How to Start a Business, Tips for First-Starters
August 31, 2022
Right now, increasing numbers of people are looking into starting up their own businesses. Running a business really does give you a lot more control over your career path and freedom in your working life.
Starting and maintaining a business does come with its challenges. There are all too many influencers, host platforms and other voices out there shouting that it’s simple, cheap and straightforward. In reality, setting up a business takes strategy, strong leadership, and a great deal of financial investment – the U.S. Small Business Administration found that the average cost to start a business ranged from $2,000 to $5,000.
There are countless areas and elements of operations that you’re going to have to focus on and you’re going to need to learn a lot along the way. Of course, this will all prove more than worth it. There are a number of skills and practices you can learn, most importantly online, as most eCommerce and business incorporates some kind of digital interaction. A Harris Poll, on behalf of Sprout Social, found in their survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers and 250 business executives just how important tools like social media were for SMEs, with 55% of consumers saying that was the way they encountered businesses. Online tools and resources, as well as soft skills, are just as important in starting a business in 2022.
Invest in the Basics
To run a business you are going to need some basics. A computer or laptop. A business number with a 5g SIM. A business email address. Business premises to register your business to. Make sure that you follow any legal advice relevant to your field of specialisation or industry. There may be specific insurances or other protective policies that you need to carry out, or qualifications that you need to undertake, in order to operate your business legally.
You should have a workspace to work from and you should start looking into commercial premises like office space before you need to take new staff on. This will ensure a smoother transition and a professional outlook from the start. Make sure that your business is registered properly and that you are registered as self-employed and a business owner too. This will reduce issues when it comes to filing your first tax forms. Also, look into insurance policies.
Most businesses will require a range of different types of coverage to protect themselves and anyone else engaging with them, whether that’s staff or customers. There is a lot to think about here, but you really do need to make sure that you’re starting out on a proper and professional foot. Otherwise, you can run into major trouble that could tarnish your brand’s reputation and destroy your company’s finances.
Dedicate Time to Your Product or Service
The idea of getting your business up and running is exciting and you’re going to want to get straight into the fun parts as soon as you can. But don’t make the mistake of rushing your product or service development process. Sure, we all want to see our shiny new offerings up and available on a website, but at the end of the day, you’re going to need to be patient to get to this point if you want your products to actually sell and if you want to experience ongoing success.
Look at the market. Look at your target audience. Look at your product. Sure, you may think you’re offering something that fills a gap and that people won’t be able to help but buy, but you do need to make sure that you are right in your judgement. You don’t want your product to fall flat on its face through incorrect hope and ambition. Conduct a lot of market research. Include your target audience throughout the development process.
Find out what they think of your product. Whether they’d be willing to pay a sufficient price for it that will allow you to benefit from a substantial profit margin. How do they think it could be improved? Look into competitors. See whether anyone else is already offering what you are and whether you can draw customers away from them or offer something slightly different.
Find a Reliable Manufacturer
The manufacturing process brings together a bunch of raw materials to produce the product that you will ultimately sell. It’s important that you find a reliable and quality manufacturer to help you with this process. It’s generally recommended that the majority of small businesses outsource their manufacturing process, as carrying manufacturing out in-house from the start can pose problems.
You would need to spend a lot of money on factory space, equipment and staff to produce items that haven’t proven their worth yet. You may need to slightly alter elements of your product and it’s much easier to change manufacturer to accommodate this than to sell and rebuy equipment and machinery to accommodate the changes in-house. Find manufacturers who can produce what you need at a reasonable price with short-term contracts or contracted runs of items.
Use an Accountant and Financial Advisor
Money might not make the world go around, but it is the basis of your business and its success, so it’s important that you use financial professionals for good and thorough insight into what you’re doing at each stage of your business development. An accountant can help to make sure that your books are all in order, ensuring you have a thorough and in-depth record of your business’ spending in different areas, as well as how much you are generating and how much you owe out in payments such as taxes.
This information can then be taken to a financial advisor who will be able to make suggestions as to where your business could spend less, invest more and otherwise manage its finances in the best way possible. These two professionals will take out a lot of the guesswork when it comes to financial management within your business and can see losses reduce, while profits go up.
Just make sure that the professionals you choose are legally registered and qualified, as this is a legal process that could land you in trouble if carried out incorrectly.
Accept Other’s Expertise
When you run a business, it can be difficult to let go and allow certain elements of the company to fall into the hands and control of someone else – namely, an employee. Sure, you may want to know exactly what’s going on with every element of your business at every point. But at the end of the day, when your business grows due to its success, this will prove impossible. One person can only have so much expertise in different areas, and you need to make sure that you’re trusting the staff you’ve hired to take care of certain processes and projects. Micromanagement rarely works well and they may have insight, knowledge or expertise that you don’t in order to make better and more informed decisions for the sake of your business development and profits.
Sure, starting up your own business is a gargantuan task. You’re going to have a long journey on your hands, filled with learning and constant improvement. This may sound like a lot to bear in mind, try out and take on. But at the end of the day, the results will all prove more than worth your time and effort if you have a successful business on your hands and you’re generating ongoing profits. Try implementing some of the tips and tricks outlined above and you should see things starting to move in the right direction!
Featured image: gorodenkoff, iStock.