If you’re a natural entrepreneur, you’ve probably considered starting your own business. This is a great way to follow your passion and plan your career on your own terms. The problem most people run into is that they aren’t sure where to start. Starting a business is an aspiration but you need a plan.
In this article, we’ll look at six expert tips to help you start your small business on the right foot and ultimately reach your income and business goals.
1.) Learn From the Competition
The first step to starting a successful business is knowing your audience and your competition. Many people will spend time picking out their competitors and adding them to a long list. You might look at how they talk to customers or position their products so you can determine how to make your brand stand out. Although this is important, it’s not the only thing to focus on.
You can also learn from your competitors. Try to find your top three competitors who are also the most successful in your space. Evaluate their color scheme, design strategy, messaging and website to see what’s working in your market. You should find ways to incorporate these foundations in your own brand in a way that’s unique but still speaks to your target audience.
2.) Figure Out Financing
Many new business owners will leave this until the last step, but it’s important to consider it early on. You need to know how you want to fund your business so you can start planning and saving. There are a few different options for how to finance your business:
- Cover the expenses out of pocket
- Secure a business term loan
- Find investors
Each option has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to fully consider your decision before committing. For example, a term loan might require a specific credit score and some money down to secure. You’d also have to consider how long you want your loan period to be and how often you pay on the note.
3.) Invest in Market Research
The key to starting a successful business is knowing your audience. It’s easy to think you know who your ideal customer is and what they want, but it’s better to know for certain. That’s where market research can help.
Market research is an in-depth look at not only the other businesses in your desired industry but also the customers. You’ll learn if there’s enough of a market for your businesses to be successful, what your customers are looking for and what messages they respond to.
This can be tough to do on your own because it takes considerable time and often requires specific tools. Consider hiring an agency to conduct market research for you and present their findings. They’ll have the expert knowledge and tools to help you decide if your business idea is viable.
4.) Spend Time on Your Website
It’s easy to publish a template website with a few paragraphs of copy and call it a day. However, this is not likely to get you many visitors or convert leads to customers. You need to spend considerable time planning, designing and building your website so it has the functionality and looks your customers want to see.
As you add pages to your website, it’s important to consider how your content will help people find your business. Generating content that brings organic search traffic to your website is one of the easiest (and free) ways to bring leads into your sales funnel.
Think about blog topics, videos and even infographics you can publish on your site to help people understand who you are and what you do.
5.) Ask for Help
So many new entrepreneurs think they can go it alone and end up making major mistakes. If you’ve never started a business before, don’t expect yourself to know how to do it right away. Ask other people in your industry or friend group for help. Reach out to experts to see what worked for them and allow them to help you build your business.
Starting your own business is exciting! Use these five tips to ensure you start your business on the right foot and it’s successful in the long-term.