Things to Consider When Starting Your Own Business.
Being an entrepreneur, it’s exciting to start your own business and make your product, or service, available to the masses. However, before you start celebrating the launch of your new business, take a moment to consider if you have thought of everything. When faced with the prospect of beginning your own enterprise, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and overlook specific factors of being your own employer that may present challenges or obstacles that you might not have considered. Here are a few points for you to think about before going ahead with starting your own business.
It’s hard to build a business alone.
It can be tempting to go it alone when you’re building your own business. It’s understandable that you’d want to make it a success on your own, but it’s a lot easier said than done. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your business won’t be any different. You need to consider what forms of outside help you want to bring in. Experienced investors can help you make informed, business savvy decisions, as well as give you the financial boost to get you off of the ground.
Having a co-founder or two as business partners takes some of the pressure off, as you can spread responsibility between you. You should also consider how many, if any, employees you will be taking on, as the more employees you have, the larger your business can be. Independent contractors can also be hired to take on tasks that you don’t have the experience or time to handle yourself, such as customer contact lines.
You will have competition.
While you might feel as though you have a unique, one of a kind product, your clients may be aware of the competition that you are not. It’s important to check that there is space in the market for your product and that there aren’t too many well-established rival businesses that you may struggle to compete with. Try and find a niche that will set you apart from similar companies and products, such as targeting a different client group or creating a more specialist service.
You have to spend money to make money.
Investing money in your business is an essential part of getting the business running and the customers flocking in. You will need enough money to pay for production and stock, leasing or buying a business headquarters, marketing, website design, paying employees and more. Make sure you have some form of income or funding to support your enterprise. Try keeping a part-time job on the side, find investors and/or get a bank loan. It’s often hard to calculate precisely how much you will spend until you get started, especially as any issues along the way may generate unforeseen costs, so it’s useful to work out a budget and then keep slightly more aside than you predicted.
A basic understanding of the law is needed.
You are officially self-employed, so it’s not as simple as just turning up to work anymore. Instead, you need to be aware of your legal responsibilities as a business owner. For instance, you need to understand your tax requirements, any business and building licenses necessary, have suitable insurance, and fully comprehend your duty to your employees. You will also be required to keep up with updates in the law regarding employment, such as mandatory minimum pay increases which could be implemented.
Attracting customers takes time.
You might expect that once your company is up and running, the customers will automatically begin to trickle in slowly. Unfortunately, gaining recognition for your business is a lot trickier than that. An effective marketing strategy needs to be put in place, even before your product is available. Advertise the launch date of your business in advance, and let prospective client’s know what will be available to them. It may even be worthwhile holding a launch party so customers can get to know you first hand.
Marketing well can be difficult, so consider employing a freelance marketing company to create an image for your business that the public will respond well to. You should also remember that it’s not all about the quantity of customers you attract. The ACV (Average customer value) of each client you bring in is also significant, so target your advertising to customers with the intention of keeping them as regular patrons, and not just one time shoppers. After all, it’s far more cost-effective to retain customers than it is to find new ones.
Things you don’t need until you do.
If you have your independent offices, there are a few services that you may need which you might not have ever considered, such as employing people to keep your building and grounds up to standard. Unless you plan to keep the office space tidy yourself through regular cleaning, you should consider hiring a professional cleaner, or two, to complete the job for you. If you have an extensive external grounds, employing a gardener to visit once every few months to maintain outward appearances may also be of use. There are also companies available, such as Haaker Equipment Company, which have the equipment needed to sweep parking lots outside of your offices.
These may sound like unnecessary expenses but, while it’s true that keeping your office clean may not be the top priority, maintaining high standards in and around your workspace is essential: employees will work more effectively in a clean environment, and it sets a good example to clients of your professionalism. Depending on the type of enterprise you are setting up, keeping hygienic surroundings may also be a legal requirement, especially if you are working with food.
Consider all of these points before starting up, and decide which ones will be of value to you and the ones that won’t. Don’t be disheartened by needing to seek the advice of other entrepreneurs and professionals who have more experience than you, because they will understand what factors you should take into account.