10 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Small Business

10 Things  Need to Know Before Starting  Business

Starting your own small business isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. There are steps you can take before starting your new company that will help make the process much easier down the road. Follow these tips to make starting your own small business an easy affair.

#1. Starting a Small Business is NOT Hard

Many people assume that starting a small business is hard, or even impossible. This could not be further from the truth. Starting a small business has never been easier, especially when you factor in tools like WordPress and Squarespace. In fact, there are so many resources for aspiring entrepreneurs out there today that it’s hard not to get started.

It’s been said that starting a small business is easy if you have passion and drive, but it takes to drive and persistence to turn your passion into profits. Many wannabe entrepreneurs quit too soon because they realize just how much work goes into running a business.

#2. Figure Out What You Can Do

Simply put, if you're starting a small business as an employee at another company, your job is clear: Do your best at work every day. If you’re self-employed and own 100 percent of your business, however, figuring out what you can do is more difficult. This section explains how I decide what projects and tasks to take on and which ones I pass off to my employees. It also covers whether or not you should hire help for certain things (such as office space or marketing).

#3. Understand Who Will Want to Buy From You

The first thing you need to know about marketing is who your ideal customer is. Try asking yourself these questions: What are their problems? What are their interests? How much money do they make? How old are they? Are they married or single? Do they have kids or not? The more information you can find about your target audience, the better. Once you have answers to all of these questions, write them down in detail. Next, try using Google's Keyword Planner tool to research how many people search for related terms every month.

#4. Decide on Physical vs Online Store

Establishing an online presence is easier than ever. There are dozens of new eCommerce tools that you can set up without writing code. But, if you want something custom or need help getting off of square one, there’s plenty of options for small businesses too. 

Have web design consultants like Squarespace or Weebly create stores for you, or hire experts like Shopify to build out your online shop and get it ready for customers. No matter which route you take, starting an online store will be less expensive than buying real estate and building out your own retail space.

#5. Write Out Your Budget and Look at Financing Options

How much will your new business cost you? If you’re relying on savings or loans from friends and family, figure out how much you need, how you’ll ask for it, and what conditions they may attach. A clear financial plan is crucial to making sure your business starts on solid footing. A word of caution: If people are pitching in money toward your new venture, tell them exactly what they’re getting into (e.g., share your financial plan with them). If they’re not interested in playing an active role in running the business, explain that they shouldn't contribute any money.

#6. Choose your Suppliers Carefully

Unless you’re providing a service, it’s best to stay away from wholesalers and go directly to manufacturers instead. They typically give you much better quality at better prices. If you can find a manufacturer who makes small batches of your product rather than mass-producing it, all of that is even better. It means there will be fewer middlemen, which means you get higher profit margins and don’t have to deal with large companies looking for profit themselves by adding on extra costs.

#7. Learn From People Who Have Done It Already

One of the best ways to learn how to start a business is from people who have done it. If you’re in search of successful businesses, look no further than an incubator or accelerator. These businesses were started by entrepreneurs just like you and have been through every imaginable trial and tribulation. 

One of their main goals is for aspiring entrepreneurs just like you to come in and benefit from their knowledge. Though they may not be able to help you out financially, they can offer guidance on what worked for them, what didn’t work for them, what questions you should ask yourself before launching your own business—the list goes on and on.

#8. Choose Software For Accounting

Choosing software for accounting is an extremely personal process. You’ll need to find something that fits your business, but most importantly your personality. Think of it as finding your best friend in Accounting software. So let’s go over some of what you should be looking for when evaluating Software for Accounting

#9. Hire Good Accountants and Lawyers – They Are Important!

One of our most important pieces of advice: Hire a good accountant and lawyer. They will cost you some money, but they’ll prevent you from having lots more money. If there is one thing we’ve learned from helping business owners over the years, it’s that too many small businesses don’t have good accounting or legal practices in place at their inception. When something goes wrong, which it inevitably does for every business, those companies are forced to hire attorneys and accountants on an as-needed basis at very high hourly rates.

#10. Have Patience And Be Realistic About Growth Potential

Starting any business is difficult. It takes hard work, time and money and it isn’t always easy (or quick) to achieve success. One of the best things you can do for your business is patient and realize it might take longer than you think for your small business to really take off. If you’re not willing or able to make that commitment, then entrepreneurship isn’t right for you (at least in that particular business venture). Remember: slow and steady wins the race—if you see rapid growth in your first year, think about what could go wrong when scaling rapidly.

Conclusion

Starting your own business is no easy feat, but with careful planning and proper execution, you’ll be that much closer to making it successful. Hopefully, these 10 tips for starting small businesses will help you create your own small business without worry. For more information on startup basics, visit SCORE's How To Start A Small Business section. It has everything you need to know about getting started!.


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