, and find your customers. As your business grows, you can hire a team around you to take over smaller tasks so you can focus on the continued success of the company. With a strong foundation and a lot of hard work, you’ll be able to get your small business off the ground.