Being an entrepreneur is one of the most celebrated things in the world today. The 8-5 cycle has taken a serious bashing from all sides in recent times. Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a small business, growing it into a global brand, is the ultimate aim for several people.
However, the majority never get to live this dream. They fail woefully at kick-starting the business. The fancy images they see about owning a small business quickly disappears as reality sets in. Most of them usually encounter one or more of these common challenges:
Lack of capital – This has been recorded to be a tough challenge to over 30% of small business owners.
Low Survival Rate – Only one in 12 small businesses survive every year. Only half survive for more than five years, and only one-third will survive 10 years or more.
It takes time to grow a small business. Furthermore, there is just too much to deal with that most people give up easily. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. So many people around have successfully transformed their small businesses into world-renowned brands. If you goal is to join this elite group of people, here are a few things you should know before starting a small business:
- Decide What You Want to Do
This may seem like a no-brainer. However, people who are not a “Jack of all trades” are on the rise. Not being able to decide what your business will be about shows you lack focus. It is overwhelming to start a business without specializing, as your attention will be in many places and can be easily divided. To avoid falling off the tracks early, find one thing and do it exceptionally well. Will you be selling physical products or your services? Knowing exactly what you want to do will help you figure out who your potential clients are.
- Draw up a Business Plan
Before you start a small business (or anything worth your while), you need a plan. Your plan should be able to, very distinctly, describe the following:
- Your brand/company
- What you intend to do
- Your financial projections
- Your market
This may sound too serious for a small business, but it really isn’t. Just like going into war, you need to strategize to be able to start your business. You need the best strategy to get the best of your competitors. If you can’t do this yourself, many freelancers on the internet will help you create a solid business plan.
If this is done well, your plan can also be used to present your business to potential partners. Your business plan will portray you as a serious buyer/owner and increase your chances of attracting those investors.
- Start Small
Did you know it’s okay to have big goals yet start small? One of the things that kill small businesses fast is when they take huge loans that can’t be paid back. In a bid to start with a major leap, most people acquire huge debts. It is usually too late by the time they realize it. Make incremental steps towards larger goals in your business before going for the gold to make sure you can manage appropriately.
- Be As Professional As Possible
As stated previously, you want to take baby steps towards your ultimate goal. One simple thing to implement is a touch of professionalism. This alone can be the defining factor that helps your small business thrive. There are countless ways you can go about adding that touch of professionalism. This includes:
You don’t want your kids to pick up the call of a customer from your home phone do you? This is just one of the many reasons why you should plan for a custom business phone line for your business. It may sound like you’re going over the top, but his is exactly what will set you apart from the rest… and help your small business grow.
There’s something unique about an email that is sent from a custom domain. The message of seriousness it sends to your potential customers can show them that you put effort into your company. They will be more willing to do business with you because the can trust this more than using a personal email address. You can create a customized email address very quickly by going to GSuite.
Your logo is what is used to identify your brand. It can very quickly get lost in the noise if you don’t give your small business an image synonymous with what you are all about. You don’t need to know anything about graphic design to have one created. You can find some of the best artists on sites like Fiverr to outsource this work today.
- Leverage the Internet
If you don’t have plans to put your business on the internet, you should reconsider. More than half of the world’s population now have access to the internet. Imagine not selling your products and services to this number of people.
To avoid this, ensure your small business has an online presence. Open social media accounts for your business. If you’re looking to be an influencer, ensure your social media page is active.
If you’re looking to sell your blogging services, having your website is a must. That’s where you’ll direct potential clients to show them your work. Will you be selling products? If so, create your online store where you can display those products.
You can use paid advertisements to spread the word about your products and services on social media (this is where most people spend their valuable time these days). In addition, email marketing is a way to share your messages. If you are not familiar with how email marketing works, there are companies like Klaviyo that you can use. They will employ the best tools to help you drive more sales. You can even integrate them with your website or online store.
- Get Legal Advice
Remember that as you start, you’re sowing a seed. With enough care, time and support your small business can become a worldwide sensation. At this stage, it could face many challenges in regards to legal matters. As you plan to start up your small business, you need the knowledge of those who are experts in company formation. They will help guide you through the entire business setup process including all paperwork filing, necessary documentation, tax ID retrieval and make sure every other angle is covered before you launch.
- Develop an Awesome Product
Most businesses depend heavily on repeat customers for various reasons, mainly word-of-mouth advertisement and well, repeat business. However, customers will only come back if they enjoyed your services or products. As such, you should ensure that whatever your business is about, quality is of utmost priority. Hire specialists if you can’t do something well. Get certifications related to the field you are a part of. Doing things like this easily puts you at the top, making you more visible for potential clients and those return visits.
The early days of your small business will require all your time and attention. You’ll be required to give it your all to increase the chances of its survival. With the right amount of work and energy, you are sure to beat the odds and build a business that outlives you. Now that you know these simple tips, you are ready to launch your small business. See you at the top!