Things to Know Before Starting a Small Business
Starting a small business can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. This opportunity can provide the freedom and control you desire while giving you self-satisfaction. However, it can also be a stressful journey.
If you’re thinking about starting a small business, learn from the mistakes of the people who chose this path before you. Here are some essential things to know before starting a small business.
Understand the Market
So you’ve found a business idea that you love. You have dreams of success and visions of being the next big thing. You’ve seen other people achieve their goals doing the same thing.
Stop and take some time to conduct some research to explore the opportunity. Look beyond anecdotal evidence, and do some primary research to understand the costs involved, the competition, and whether or not there’s sufficient demand for your product. Identify your target audience and send out surveys to validate your idea.
In marketing, there’s a tool called a SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Complete this exercise before you launch your business.
Keep the “Small” in Small Business
A common mistake when starting a business is starting too big. The larger your business, the more it will cost to run. It’s better to start small and scale up as you become established and get a strong customer base.
For example, if you want to start running Jeep tours, it would be better to start with four jeeps and guides rather than eight jeeps and guides. When your tours start to get booked up regularly, you could add two more jeeps and guides. This approach helps you maintain growth and pay for your resources.
Put the Right Tools in Place
Having the right tools in place is a necessity. While there are many free platforms and software options for small businesses, you need to know when to save and when to splurge.
For example, if you’ll be sending a lot of documents, you should check eFax for an online faxing tool. If your main revenue driver is social media leading to your online store, it’s worth paying for a scheduling app like Buffer. However, if you don’t have an email list built out yet, it’s worth saving by using a limited free version until you need something more robust.
Never Underestimate the Power of Support
Start building a support network from before day one. Consider enlisting the services of a mentor or coach to help guide your vision to reality. You can ask friends in the industry to act as your advisory panel, ask your family to help you with scheduling as you get going, and so on. Know the importance of asking for help.
Create Both Business and Personal Plans
One of the challenges of starting a small business is that the lines between your work and personal life often get blurred. Creating a business plan is essential, but it’s also important to craft a plan for your individual existence. How long can you work without a steady income? Could your credit score impact your opportunities for financing? How will you navigate life at home?
Keep these critical considerations in mind before you start your small business. Be methodical and patient to ensure your new business stands the test of time.