Tips on turning your day dream into a reality.
We live in a world filled of entrepreneurs at heart. Entrepreneurship brings a level of freedom unlike any other. With so many ideas floating around in your mind, what steps should you take to get that dream off the ground?
Take some time to do some reflection and evaluation behind the ‘Why’ of your business. Are you wanting to stay at home with your kids? Unlock some creative expression? Have an additional source of income? By setting your expectations from the get-go, this will help you set realistic goals for your business.
2. Research, Research, and more research
Is your business unique to your area? Are there any other business like yours around? Analyze the industry and gauge who would be your competition and how much revenue you would need to get off the ground.
3. Study marketing
There are some amazing resources online to help you navigate the different platforms you may use in your business. Having multiple avenues to get clients will help your business receive recognition and credibility
4. Make it legal
Name your business (make sure it is not already taken or under trademark), Register your business name. Get the proper licenses and permits needed and check your insurance needs. My business as well as many others that I personally know run as Limited Liability Companies LLC’s receive the tax benefits of a partnership, but enjoy the liability protection of a corporation. I encourage you do to further research (back to step 2) on which type of company your business should become. You can check out your state’s website to register and fill out the paperwork required.
This is the part that many people jump right into without the prep--work. Without the prep-work you will have a hard time getting off the ground. Now is time to put your ideas, research, and dreams into action.
6. Write a business plan
Define your business strategy. The Who, What, Where, When and most importantly, the Why behind your business. Set realistic and measurable goals for your business.
7. Get Financed and Keep Track of Finances
Most small business begin with private financing, credit cards, personal loans, help from family, etc. While I am not an advocate for starting your business in debt, in some cases it is necessary to begin (i.e, store inventory). At the very least, setting up a bank account separated for strictly business purposes is VERY wise. To begin keeping track of your finances, start a spreadsheet with your expenses and income. Once you start to get a steady flow of income, it is wise to reach out to an accountant or tax professional for assistance. Keep ALL of your receipts and use an app such as Mile IQ to keep track of your mileage if you use your vehicle for business.
There are times when investments are necessary HOWEVER, be wise in your investments. Many businesses fail due to mismanaged money.
8. Get a logo and a website
Do NOT overlook this step! It is SO important to begin your new business on the right foot. Take a little time and money and invest in professional logos and web design for your new brand. We have all seen new businesses whose websites are hosted on Weebly or Wordpress… Purchase your domain… they are not as expensive as you imagine. Reach out to a professional (not ETSY) for a custom, one-of-a-kind logo that will help your business begin with a bang.
9. Set up shop
If you are a business needing a space this is your chance to find your new home. Find a location, negotiate leases, do research on areas that would be a good fit for your business.
10. Create Systems
Review contracts and purchase templates or meet with a lawyer to set up legal systems if needed. If you are sending invoices to customers, consider enrolling in a professional and user friendly management system (such as Dubsado) to handle your invoices and send out/ sign electronic contracts.
11. Work More and Experience Trial and Error
Be strong! Keep learning what you can about your industry. Test and improve. Experience trial and error. Expect mistakes and stay open-minded! Consider reaching out to someone more seasoned in entrepreneurship for advice or wise-council. Adapt. Go above and beyond for your clients and excel in customer service! Do everything you can to be there for your clients!