You’ve got the dream, you’ve got the drive, and you’ve got the ability. You’re ready to get your small business up and running. Or at least you think so. Even the most talented individuals can overlook key aspects of starting a small business – especially if it’s your first time. Don’t worry though. Here are three easy steps to give due diligence to your fledgling brand and start a small business like a pro:
Create a Dynamic Website
Maybe you’ve already got a website, but ask yourself, “is it doing everything I need it to?” And that is: bringing customers in, bringing serial customers back, engaging with potential new markets, and providing an easy way for anyone to get to know you and your brand. If you haven’t got a blog going, start one. Statistics show that seventy-one percent of business that maintain a blog stated an increased visibility in their industry. If your website is a drab, boilerplate drone, take some time out to give it a personal feel. Your customers will appreciate the change. (This is especially true if your website depends on customers shopping on your site.)
Especially early on, you’ll have to spend your own money to get your business going. It’s a cliché but it’s true: you’ve got to spend money to make money. Don’t let that get you down though, because there are all sorts of options for a small-business owner to get a cash flow started, including: applying for a microloan from the U.S. Small Business Administration, crowd-funding on sites like Kickstarter, and getting a business line of credit from a trusted organization. Any of these options could give you the money and flexibility to allow your small business to flourish.
Consider the Competition
It would be unwise to jump into any venture without first analyzing the space you’ll be occupying. It wouldn’t make sense to open a coffee shop on street already inundated with Starbucks and other breakfast joints. Nor would it make sense to open a small business in an oversaturated market. Know who your competitors are and what they do differently from you. And if you can, reach out to other professionals in your field. This will work best if you contact people who are working in other markets – they’ll have the knowledge to help you out, without the (potential) animosity of those working in your own market.
There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know everything. Indeed, they only way we learn is by asking others and studying how they do things. Accept that, don’t struggle against it. It’ll help you not only in your business venture, but in all aspects of your life.