Have an excellent idea for a business but don’t know where to start?
7 Tips For Getting Your Business Ideas Up And Running
If you have the passion to succeed and the drive to overcome the hurdles that will come your way, then keep reading and absorb our 7 tips to help you get your business idea up and running.
1. Create a business plan
So you have a business idea, and you think it can do well, but need help to create a concrete plan, one that will back you up for a loan from the bank or to attract investors.
The goal of creating your plan is to show everyone how feasible your business idea is. It should include:
- An outline of who you are
- What your idea is
- How you plan to execute it
- How you’ll make a profit
- Why consumers will choose you over any competition
You need to show you’ve done your homework and showcase your business targets, and the strategy you’ll use to reach them. You can also include:
- An analysis of the industry, and what makes your consumers buy. For example, if you want to open a photography business what do customers look for in a photographer?
- Analyze the current target market. Identify who your target audience is and layout their demographics and needs. If you’re planning on opening a real estate business, you need to know the age, salary ranges, and family size of your potential clients.
- Write down your current business structure and management team if you have one. If you already have a restaurant business but plan to expand or pivot, potential investors need to know if you already have a hostess, chef, and serving staff.
- Include a financial projection of your future cash flow statements, what your projected profits and losses could be, as well as a forecast of sales for your business. Many trades such as lawn care are seasonal, where-as a cleaning business will fluctuate less.
- If you’re pitching your business idea to receive financing, you must include a section outlining how much capital you’re looking to acquire and what it will be spent on.
If you need a mentor or coach to help guide you to ensure you’re making the right business choices from day one, make sure to look into someone who is in your field and has helped others succeed as well.
2. Incorporate your business
To become an entrepreneur it’s necessary to legitimize yourself by incorporating your business.
Incorporating disconnects you from your business, making it a separate legal entity.
- Your personal assets are protected from any unforeseen impact on your business
- Optimize your savings on taxes
- Conveys credibility in the eyes of your customers
There are many different structures that you can incorporate as, and it’s highly recommended that you seek legal advice and counsel from a professional before undertaking any transition.
3. Ensure Compliance
Deciding to incorporate is just one piece of the entrepreneur puzzle. We also recommended that you follow this four list checklist, so you don’t unwillingly break the law and suffer any consequences.
- Register your unique business names, logos, and designs for a trademark
- File for an EIN (Employee Identification Number) if you need to open a business bank account or hire employees
- If you’re going to accept payments under your business name and not your personal name, you’ll need to file for a DBA (Doing Business As as name)
- Finally, consult with your state, county, or city for any permits and licenses you’ll need to obtain so you can operate
Depending on the type of business you’re going to open, you might be able to work from home. If you do decide to base your office at home, try and create a separate area, which you can turn into a pure working environment to stay focused.
But if your business needs to operate in a brick and mortar store, there are some essential considerations to scrutinize first.
- Is the store located in an area with enough foot traffic from your target audience?
- Ensure you budget correctly by including all the necessary fees, such as rent, water, and electricity.
- After meeting with the landlord and walking through the facilities, it’s ok to bring in a professional to check for any unseen damages that may affect your business operations, such as mold, or faulty electricity
- Lastly, it’s ok to try and negotiate the lease, especially if it’s just out of reach of your budget.
Create a professional brand identity
Don’t wait until you launch your business to start thinking about building a brand image. This is something you should do from the start. If you want investors, potential partners and customers to trust you then your business has to look professional.
As part of creating your brand identity, you will need to design a logo. There are lots of ways to do this, some options like logo makers are good if you’re on a shoestring budget. You could try your hand at designing one yourself or hire a graphic designer for better results.
In addition, you will need business cards and other branding products. Of course, all this should be done using colors and imagery that represents the brand image you want to portray.
Another part, of creating a brand identity is setting-up your social media profiles. These profiles should be aligned to your brand identity – same colors, fonts and use of your logo.
5. Design a professional website
It doesn’t matter what industry your business falls under, you’re going to need a website, and it needs to look professional. While you can build your own website with the help of website builders, even if you’re not in the least bit tech-savvy you can easily make a professional website with these platforms.
Regardless of how you build it, your website should be:
- Fast, so people don’t give up and leave before it loads
- Optimized for both computers and mobile phones
- Have excellent website copy that tells visitors who you are, what you do, and how to contact you
- You can also create an online store (e-commerce) with your website so customers can buy from you
6. How to advertise
You need to know how to market your business. You can do it yourself or hire someone.
Even if your service or product is the best in the world or cheaper and outperforms the competition, how will people buy it if they don’t know about it?
When it comes to marketing, there are two different types.
Digital Marketing consists of all your online marketing activities. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to use all of them, but instead, use the ones that are most profitable for you or have the best ROI (return on investment).
The most common digital marketing methods are
The other kind of marketing is everything else, sometimes referred to as ‘offline marketing,’ because it doesn’t take place on the internet. These are your conventional methods of marketing, which may end up performing better than your digital marketing efforts if done well.
- Printed advertising such as Leaflets and newspaper ads
7. Prepare for the unexpected
It’s tough to expect the unexpected because it can be so sudden, unpredictable, and unforeseen.
You’re going to experience setbacks and issues which, if you don’t deal with, can quickly turn into roadblocks stopping your business from growing.
Don’t let these hiccups discourage you! Every business has experienced its fair share of unexpected emergencies, and the successful ones don’t become discouraged when something goes wrong.
Instead, they persevere and work through it. Part of being an entrepreneur and maintaining your own business is making the tough decisions taking on the responsibility of the company.
- Keep an emergency fund
- Pay all of your bills on time
- Stay on top of tax payments
- Abide by the law at all times
- Create contingency plans
There isn’t a willing formula to getting your business up and running. If there was, everyone would be successful entrepreneurs.
Having a strong idea and preparing as much as possible beforehand is going to help you massively in the long-term.
So, do your research, put your business plan together, check the laws which apply to you, know how you’re going to market your business, and don’t be afraid to ask or hire the help you need to succeed.
Prodigious planning and preparedness for unexpected hurdles will help you reach your maximum potential.