Thinking about starting a small business. You’re not alone. These days, it seems like everyone is hoping to become an entrepreneur and come up with “the next big thing”. Who can blame them? When successful, the benefits to owning a startup are obvious: being your own boss, creating something from scratch, bringing value to the people around you and, of course, making some money along the way.
Starting a venture of your own is a bold move. If you’re holding onto your day job, it’s a great way to make money in your spare time and if you play your cards right, it can even replace your current career. Also keep in mind that a very high percentage of startups fail at first. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Or at least, not by nature. You have to make some tough decisions and put in a lot of hours.
The best way to start your small business is to do so with thorough research, a well thought-out plan and passion. Here are some practical tips for helping get your startup off the ground:
1. Take risks and be willing to fail.
Failure doesn’t prevent you from ultimately succeeding. It’s often a crucial step. The best entrepreneurs don’t let the fear of failure prevent them from going for what they believe is a great idea.
2. Choose your niche or industry.
Make sure you’re passionate and have adequate knowledge about your industry. You either need to be extremely passionate about it or have specialised expertise. Having both would be perfect. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. Or at least, not by nature.
3. Get your finances sorted.
Get your finances in order. Budget your money. The more control you have over your personal finances the better off you will be. You’re probably going to need a small business loan or help from investors or venture capitalists.
If you don’t need so much startup money, try investing your own money. Try to keep startup costs as low as possible.
You’re going to take a few financial hits. As they say, you can’t make money without spending money. However try not to go broke. You’ll need to determine exactly what you need to do to support yourself while you pursue your entrepreneurial dream.
4. Get social about marketing.
You can save some money by going social. Social media marketing is free and you can promote your business for a affordable fee. It’s is definitely a powerful tool with great reach.
Get started with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram explore LinkedIn and YouTube. You can also have a look into Pinterest. There are many great platforms where you can advertise your business — explore as many as you can and find the right fit for you.
5. Go solo if possible.
You will have to do many tasks as a small business owner. Only hire additional employees if you can’t keep up with your work.
Be as productive as you can be on your own, and consider hiring freelancers as opposed to full-time staff members in the beginning if needed.
6. Make your time count.
One strategy can give you a much greater chance of success. Effective time management. Cut back on time draining activities. Remember to relax and make time for family and friends as well. Work from an organized to-do list every day and save multitasking for minor items only, focusing your efforts on major projects one at a time.
The phrase “time is money” has never been more significant.
7. Keep networking.
These initial helpers can turn into powerful allies. Make connections and ask for their advice. Keep in touch and build your network before you need it! Quality relationships are the keys to the kingdom.
Entrepreneurs pointed out that a part-time job could be your saving grace – not only would it provide financial relief, it could provide an excellent networking outlet.
8. Never stop being a student.
You learn new things every day. As an entrepreneur, you must always be a student and be willing to take advice, listen to other ideas and learn from those who’ve been there themselves.
9. Be flexible and listen to the market.
Even if you nail down the perfect niche, it won’t necessarily remain the same forever. Markets can be fickle and consumers want to be on the cutting edge.
10. Take care of yourself.
What good is a successful startup if you destroy yourself. Nothing is as precious as health, which is why you shouldn’t sacrifice your well-being for the sake of your entrepreneurship. Losing sleep, eating unhealthily and allowing yourself to become stressed are surefire ways to shorten your life expectancy. By tending to your health, you’ll have the strength to carry out your goals.