Starting your own business can be scary and intimidating, but having your own business can also give you the freedom to do what you want, when you want, with who you want. It’s up to you! But where do you start? What if you don’t know anything about business? How do you even begin? Don’t worry—we have some simple tips that will help get your small business started on the right track!
Find a problem
Before you decide on what kind of company you want to form, identify some problems in your industry or niche that you could provide an alternative solution for. You could choose an existing product and see how you can improve upon it, or create something new and innovative. If there is demand for your solution, then now is as good a time as any to do something about it! If not, try brainstorming some other ways to reach potential customers with your service or product.
Look at your skillset
Looking at your skillset is probably one of the most important steps, as it will help you decide which industry or niche would be a good fit for you. First, take a look at your personality type. Are you more suited to managing employees and being hands-on with day-to-day operations, or do you like working solo and innovating new ideas? Then, consider your education and experience.
Set your goal
First, set your goal. It can be whatever you want like I want to retire in one year or I want my new product line to become number one in its market category. Your goals will help determine what type of strategy you’ll use for your marketing. (Read more on setting SMART goals here.) A lot of businesses fail because they don’t properly evaluate how much time and money they need to achieve their big-picture vision; make sure that doesn’t happen to you by defining small wins along your path to success.
Start small and build-up
No matter what kind of idea you have, there are certain ingredients you’ll need to get off the ground. The trick is making sure that those first few steps are small and manageable. For example, if you want to open up your own consulting firm, it’s going to take some time—but starting with a minimum viable product (MVP) can help validate your idea.
Network with others in the industry
Starting a new company is lonely. It’s exciting, but it can also be isolating. Get out there and talk with people in your industry, either at conferences or by looking for groups and associations on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. These are great places to network with others working in similar industries—and getting started can be easier when you’re part of a community that understands your challenges.
Marketing is everything
You can have an amazing idea for a company, but if no one knows about it, you’re not going to be able to attract customers. When you’re looking for funding or looking for co-founders, you need a marketing plan that demonstrates how you will attract customers and grow your revenue. Even if you think of yourself as an engineer or techie person more than anything else, remember that even tech companies need marketing.