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Taking the Entrepreneurial Leap: Be sure, You’re Prepared

Making the decision to start your own business is an exciting and scary juncture. You’re excited, but you’re faced with seemingly endless possibilities and risky options. Regardless of the type, industry, size, and potential of your dream business, every new business has to crawl before it can walk. So get yourself on the road to success by ensuring you’re following all of these best-practices for a young business.

Hear What the Business is Saying to You

Hear What the Business is Saying

And hear what you are saying to the business. When it comes to starting your own new business, simplicity is the key to success. You need to make sure that the purpose you’ve envisioned for your business transitions clearly into your tactical business plan. If you find that new employees, relatives, friends, and potential investors are confused by the purpose and process of your business or if it takes you longer than an elevator pitch amount of time (about thirty to sixty seconds) to explain, then you have a problem and you probably need to simplify.  Stay laser focused on your core plans and competencies, and don’t let the business get bloated with idealistic initiatives.

There are two reasons to start your own business: you have a creative vision you want to bring to life and you think you are meeting a niche that has market potential for your creative vision. You shouldn’t be designing a business around something just because it seems trendy or profitable. If you do, it will show in your pitch. If you find that you and your employees are being spread thin between differing projects or that you frequently have to jump between projects and tasks, it’s time to scale back and reevaluate.

Grow Proportionately

Internet

If you try to grow your business at a rate that is unsustainable for your model, you’re going to end up losing money before you’ve even started earning. Don’t hire new employees with new job descriptions simply because you think they are the kinds of employees every business needs. Only hire as a need within the business arises. Don’t rush to find a huge office space or to design a complex website that is too big for the actual output of your business. Those things will come later, once you can really afford and maintain them.

That said, you need to make sure that you have the basic essentials that are appropriate to your business. You will want to make sure that you have an employee who can successfully handle all of your essential operations. It’s okay to have multi-taskers at the beginning to save money (for example, maybe your marketing person also knows a bit about web design), but take note of these instances of multi-tasking as they will probably be a good indication of future hires you’ll need to make.

You will also want to start out with an idea about the kind of space and representation that will be appropriate for starting off. Will employees be working from home? Do you foresee any need for office space in the future? What office supplies will you need for starting out? What location will be best?

Once you have a good grasp of exactly what it is that your business is all about and how you will function, you need to make sure that your marketing presence is adequate for a young company. Every company needs to have a few basics: a sturdy website (even with limited functionality), representation on appropriate social media and websites that cater to your clients (for example, if you are a baker, you probably want to be on Pinterest as well as on wedding cake directory websites), and the potential for future growth and expansion in those platforms. Eventually, you will probably want to make sure someone is regularly updating your social media accounts and expanding your web presence for best marketing, but at the beginning, just make sure you have an active profile on each platform and a website that is clean, professional, and hosted with a safe company. You will also want to make sure that your site is protected from attacks and that you know how to remove malwareto make sure that you aren’t losing customers due to poor web presence on first contact. This can be done by implementing high quality website security software.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may also want to invest in some good quality local advertising like ad placements in the local paper or on local radio. If you cater to a local market, this will be essential. You will need at least a little bit of customer demand to start out with, so don’t skimp on these steps.

Planning for Growth

Business growth planning

At every stage of your business planning and management, you need to regularly assess and evaluate how well your business is meeting your expectations, how your employees are feeling, and what your growth potential looks like. With a practical outlook and a good amount of preparation, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy young business.

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