The First Steps to Getting Your Business Off the Ground
New small business owners can sometimes feel like they are on a merry-go-round that never stops. If you have a great business idea that you know you can make successful, then don’t let the thought of starting your own company intimidate you. Use your enthusiasm to start your own company and make your dreams come true.
The one thing you should keep in mind about opening your dream business is that it is a significant amount of work. The trick is understanding where to start and knowing what to do first. Before you even put the “open for business” sign on the front door, there is a lot you need to do.
Write a Business Plan
An entrepreneur should never attempt to get a business off the ground without a business plan. Your business plan is your sales pitch to potential investors, your employment brochure to prospective new employees and your personal blueprint to running your company. This plan should include projections of expenses, business insurance (if you haven’t gotten it already, you can find good rates on websites like BusinessInsurance.org), and projected growth and estimated expenses of that growth.
A good business plan also outlines exactly what your company does, the methods you will use to get products to customers, and your sales and marketing approach. Everything you will ever need to know about your business will be in your business plan, and it will become an essential document to running your company.
After you have written your business plan and scouted around for potential locations for your company, it is time to get that first infusion of cash that will get your company off the ground. If you are able to fund your start-up yourself, that is the ideal solution. Your business plan will tell you how much money you will need to get started. If you cannot provide all of the start-up cash you need, then it is time to go out and get financing.
Before you run to the bank and fill out a small business loan application, you may want to consider looking for a partner or an investor. A partner or investor can not only supply you with money to get started, but he can also help you run your business. You may even be able to find a partner that can help you get your first few large clients. A partner is an active investor in your business that will help you get results. A bank is a passive investor that will just sit around and wait for results. It is always better to start off with an active investor.
Before you even open your doors, you need to start getting the word out about your company. Put together information fliers and start handing them out to people that may be interested. Get your family and friends to start talking about your business to the people that they know.
Once you are ready to open your doors, put together a focused marketing plan that will get your information in front of your target audience. You cannot sustain a business without customers, and marketing is how you will drive people to your company.
Getting a business off the ground is hard work. But if you lay a good foundation, then you will give yourself a better shot at success.