There is not much else like the thrill of launching a new business venture. With increasing job instability and desire for greater work/life balance, small business ownership has become increasingly appealing to millions of Americans.
However, when contemplating a new business, several considerations must be investigated for a business to start on a firm legal and financial foundation. While this article cannot replace sound legal or financial advice, it can alert entrepreneurs to important steps necessary to successfully start a new business.
What will the company do?
Determining a business niche is critical in today's cluttered marketplace. Small business owners need to identify exactly who they anticipate will use their products or services. Without a clear understanding of their target market, it will be difficult to focus advertising or marketing campaigns to draw in the ideal clients or customers.
According to Forbes, potential entrepreneurs should outline a problem their customers have and the solution their business provides. Does a city lack quality ethnic cuisine? Are there few places parents with children can visit? Are local coffee shops filled beyond capacity during rush hours? Where can people buy unique and handcrafted gifts? Viewing a business as a solution to a problem is a powerful mindset for small business owners.
Legal and Financial Rules and Regulations
Few small business owners begin because they are experts in business regulations, taxes, and other legal issues. However, when entrepreneurs fail to fully anticipate these legal requirements, their business becomes vulnerable. Those contemplating a new business should thoroughly research the laws and regulations relevant to small business ownership in their local municipality and state. Small business owners should also be aware of federal rules and regulations as well as expectations for small business taxes. The IRS provides detailed information about federal small business taxes on their website. It is foolish to wait until the business is established to discover the accounting system will not be adequate to complete relevant tax schedules. Developing a data management plan at the onset will avoid more serious issues later.
Where will the company do business?
For some businesses, this question is more easily answered than for others. However, with the explosion of e-commerce, many entrepreneurs are skipping physical locations in lieu of an entirely online presence. Home-based businesses afford owners greater schedule flexibility and minimal startup costs – a quality website and hosting are the major upfront investments.
If a new venture will occupy a retail space, location is key. Potential buyers should thoroughly research vehicle traffic, parking, and peaks times for customer traffic. Also considering nearby businesses and how they may influence a new shop will help entrepreneurs make smart decisions.
Develop a Digital Marketing Plan
All businesses need and are expected by customers, to have an active online presence. With a clear framework of how to execute a digital marketing plan, small businesses can reach potential customers in powerful ways. Entrepreneurs should identify what their initial online presence for their business will entail and how they will grow their following. Will social media or search engine ads draw traffic? Will the website feature a blog? The opportunities are endless, as are the number of successful techniques. Business owners that are overwhelmed by the idea of developing and executing a marketing plan should know there are countless ways in which to hire out such work.
Have a Support System
Without a strong support system, being an entrepreneur, especially a home-based one, can be a lonely lifestyle. Small business owners should develop a strong online and offline support system of other entrepreneurs, family, and friends to support them during a very busy and often stressful time.
Owning a business can be a liberating and powerful way of managing a lifestyle or just steady income. By carefully attending to the issues discussed above, entrepreneurs can be better setup for long-term success.