13 Jan Small Business Boot Camp: Getting Started
Raise your hand if you want to start a small business! If you’re in public please put your hand down, people are staring. Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding endeavours you can undertake. It can also be a daunting and exhausting experience. This is normal. But if you have the drive and a goal, these setbacks shouldn’t stop you from proceeding with your business ideas.
Here are some tips about how to get started, from our experience as an independent company.
Make Sure You Love Your Idea
Although the initial idea can be spontaneous, it might be a good idea to not to jump right into planning the concrete stuff until you’ve determined whether starting a business is right for you. Take some time to consider the nitty-gritty things needed to create a business: expenses, location, staff, insurance, etc. If you thoroughly understand how all of these things will work while still falling head-over-heels for your original idea – and know you’re still going to adore it for years to come – then by golly, it’s time to get the ball rolling!
Know Your Market
Being successful has a lot to do with your environment. Studying your area’s demographics is important. You don’t have to appeal to everyone because that’s basically impossible, but making sure you can reach your target audience is paramount. Once you know who your market is, try to think the way they do. Reach out to them in person and on social media. Let them know about your progress and what you’ll be offering.
Regardless of their initial feedback, don’t lose sight of your own goals! Adapt your plan to make both work and allow your business to be viable. Sometimes offering certain complimentary products and services will allow you to maintain the things you want to do in business.
Don’t Partner With Someone for the Wrong Reasons
Although it can be hard to have liftoff on your own, starting a business with the wrong person just for the sake of having an ally can backfire. When looking for a partner, make sure you share goals, a common business approach, and how to split your earnings and assets. Working with someone you like, who brings different skills to the table, and who shares your enthusiasm is pretty sweet too.
You might also consider partnering with another business to get discounts and connect with a new customer base. The goal is to benefit both parties involved.
Look into Funding and Professional Advice
Let’s be real, owning a company is pricey from the get-go, even before you open your doors. Check out business grants because they are everywhere (and look at government websites and speak to financial consultants to see if you’re eligible for them). You might also be able to receive help from family and friends, depending on the situation. Seeking out investors is where it’s really at, though. This can be a long, tough process as it goes both ways: you want good investors; investors want good companies to contribute to. Be professional, passionate, and persistent.
Getting an accountant is also an asset. While you focus on other things, accountants can manage your business’ finances and steer it clear of trouble. Our advice is to find a local, reputable accountant who is experienced in your field.
Get the Right Insurance
It’s mandatory to be insured, especially when staff, customers, or cars are involved. Oh, it’s going to be expensive, but just imagine how terrible it would be to go without it and encounter a disaster? Without insurance, things will fall apart quickly.
Consider partnering with an insurance broker. Insurance brokers work with many different types of businesses and can help you get a running start by connecting you with people/businesses that can help accelerate your success.
Stay the Course
Persistence gets tossed in a lot, particularly as this last, kicker piece of advice (we apologize, but it’s for your own good). You could know the ins and outs of starting a business but if you don’t maintain the drive or desire you started out with to keep things going, your company will fall apart. So keep your chin up through the tough times to ensure you come out smiling on the other side. It is the occasionally painful lessons that will make you a better business owner. and more importantly a better leader.
(Read Part 2 of Small Business Boot Camp now)