Creating your business is a big, bold step, and one that needs careful consideration. Itâ€™s worth looking before you leap, and this means finding out exactly what you need to know before you need to know it. Here are five things worth looking into before you open your doors.
1. Are You Experienced (and Qualified)?
Just because youâ€™ve worked in the business youâ€™re starting doesnâ€™t necessarily mean youâ€™re qualified to start it. And if youâ€™re breaking into a new business youâ€™ve never worked in before, it can be worthwhile doing some proper research, as well as finding a mentor. A mentor can be someone whoâ€™s had their own startup or even just a different set of eyes to bounce ideas off. The important thing is to not go into a startup unprepared and blinded by tunnel vision.
2. Investment and Outlay
Simply put, whereâ€™s the money coming from? Itâ€™s great if youâ€™ve squirreled enough away to kick off independently, but for most businesses, getting off the ground will require outside capital. Donâ€™t just max out your credit cards; seek appropriate financing, like a dedicated small business loan.
If youâ€™re selling a product, how are you warehousing it? Or if youâ€™re offering a service, how are you storing the items that allow you to deliver those services? Storage and warehousing is one of the biggest and most important investments for your business. There are plenty of companies, such as Elbowroom, that can help with storage and self-managed logistics with options like shelving, pallet racking, and storage containers. Shop around to find a solution that suits your startup here.
4. Advertising and Promotion
Youâ€™ll do no business if customers donâ€™t know you exist or what it is you sell. Thankfully, the internet has greatly simplified advertising for small business; advertising is now easier and cheaper to run. In many cases, you can even manage your online advertising yourself, without involving expensive outside agencies. Building a website and creating some social media profiles for your company are the key starting points. As your business grows, you can expand into physical, real-world advertising, with billboards, flyers, and maybe even radio or TV time.
5. Donâ€™t Quit Your Day Jobâ€¦ Yet
Walking into your bossâ€™s office and yelling â€œI quit!â€ might seem like an attractive thing to do. But donâ€™t burn any bridges if you donâ€™t have to! If you can, ease into your startup while maintaining a job that while not your dream will comfortably allow you to pay your bills. Itâ€™s unlikely your startup will start turning a profit immediately, so having another income until it does will make your new business much more likely to succeed. Sure, youâ€™ll be working two jobs for a whileâ€¦ but no one said a startup would be easy.
Itâ€™s a scary new world out there for all startups in their first few months. But itâ€™s not uncharted territory, and itâ€™s not something that should be feared. With a little preparation, risk can be minimized, and your startup will have a greater chance of success.
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