How to Start Your Own Business
You’ve dreamed of owning your own business, controlling your schedule, being your own boss. But how do you make that dream a reality? You can find a lot of good advice out there, but it can be very overwhelming. There are many steps and many small details to manage, but with patience and planning, you can get started on your dream career. Read our top eight steps, and learn how to start your own business.
1. Clarify Your Idea
Any small business starts with a good idea, but an idea alone is not enough. You need to turn your light bulb moment into a clear plan with plentiful research. Determine who your audience or clientele will be, research your competition, and learn about any potential pain points.
No matter how good your idea is, it won’t succeed in a vacuum. Start your networking now. Learn from the successes and mistakes of the people in your network. Ask for feedback on your idea. Determine who your important supporters will be, and develop relationships with them.
3. Make a Business Plan
As you make connections, write up your business plan. A business plan is a roadmap for your business and includes: a company overview, analysis of your competition, a marketing plan, a management plan describing your business structure and staffing requirements, an operating plan that details daily function, and a financial plan.
4. Official Paperwork
This bureaucratic step might be tedious, but it’s necessary. Establish your business structure (corporation, LLC, etc.), register your business, and get your state and federal Tax IDs. Additionally, you’ll need to manage other legal issues: for example, get insurance and obtain any necessary permits or trademarks.
There are many ways to secure financing when you start your own business, so research them all and determine the best strategy for you. Some of the most common are: bank loans, lines of credit, investors, small business grants, or startup incubators. Another good strategy for partial funding is trading equity or services. For example, you might offer free computer support in exchange for accounting support.
6. Build Your Team
Once you have your finances in order, find your team. A strong team can make or break your business. Ensure those you hire are a good fit by establishing a strong company culture, clearly communicating your goals and vision, and defining each team member’s role clearly. Find people with strengths you lack in order to create a stronger team.
7. Market Your Business
Without clients or customers, you won’t go very far. Review the marketing plan you established earlier and revise it according to any new information. Build your brand, and ensure that people know about your company. Understand your audience, create an attractive and easy to use website, describe your unique selling proposition clearly (USP), use social media wisely, and offer discounts to get people in the door.
Now the real work begins! Growing your business will take time and hard work, but you’ve come this far. Make connections with established companies, expand your offerings, or target a new market. The keys to growth are planning and marketing. If your business plan is solid and details how you will grow your business over time, and if you are making smart use of social media and other marketing tools, you can keep growing!
How to Start Your Own Business with EBI
These early steps can be difficult and intimidating, so an educational foundation can help you generate smarter ideas and write a more successful business plan. Learn more about how EBI’s Business Administration: Concentration in Small Business Management degree can help you make your dream a reality. As you pursue your degree, you can learn more good tips on how to start your own business. Call our Vestal campus at 607-729-8915 to get started.