Starting a business is no easy feat, but if you do it right, it’ll surely pay off in the long run.
Roughly half of all businesses fail in the first year, making the early days the most critical. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure your lift-off goes well.
Let’s talk about some tips for starting your own business.
Starting Your Own Business: Paper Work
Let’s get everyone’s favorite part out of the way and talk about paperwork. Sure, it’s not the most glamourous part of business ownership, but it needs to happen. Here’s what you need to have ready before you apply for a business license and employer ID with your state.
Choose A Business Type
What kind of business are you going to start? The most common examples would be:
- Sole Proprietorship: You own the business and are liable for all of its debts, profits, and obligations.
- Partnership: You and somebody else (or a number of people) own equal stock and liability of the company.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): You (and other members, if applicable) own the company but only have limited liabilities in the event of a lawsuit or other legal/financial troubles. (Only applicable for certain businesses)
- Corporation: Publicly traded company. Anybody can invest and own equity in the company, and a board of directors will be appointed at the top along with a chief executive.
All of these types have their benefits and risks. A sole proprietorship is the most common type of business for small businesses being started, but it varies depending on the circumstances.
Name Your Business
Before you can file the paperwork, you will have to give your business a name. No matter what industry you’re in, naming your business is a tough and important decision, so do your research, think it over, and make a decision.
Once you have a business plan written, your business name, and the type of business you’re pursuing, you can submit your paperwork to the state in which you’ll be operating.
Budgeting is the number one thing for any startup. If you don’t have a budget, and your initial revenue gets delayed, then your business is dead before it even gets started.
While you can’t get around the need for expenses at the beginning, you can increase the amount of money you have before any starts flowing. Here’s how.
How are you funding the business? Are you using some money you have saved up in hopes of generating revenue to continue funding it, or will you need additional funding beforehand?
If you require more capital upfront, there are a few ways you can get started.
Whether it’s crowdfunding, private investment firms, or you’re listing on the stock market, investments can be a great way to get cash upfront. However, investors will be looking for a return.
Not only does that mean you’ll have to pay them back in proportion to the growth of your company (or whatever arrangement is made), but you will also be relinquishing some amount of control over the company.
If an investor does not like something you’re doing, they will have the option to pull out their money at any time, and you will need to repay them in a fair amount. They will also be holding equity, giving them some amount of control over what happens. Every arrangement with a private investor will be different, so be sure to go over all the details.
Loans are a very popular way to get cash upfront. The biggest benefit is that they are predictable, and you can make payments over a longer period of time.
The biggest downside is getting a loan, as they can be difficult to secure. You may have to shop around before you find the right bank or company to offer you one, and interest rates will vary. This also puts you in debt right off the bat, but that can actually be a good thing, assuming you’re making the right decisions with that money.
You can’t grow a business without marketing. It’s as simple as that. Starting a business is expensive, so if you’re short on cash, there are some inexpensive, and even free, digital marketing tools you can use to get started.
The first thing you should do is get on social media. Facebook and TikTok alone have unparalleled reaches. You can hand out business cards all you want, but it will never compare to platforms that have literally half of the world’s population.
Yes, advertising on these platforms costs money, but interacting with the public doesn’t, and most consumers view this as more authentic, making them more likely to buy from your business, and even remain loyal to it!
Posting statuses, visual content, liking other people’s content, and commenting on viral posts can give you a lot of traffic, and the best part is that it’s free!
While these do cost money, they can be pretty affordable. PPC ads are very popular for people just starting out, as you only pay for the number of interactions your advertisements get. Don’t waste your money by putting out a bad advertisement, though. Make sure it’s appealing, professional, and something you would click on if you saw it.
Search engine optimization, SEO, is the flavor of the year for a reason. This is the process of optimizing your content for search engines like Google to put you at the top. There are a lot of factors that their algorithms use, like keywords, length of articles, interactions, and more.
Not only is this a great way to drive organic traffic, which has a much higher success rate than advertisements, but if you learn how to do it yourself, it’s free.
Build Your Business Today!
Starting your own business is tricky. There are a lot of moving parts, never enough money, and it has to get its feet off the ground to survive.
To keep your business growing, follow us so you can stay up to date on the latest business news that will keep you ahead of the competition!