Starting any business is a risk. It does not matter if you are offering a product or a service, if there is already demand, or if you’ve owned businesses before. Each brings new challenges. This means new ways to fail, but also new ways to succeed.
With the majority of businesses failing during their first 10 years in operation, knowing the right steps from the beginning helps ensure your business is one of the few that thrives. As you look to begin your business, follow this process:
- Research – If you are thinking about launching a business, you likely already have the idea for what you will sell or offer. Now you need to research who your potential customer will be, what competition exists, and what sets your business apart from others. Also consider your own preparedness for owning a company, and research any areas where your knowledge is lacking.
- Make a Plan – A business plan is your company’s guide from the initial startup to eventual stability. Most business plans provide a strategy for the first 3 to 5 years by laying out your goals and how you intend to achieve them. The plan can be anywhere from a page long to an expansive document that might be required if you’re seeking a loan or investor capital.
- Finances – It does not matter if you will have a storefront filled with machinery and products or a small online business offering a service. Every startup needs some money. Find out how much yours will require, and then determine where the money will come from. Many entrepreneurs use their savings, but you also have options with bank loans, venture capital, crowdfunding, and more.
- Establish Yourself – Register your name, get any necessary licenses, build your website, and, if needed, choose your storefront and hire employees. Your business is now officially open and you can begin selling to customers.
- Market – Even a product or service in high demand needs to be put in front of potential buyers so they know it’s available. Determine which customers you need to reach to expand. Then learn about the methods of marketing available to you – SEO, word of mouth, radio and television advertising, affiliations with others – and establish a marketing budget to begin promotion.
- Continue to Grow – The world of business changes constantly, and some industries are faster than others. This means the work does not stop after launching your business. You need to continue to examine trends, resources, and opportunities. Meanwhile, reflect inward to ensure you don’t miss any unforeseen challenges or new chances.
Unfortunately, even knowing the keys to success is not a guarantee that your business will continue to profit over the years. There are many factors that an entrepreneur must manage in their business. As a leader, your role could entail designing products, providing services, managing people, ongoing marketing, finances, legalities, networking, and still other tasks. The smaller the business, the more all of this will depend on you.
That’s why the entrepreneurs who are most likely to launch a strong business are those that know when and who to ask for help. Few people are knowledgeable in every facet of owning and managing a business. By relying on others to bring experience, whether as employees or consultants, you expand the expertise your business can draw from.
Work with a Professional Partner to Launch Your Business
Deimira Paa Baidoo is a public speaker and mentor for entrepreneurs and has a dedication to guiding leaders through the challenges they face with their businesses. When you have questions about launching your business, his decades of experience as a business developer can help make your venture a success. Contact him today to discuss mentorship opportunities and speaking engagements.