Tips for Starting a Business
It seems that everyone at some time has thought about starting a business and becoming their own boss. It is easy to see the attractiveness behind beginning a business. You are able to say sayonara to your clueless boss that somehow has lucked into a management position. You are no longer depending on someone else financially for your wages. Becoming an entrepreneur can eventually lead to financial independence, but in the beginning, it can put a serious strain on your life.
There are ways to make the transition easier from being an employee to possibly an employer. Do not head into this life change without thinking things through entirely. A few bad decisions early on could lead your business to closing their doors after just a few months. How much would it kill your pride to go back to your old boss and grovel for your job back? Follow these tips below to ensure that will never happen.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is basically a map for where you want your business to eventually lead to. It will include your goals and how you plan to achieve them. The amount of new business owners that have not even taken the time to create a business plan is astounding. Don’t head into all of this blind.
Gone are the days where a business plan has to be 40 pages long. Plus, everything that you write down is to be used as a guide. It is not setting everything in stone. Most of the time you will be fine with a plan being five pages long or so. If you are after a business loan from a reputable bank, they may ask to see a more detailed formal business plan than this though. They want to make sure their loan can be covered if the business happens to fail. But if you have a strong business plan in place, then this will ensure a better chance for your business being a success.
Find a Qualified Mentor
Dr. Avi Weisfogel, a New Jersey based dentist, opened up a successful dental practice right out of dental school. For 15 years, his practice was one of the pillars of the community. He won awards for being the best dentist in the area for several years in a row. But when he found a new passion, helping those that suffer from sleep disorders, it was a brand new ballgame.
Weisfogel left his dental practice in the rearview mirror to focus on creating oral appliances to assist those who suffered from sleep apnea. He also was educating other medical professionals on how they could include a sleep clinic in their business as well. However, his new business did not start becoming profitable over night. It took a couple years and spending a few millions of dollars before he was able to fully feel comfortable in the success of the business.
Weisfogel was turning to others for advice when beginning his sleep clinic. He was listening to everyone that felt they had some wisdom to impart. But after some time, he realized that the only people he should really be listening to were the ones that had already achieved the success that he wanted. A suitable mentor that had established themselves just like he wanted for himself. In this world, everyone has advice to offer, whether we want it or not. The key is to tune out the worthless from the important.
Sales and Marketing Matters
Expecting to open your doors on the first day of business and having a line outside around the block is unrealistic. You may have the best product available. Your new product could make everyone live longer and become better looking instantly, but it won’t matter if you have not done the proper advertising needed. For new companies, they might spend half of their funds on strictly advertising. However, you have to figure out how much you are willing to spend to bring in new customers and still hopefully be profitable. Is it worth spending $25,000 on marketing if it only brings in $20,000 worth of business? Choose carefully on the type of advertising your business needs. Does print advertising pay off as well as television commercials? Are radio ads more valuable to your business than television? These are all things to consider.
The majority of all small businesses fail during their first five years. That is not an easy thing to hear. But they fail not because of the product or service, but from their lack of sales. Sometimes hiring an experienced salesperson is the best thing you can do for your business. Still, how do you find the right person that will value your business as highly as you do? Start off by doing your homework. Start recognizing what qualities you like in a salesperson when you encounter them while shopping. Maybe there is a chance that you will actually run into someone that perfectly fits your needs. There is no harm in offering a job to someone that you are impressed with. As to not attract too much attention, just something as simple as passing them your card and asking them to contact you could easily be accomplished without raising eyebrows.
Keep Costs Low
When beginning a new business, every single dollar matters. You might want to show everyone that you are a professional business man by purchasing expensive new equipment, but this is not really needed. If you buy slightly used equipment for half the price, nobody will know this except you. Plus, any work that you can do without hiring someone else will save you money. Why hire someone to paint your new store or offices when you can do it yourself? Why hire a moving company when you can get your buddies to help you for the price of a nice dinner? There are so many things that you will be forced to spend your money, such as legal fees that can’t be avoided, so save every dollar when you can.