Around half of all small businesses fail within their first five years of opening. If you’ve been dreaming of starting your own business, don’t let this statistic scare you. Instead, think about what you can do now to make sure that your business succeeds in the long-run. A lot of what makes a business successful comes down to a strong foundation and start. If you’re interested in becoming a small business owner, keep reading for the best tips.
1. Find Your Niche
Successful small business owners are the ones that find their own niche. You don’t want to open a breakfast cafe if your neighborhood already has four of them. You wouldn’t want to start an online boutique selling products that a more popular store already sells. Instead, you want to find a product or service that is unique and has a high demand. If you want a brick and mortar shop, think about what needs aren’t being met in your location. If you’re opening an online business, find a product or angle that separates your business from others on the internet.
2. Create a Business Plan
Once you know what your business is going to be, you need to create a detailed business plan. First and foremost, this means coming up with the identity of your business. Decide on your business name, what you plan to sell, and your ideal target customer. From there, you can think about the smaller details. Consider how you will produce the items you’re selling and how you plan to sell them. Will you assemble your products on-site and sell them from the storefront? Or, will you buy products from a wholesale company and resell them in an online format?Write down your big and small business goals as well. This could include how much money you want to make or how many customers you want to reach. This will help you keep track of you how well your business is doing compared to your original plans.
3. Register Your Small Business
One of the most essential tips for small business owners is to make your business legal. You want to ensure that your business is properly registered before you sell or advertise anything. Research your state and local government requirements. Many will require you to register your name as an official business. You’ll also want to apply for an employer identification number for tax purposes. At this point, you’ll also decide if you want to run your business as an LLC, partnership, corporation, or nonprofit. If you fail to register your business, you as a person are liable for anything for your business. That means if your business were to fail, debt collectors could come after your personal assets. You want to keep your business and personal life as separate as possible to protect yourself.
4. Get Your Finances in Order
Now that your business if official, you can start to think about the finances. The first thing to think about is how much funding, if any, you’ll need to get your business running. Do you need a small business loan to purchase the storefront or to buy your initial equipment? Or does your business require little to no initial funding? Add up all your necessary costs and see how much money you’ll need. It may take a few months before you start to make money, so be sure to take operating costs into consideration as well. Once you know how much money you need, you can secure the proper financing. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to set up an official business bank account!
5. Use Advertising and Marketing
To be a successful business owner, a lot of your time and effort will go into advertising and marketing. Since you’re a new business, you need to build your customer base from nothing. Start to advertise your business locally. Create a social media presence and invite your friends and family to share your business pages. Hold a ribbon cutting with your local chamber of commerce and invite the local media to feature your business. Once you start to get a good following locally, you can focus on more targeted marketing efforts. This could include a website with SEO marketing or direct mailings to your target customers.
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6. Collect and Listen to Customer Feedback
A business won’t succeed without happy customers. Once you start to get your first customers, you need to collect feedback to ensure that their needs are met. Send out surveys to your customers and see what they liked or disliked about your business. Give them a small inventive, like 10% off, for completing the survey. Then, once you receive feedback, you need to actually listen to it. Don’t be offended if someone leaves a negative review. Instead, consider what they are saying and think about what could have changed their experience.
7. Never Stop Learning
If you’re still wondering how to be a business owner that succeeds, the key is to never stop learning. As a business owner, you should always be on the lookout for great entrepreneur advice. You can’t enter the business world thinking that you know everything you need to know. The market is always evolving, and you need to be willing to evolve your business with it. Be sure to follow fellow business owners online, read business books, and listen to educational podcasts. Make it a goal to learn something new about the business world each week.
Becoming a Small Business Owner Is Possible
After reading this article, you now have all the tips to make becoming a small business owner possible. You want to start your small business by finding your niche, creating a business plan, and registering your business. Then, you can work on getting your finances in order and marketing your business. Finally, make sure you listen to customer feedback and never stop learning in order to grow your business. Looking to stay informed with all the latest business advice? Be sure to bookmark this site and check back often for new content.
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