Ready to get the ball rolling on your entrepreneurship dreams? It’s common for prospective entrepreneurs to feel overwhelmed by the steps involved in launching a business. Between coming up with a viable business idea and introducing your product to market, there’s a lot to do! Don’t let the steps ahead paralyze you. Take it day by day, chip away at each part of the process whenever you have the time, and try not to overcomplicate things.
Professional service providers can offer a lot of value while you work to build your startup. For example, if you’re looking for branding, digital marketing, or web development assistance, partnering with an agency can help. Having the right professionals on your side will make your entrepreneurial dreams much more attainable.
To make business ownership seem a little more approachable and guide you through the startup phase, we’ve put together this guide packed with tips and resources!
Develop Your Business Idea
Before you do anything, you will need to pick a business idea. Try to keep it simple! Some businesses are easier to start than others. Inexpensive, service-based businesses are great for first-time entrepreneurs on a limited budget, especially those going at it alone. You won’t need to hire a team of employees, lease retail space, or purchase large quantities of inventory. Plus, you can always scale your business later when you have the funds to hire help!
Some great examples of easy businesses include pet sitting, residential cleaning, landscaping, hauling, exterior home maintenance, painting, and event planning. If you’re looking for something more remote, consider services you can offer virtually, like tutoring or personal training. Offering services to other businesses is where you’ll make the most money. Think freelance copywriting, web design, web development, marketing, consulting, and social media management.
Launching a service business will serve as a great introduction to business ownership while minimizing the risks involved. Service businesses generate cash quickly, enjoy good profit margins, and can get off the ground in a matter of days!
Register Your Business
Once you have your business idea, your next step is to decide whether or not to register your business. In some cases, you might not have to register at all! As long as you do business under your legal name, you are not required to register anywhere. However, you might still want to register your business with the federal government for trademark protection and with your state agencies for legal benefits and liability protection. You may also want to file a Doing Business As (DBA) so that you can legally conduct business under a name other than your own.
Streamline Your Business Finances
Financial organization is another important part of starting a business. When your finances are managed properly, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the financial health of your business. Keeping track of the cash flowing in and out of your business is essential for ensuring you have the money to pay the bills before they come due. Carefully tracking your expenses, staying on top of your accounts receivable, and managing payroll effectively will help you keep your finances on track.
Online accounting tools make it easy for business owners to manage these financial tasks without hiring an accountant. For example, if you’re short on time, you can automate repetitive tasks with invoicing software. A reliable invoicing system will help you send detailed estimates, create invoices quickly, send invoices to multiple clients, track client payments, duplicate invoices for different customers, and more. Tools like these will make quick work of all your time-consuming administrative tasks, giving you more time to focus on what you do best.
Access Startup Capital
Most entrepreneurs need some level of funding to get a business off the ground. Fortunately, you have several different options when it comes to funding your new venture. Startup Nation explains that crowdfunding is one such method that has become incredibly popular in recent years. Using crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you can raise money directly from people who support your business idea.
You can also try soliciting startup capital from angel investors and venture capitalists. Just make sure you’re willing to give up some share of equity in your company if you go this route! Small business loans, grants, and contests can also help you access the funds you need.
Market Your New Business
Marketing is one of the most challenging parts of launching a startup. What’s more, lack of budgeting resources is a common marketing problem among small business owners. Focus on low-cost, high-value marketing strategies to attract your first clients and continue growing your business from there.
For example, social media marketing can offer some incredible value to local businesses. Use social media to build a following of engaged locals around your brand and give your audience a reason to care about what you’re doing. Content marketing goes hand in hand with social media and is a great way to position your business as a trusted leader in your industry. Produce blog content and YouTube videos sharing valuable content with your audience. Aim to deliver a high level of value to your followers with the content you produce so they have a reason to keep coming back!
Build a Solid Online Presence
Make sure your customers can also find you on Google. Listing your business on Google My Business will allow customers to find your business when searching for local services in your region. Beyond this, Google My Business provides tools that you can use to engage with your customers, evaluate data insights, and share updates about your business. Google My Business further provides tools to streamline appointment booking, showcase menus, and advertise promotions.
Starting your own business is a great way to carve your own path and take full control over your earning potential. If you’re feeling hesitant about getting started, you’re not alone! Thankfully, there are plenty of great tools and resources out there that will make business ownership more approachable.
Need help with website design, digital marketing, or branding? HighClick Media can help! Contact us at 252-814-2150 today and see how we can help elevate your brand!
While you’re at it, check out this article from our friends at FirstSite Guide to discover more than 50 online business ideas that you can start right now!
Guest blogger Alyssa Strickland created millennial-parents.com for all the new parents on the block. Alyssa believes the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child, but she also thinks it takes a village to raise a parent! Millennial-Parents is that village. Today’s parents can be more connected than ever and she hopes her site will enrich those connections. On Millennial-Parents, she shares tips and advice she learns through experience and from other young parents in three key areas – Education, Relationships, and Community.