I want to start a business but I don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place! While, our information isn’t the end-all, we’ll say that it’s a start into the right direction. We’ll provide you with helpful information as well as tools and resources that should be able to help you achieve your goals. Of course, always consult with an attorney before making the decision to start a company just to ensure you’ve covered all legal aspects of starting a business.
The first step to starting your business is to do your own research: Always, always do your research! While advice from others is perfectly fine and sometimes helpful, please do your own research in order to have your own level of understanding of the business you’re starting. Seek like-minded entrepreneurs as well as mentors. This will help you greatly to stay focused, inspired and you’ll be able to receive valuable input and or feedback from experts within your area of business.
Once you’ve done your research, the next step is to create a business plan. There are literally thousands of templates available online to help you with formatting and what pertinent information should be included in a business plan. Your business plan is like the “blue print” of your company. It’s the “architectural design” of your business. In order for you to know and or understand what direction you want your business to go into, you MUST have a solid foundation.
The most basic business plan will include:
A mission statement: Your mission statement defines the purpose of your business and the approach you want to take to achieve success. It may also include the product or services in which you’re offering.
A value statement and or paragraph: This explains what value you’re adding to your clients.
Marketing plan: This plan establishes who is your target audience. Who is your competition? What methods you’ll use to market your products or services (social media, tradeshows, flyers, postcards)? The number of months and days you’ll need to market to your audience? The company’s launch date should be included in the marketing plan. The marketing plan should also include how you’ll continuously market to existing and new customers? A budget should be set aside for doing so.
Budget: Prepare an expense budget for all costs associated with not just starting your business but maintaining it. Your budget should include, office space and leases, equipment, supplies, manufacturing costs, shipping costs (if shipping items), business insurance, legal fees from advice, to having the proper contracts and documentation in place, as well as the incorporation of your business (sole-proprietor, general partner, limited liability). Many entrepreneurs have opted to utilize the services of Legal Zoom as this is a cost effective solution for establishing a business legally. There a number of forms as well as contracts that are available on the site. Prepare for the growth of your company by setting aside a budget for the salary of employees.
Time Management: Plan ahead for when the company will launch, when you’ll be able to execute certain tasks, social media marketing days and even networking events. Consistency is the true key to success (while this opinion varies depending on who you ask) but you have to plan to be consistent in order to achieve results. Purchase a calendar and set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. This will help you to stay focused and it will help you to track your progress. Your time is valuable, use it wisely. If there are certain methods that you’ve spent a great deal of time on that aren’t producing results but others are, stick with what’s working for you.
Investing in your business: Investing in your business is not limited to costs associated with marketing but also for educational purposes. Learning new skills in the form of training certification programs, seminars, workshops, even educational books can add value to your business. It is important that you continuously invest in yourself as the wealth of knowledge can be applied to your business. The end result is that the information learned will help you improve your business which will lead towards success.
Last but not least, trust in the process. Understand that you’ve come this far for a reason: TO SUCCEED and anything else isn’t an option. As an entrepreneur, you define your level of success. You are in control of your destiny. It is admirable that you’ve stepped out on faith and decided to believe in yourself and your vision. There are many people who would gladly help your vision come to fruition. Align yourself with those individuals and keep moving forward! Again, we’re here to provide you with as much helpful information as possible! Good Luck!