Having you own business is what most people wish for at some point in their lives. It does sound a lot easier to do than it really is but with our guide you would at least know where to start!
[Image Source: University of Salford Press Office]
1. Choose an idea you love
The whole point of having your own business is to love it and enjoy working for yourself. So the idea matters the most! Pick something you know you would love and write down your vision – what your company’s main objectives will be and what the product/service is.
2. Know your audience!
Research is boring but if you want to succeed there is no way of skipping this step. You need to know what kind of people would like your product or service, their demographics and interests. Put yourself in the shoes of those people and play from there onwards.
3. Write a business plan
If you get scared by business plans, start with just a strategy – what you want to achieve in the end, what your business is actually about, how you are going to finance it, etc. Write it all down and adjust it according to changes.
4. Outline the goals
This is one of the most important points out of the whole list. You need to know what you want to get out of your business. And do not say money! Financial aspect is no doubt important but if you only want to do it for money, you aren’t going to succeed. Think of other things – maybe you want to help others or improve your reputation? Outline the goals and the rest will be easier.
5. Launch your business!
Don’t wait for the IT professionals to make a shiny new website, just go with the flow and start off with friends and family, then ask them to share it with their friends and this way you not only start to earn money straight away but can also test your audience before you even put the money in.
6. Engage with your audience
People will buy your product if they can associate with it, thus you need to put a face on it or create a brand. You need to tell people not only what the product is, but also what it can do and how their lives will be better with it. Use social media to share your content, talk to your customers and respond to any of their questions!
7. Use social media to market your business
Nothing can happen without social media involvement and so goes to your business. Make a clear and active presence on relevant social media sites and engage in conversations with your customers.
8. Create a website
Even if your business works quite well through word-of-mouth and social media, a website is a much better way of presenting your product to potential customers. You can start small and use website-building site like WordPress, Weebly or any similar ones where you can create your own website for just a small fee without the help of IT people.
9. Financial aspect
Yes-yes, finance is the hardest part, we know! But important nonetheless! Sort out your finances – in order to make profit you need more money coming in than out. You can work from the top back down: decide on how much you can realistically get in a year and then calculate how many products you need to sell in order to get there. Do not forget to include all other expenses, such as paid social media adverts, etc.
10. Improve and evolve
In a year, even in a few months, your business will look completely different from what you’ve started with and it is normal! Keep evolving, adjust certain things according to customers preference, see what works and what doesn’t and do not listen to people who don’t trust in you!
[Cover Image Source: Lars Plougmann]