Hello SOTGC community,
For many people, being their own boss is an ultimate goal. Today, it’s a goal much easier than ever to obtain. When most people actually dive into the process of starting a business, they are amazed at how cheaply and efficiently you can get a business going. Just about everything that used to be costly now can be done inexpensively through technology or cloud computing.
Even though there are fewer barriers to starting a business, getting a business off the ground is one thing while sustaining a profitable venture is another. I work closely with entrepreneurs and startups on structuring the financial foundation of their business, but there are other factors that weigh in just as heavy to be successful. While for everyone the particular path taken will differ, here are the five things every new business owner should know to get started in the right direction.
1. Is my business name available?
Make sure the company name you choose is one with an available trademark and Internet domain name. Failure to properly obtain a trademark could put your business at risk — not to mention that the time and money you have invested in establishing your business could go to waste if someone else owns the trademark.
2. What are the legalities of my business?
Be sure you know and understand what regulations, licenses, and taxes you will need to obtain and pay for your new business. After doing your own research, consult with a lawyer and accountant to confirm your understanding and to help structure your business to be in compliance with the law.
3. How much money will you need?
The basic needs of starting a business can be cheap and sometimes even free. But take in consideration the cost of branding, which is vital in today’s marketing. First, you will need a quality logo and website, legal, and professional fees. As a new business, you need to show a professional image. If you have taken the steps to prepare a good business plan, you should know what all of your startup costs upfront will tell you if you’re prepared financially to dive into the entrepreneurial waters. Typically the average startup cost is $5,000 to $10,000. For this reason, people find it’s best to do most of the setup work while still working at a traditional job.
4. How will you grow your revenue?
Even if you already have committed clients when you start your business, it still takes time for word of mouth and referrals to keep new clients coming in. Patience and hard work to establish a solid reputation will pay off.
It will be important to focus on your key network for business and creating ways of generating business beyond your immediate circle. Be sure to establish your brand in the beginning to make targeting your potential clients easier. The most important part of marketing and obtaining new business is knowing who your target audience is.
5. Are you open to change? Good entrepreneurs see uncertainty as opportunity.
Most businesses will make several changes over time, and what you started out doing may evolve into many different business opportunities. To embrace change means you are open to risk. If you stay within what’s known and safe, you will never be truly successful. Doing what’s uncertain and risky isn’t easy, and that’s why the people who dare to do it are rewarded.
What are some of the unique steps you had to (or will) take to get your business started?