So you want to start your own business but don’t know where to begin. Look no further, because I am here to give you a few things to put on your checklist to create a successful business.
1: Have a strong concept for your business. This is an obvious one, I know, but you’d be surprised how many people want to start a business without having a full concept. Take the time to think about what you want to come from your business, create a mind map of all the little ideas, you having it down on paper will make it easier to create a bigger vision. Also make sure to cover all the : What your business will be and the use for your business, the targeted demographic, the name, location. Once you have this, kick starting it will become a lot easier.
2: Once you have a basic concept you can start to develop that deeper by doing research on the things you will need to start your business. Think about whether you need any licensing or permits, your budget, connections, how you will promote your business, how to start production (if needed). These things take a lot of work and research, but it is all necessary for the job. One you know what you need to do, start making moves you can act on.
3: Most businesses need a permit or some sort of certificate to certify that you can run said business. This is important to maintain your business and avoid any legal problems. It sounds like a long process, when in reality it can be fairly quick if you have all the information to hand. Most licensing and permits can be applied for online now, making the process faster. In some cases (business surrounding food mainly) a visitation from the health department will be required to ensure the location of your business is suitable for what you intend. Once you have passed all requirements you are good to go.
4: Obviously, before you even think about licensing you need to find a location. This can be tedious, especially now the property market is at an all-time high. Thinking of the best suitable location for your business is key. You want to be located somewhere that will profit you the most. For example, if you are thinking of opening a restaurant or food establishment, somewhere with a lot of shopping outlets and tourists is smart, due to the heavy footfall in the area. Once you have found the perfect location, you can go ahead and research properties and retail units in said area to buy or rent out. This is where you have to start taking your budget into consideration.
5: As mentioned above, budgeting is essential. You need to take into consideration how much you will need overall to make your business work. Remember, you’re likely to lose out on income before profiting while your business is gaining regular customers. Write out a budgeting list of all expenses: how much the unit you are renting/buying costs, costs for manufacturing or produce, staff expenses (if needed), furniture and equipment and more. If help is needed money wise, there are a few options available to help you start, you can save up, but this takes determination, discipline and a lot of time. If you are in a hurry to get your business up and running or just terrible at saving, you can investigate taking out a loan.
Taking out a loan is a big deal, so think carefully about this option. You must make sure the amount you take out is ideal for you, many banks work with those opening businesses with special interest rates, allowing you to take out large sums of money, with little interest rates added to payback. There are also options for long term repayments, taking off the pressure to make thousands in the space of a few months. Whilst this sounds amazing, it can be stressful. You must be confident that you’ll be able to repay the agreed amount each month. For this you must also be confident your business will remain successful. Anyone who is helping you take out a loan will also consistently check your credit score, so a good one is essential.
6: If all goes well then you will be ready to start the exciting bit, building the set up and opening the business. At this stage you need to make sure you have everything you need in terms of equipment, staffing and produce. Creating a strong team to support you will make things run much smoother. At this point it would be good to hire a contractor, legal team and maybe even an accountant to help you keep up on all things paperwork, and make sure all legal requirements and standards are being met. Create a team you work well with, and work well with each other. Hiring people who can’t get along will only cause problems in the long run, something you don’t need when attempting to create a successful business. Once all paperwork has passed the check, all staff is onboards and all things legal are in form, you can open your business to the public.
7: Promoting your business and making connections: Having a good publicist team is quite important. You want to create a buzz around your business before it even opens to the public, this is where social media and connections make all the difference. Many new businesses reach out to those with influence on social media and within the community to come along and experience things before it is open to the general public. This is normally called a soft launch. Friends, family and influencers will spread word of your business, creating excitement and curiosity amongst the public. By opening day, you’ll already have a following eager to see what the hype is about. By having these soft launches, you can create new connections with people well respected within the community, which can do wonders for your business.
8: Keeping loyal custom: Ok so you’ve done it. You’ve finally opened your business, now the hardest comes. Keeping people coming back for more. You need to make sure your business is so enticing that people will forget about their regular businesses and keep coming back to yours. The majority of companies do this by coming up with a loyalty scheme, treating those who become regular slightly better than the rest. These days, this consists of a points scheme where so many purchases/visits’ results in free items and money off. Regular special events and sales can also ensure people keep running through the door. But most importantly it comes down to good customer service. Make sure your customers/guests are treated well and they’ll be sure to return.
9: Expanding your business: Once a healthy loyal custom has been secured, and the money is flowing in, it would be a good time to consider expanding your business by opening new locations to reach more people. Start local with a few different locations in your city and surrounding areas and once those establish good income you can even take your business worldwide. It’s also a good idea to take your business online. In the age of technology, everyone is looking for the convenience of online businesses. Obviously, this last step depends on what type of business you have.
10: From here you can now enjoy your success.
Now you have no excuses not to start that business you have been thinking about!
Lauren is a content writer that is creating her own book and aspires to become a published author. While writing content, she also spends her time performing as an actress for different projects presented to her.