Picture it: You’ve been brainstorming and tossing around ideas for a new business, and you finally decide on your niche and business model. Congratulations! That is a huge first step in starting your own company. So, now what? Where do you go from here? If you have a brilliant idea for a new business but don’t know how to get the ball rolling, check out this list of tips to help you make your dream a reality.
Step 1: Secure Funding
Funding your business is probably the biggest factor determining whether or not you pursue your idea or put it away and never think about it again. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have several thousand dollars just lying around to put into a new venture, and that’s ok. Fortunately, companies like Lendio for business loans can give you the financing you need to get your business up and running. They offer various types of loans, so you’ll be sure to find the one that best works for your unique business. Once you secure a loan that fits your needs, you can confidently approach your new venture.
Step 2: Scope Out a Location
Now that you’re assured funding for your new venture, it’s time to stake out premises. When choosing a location, you’ll want to be in an area that caters to your customer base. For example, if you’re opening up a knitting shop, perhaps an area with a high population of older ladies would be a better choice than a college town. Also, consider a high-traffic area to get as many new faces in the door as possible; if you’re tucked away in an obscure part of town, you probably won’t be getting much foot traffic from passers-by.
Step 3: Choose a Name and Register Your Business
When choosing your business name, make sure it’s uncomplicated, catchy, and tells the customer a little about what they should expect from your business. There’s nothing that’ll turn off customers than walking into a shop thinking it’s one thing but then discovering its products are totally different than what they imagined.
After selecting your name, you’ll have to go through the proper procedures to register your business with the state. You’ll receive an employer identification number (EIN) and paperwork stating that you have a legal business and are prepared to pay the required taxes.
Step 4: Outfit Your Business
Now that you have your funding and legal matters, you can work on preparing and stocking your shop. Come up with a design scheme–colors, furniture, shelving, as well as helpful technology–and start putting it all together. Next, seek out a reputable supplier to order stock from or create it yourself if you’re featuring your own handmade articles.
Another essential part of outfitting your business is finding a team to help you run it. Employees are your greatest asset, so choose them wisely. Be sure to encourage and reward tour team members whenever you can; after all, happy employees always make happy (and repeat) customers.
Step 5: Advertise and Interact
Now that you have your business in place, it’s time to get yourself out there. A fantastic and free way to advertise your wares is through social media. Create a business page and correspond with the community; post sales and specials and touch base with your customers several times a week. You’ll be able to get immediate feedback from your customers and reach those people more traditional advertising may miss. Interacting with your client base adds an element of humanity to your business; your customers will see the person behind the storefront, and in turn, they’ll be more likely to trust you, and trust means repeat business.
Starting a new business from the ground up is definitely intimidating but not impossible. Create a plan using the suggestions above and follow it step by step. It’s not an overnight process, but with hard work and determination, it is possible to start a successful business of your own.