Starting a new business can be both exciting and scary. There’s a lot to consider! But if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, creating your own business can be a very rewarding adventure. Here are a few things to consider as you begin imagining your future business.
Ask Yourself Why
Why do you want to start a business? Wanting to be your own boss or hoping to make a lot of money isn’t enough – you have to be passionate about the work you’ll be doing. Most startups require a lot of time and energy so make sure it’s something you love doing!
Analyze the Industry
Who are the customers you hope to serve? Instead of thinking in broad categories, try to imagine the specific person you plan to sell to: who they are, what their life is like and how your product or service will fit in. Next, ask yourself who your competitors are. If somebody else is already providing a similar product or service, what makes your new offering different? Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of competitors can help you understand your opportunities and challenges.
Develop a Business Plan
This is where things start to get real! Developing a business plan helps you move from having an idea to actually starting up your business. Define your strategy, tactics and specific activities for execution, including key dates, deadlines, budgets and cash flow. Think about what it will take to run your business and how you plan to market your business. If you know anyone who is already a business owner, ask for their advice on what to prioritize and how to get started.
Most small businesses begin with private financing from credit cards, personal loans or help from family. Dupaco’s business lending department can also provide financing solutions to help you get started.
Make It Legal
Determine the legal structure of your business, then name and register it. Get the proper licensing and permits, and make sure you get a tax ID number (EIN). Now is also the right time to check into insurance needs as well as state and local taxes.
Set Up Shop
If your business isn’t operating strictly online, find a location and negotiate leases. This is where the fun begins! You’re ready to buy inventory and equipment, hire staff (if needed), set prices, build your website and really get started. Once all the pieces are in place, put your marketing plan into action! Think creatively about low-cost ways to draw attention to your new business. Contact your local chamber of commerce, hold a grand opening event, ask your friends to tell their friends and share your story with the world.
Stick With It
As the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Every entrepreneur goes through a trial and error period, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn from things that go wrong, celebrate things that go right and embrace the opportunities that come your way. Be open-minded and creative and most of all, have fun!