Who doesn’t dream of being their own boss? There are millions of small businesses owners out there and that means people just like you took the leap of faith and decided to pursue their passions.
That said, they too probably wondered how to get started and what to do if things didn’t work out. While many small businesses do go under early on, that doesn’t mean you will.
Being successful and making it through the first couple of months doesn’t happen by chance. It takes a solid strategy that’s mapped out long before you open shop. But where exactly do you start? From funding or marketing, there are a series of steps every successful entrepreneur needs to do.
Focus On Your Own Finances
Regardless of your product or service, you need to have your own finances in order. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to grow a lucrative company if you are drowning in debt. Use this time to itemize all of your bills, including your recurring monthly bills.
This should include rent or mortgage, credit cards, auto costs, and your grocery bill. If your credit card debt is too high, or you are constantly paying for repairs for a car that no longer runs well, you need to cut these costs.
You could pay out of pocket or you could consider getting a personal loan. With a personal loan, you can pay off expenses that eat up your monthly budget. Once the most expensive bills gone, you can then create a payoff strategy for your other bills. No having the added stress of your own financial woes will allow you to focus on growing your business.
Check Out The Competition
No matter what you want to sell, there will always be competition. As such, you need to spend some time researching who you’ll be going up against.
Take note of who their target audience is, their product offerings and how they market to them. You should perform social listening to see what people think about them online.
This will provide you with valuable insight on what you need to include in your own strategy.
Develop Your Brand Anthem And Mission Statement
Your mission statement is your “why.” It’s the reason why you started and it’s also the what you want the general public to know.
Your brand anthem exemplifies your mission statement. It’s what you would use if you were to create voiceover videos that tell your brand’s story. Both of these aren’t set in stone, so don’t think you can revise them over time.
However, they should still be along the same lines and convey what your brand is all about. As your online presence expands, people will be able to automatically associate your videos and ads, if you run them, with both your mission statement and brand anthem.
Even if they don’t make a purchase every time, you will still stay in the back of their minds.
Understand The Possible Risks
Now that you have a general understanding of how the business world operates, it’s time to go into the potential risks. If anything, this is what business is known for.
If you don’t play your cards right, these risks can come back to haunt you. However, knowing what these risks are is key to preventing the worst from happening. Here are a few common risks you can encounter when opening your business:
- The competition may consistently outmaneuver you
- Cash flow can be difficult to manage at times, especially in the beginning
- You could start to feel burnt out
- Your strategies aren’t as effective
- It can be difficult finding the right people to hire
- You resort to sticking with the same marketing strategies
The business world requires you to be at your best at all times. Keep a close eye on everything, hire the proper help, and always have an open mind.
Think About The Future
Even though you’re just starting out, you need to think about your future. If you’re only looking to make a fast buck, you might not be worried about your organization’s longevity.
This is seen most often with a dropshipping and print-on-demand model. On the other hand, if you want to build a company that you can pass on to your family, your objectives will be completely different.
Financial forecasting should be broken down into digestible segments. After you decide on a business structure, you also need to make a rough draft of your financial projections. Whether you choose to do this on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis is completely up to you.
However, since most new startups have limited funding, it’s usually better to break your forecasting down to monthly or quarterly segment, so you can keep an eye on your cash flow. Specifically, you need to know that you’re not spending more than you’re making on a regular basis.