Starting a business is exciting, but it can also be scary too. There is so much unknown that comes with starting a business, and the learning curve is often huge. Though starting a business always involves some risk, it does not necessarily have to be challenging to do. There is no right or wrong way to start a business, but there are many things to consider before you get going.
In this article, we will provide you with our best pointers for starting your own business. Though every entrepreneurial journey will be different, there is some advice that might apply to every situation. If you are feeling stuck and have no idea where to start, consider reaching out to an entrepreneur coach. A great entrepreneur coach can help you to break through your excuses or find clarity in making decisions, to help you propel your business forward.
Our Tips for New Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship is a constant learning curve. No matter where you are in your journey as an entrepreneur, you will always have things to learn. Our tips below are to help empower you to make solid business choices as you bring your business to life. Consider these tips whenever you are faced with making decisions about your business.
Take Your Time
If you are feeling an itch to start a business or have a great idea that you just know will work, it is easy to get excited. But try not to let that excitement propel you into making rash decisions that are not entirely thought through. Most of the time, you will not need to take immediate action on your business plans.
Though taking action is essential, it is equally important that you take the time to research and plan before taking any action in business. You might think you have found the perfect location for your business, but take a breath before you sign that lease. Spend more time researching and make sure it truly is the best decision for your business.
No matter what the decision is, it is almost always a good idea to take a breather before making critical decisions. Ask a business coach, friend, or mentor what they think. At the end of the day, you make the decisions for yourself, but do your best to ensure it is a great one.
Build a Brand
When building your brand, it is essential to do your research. You might think you have the perfect name, but there are a few things you should do before printing your banners and business cards. Make sure you do the work, so you do not run into costly name changes or re-branding down the road.
You will need to make sure that your name is not already in use, or that it is not too similar to another larger company that you’ll be confused with. If you are located in Canada, start with a NUANS search to make sure your name is not already taken. If you are in the US, a search of the National Corporation Directory would be a great idea. Then, make sure your desired website domain is available. You may need to make some tweaks or even go back to the drawing board if your ideal name has already been scooped up.
You are also going to need a great logo for your product or business. So, it is a good idea to hire a professional designer to make the perfect logo tailored to your business. Though worth the money, designers can be costly. So, if hiring a designer doesn’t fit your budget, look to sites such as 99 Designs, where you can still get an excellent logo for a smaller price tag.
Learn About Marketing
Having a great product, service or website will not do you much good if you do not know how to market it to your potential customers. So, you must take the time to learn about marketing your business before you are ready to sell.
Advertising platforms such as Google, Facebook and Instagram can all be used to your advantage. But without knowing how to effectively use them, you might end up spending money on ads with little success. It might be worth your time to invest money into hiring a digital marketing professional. They can help you boost your online presence and ensure the money you put into advertising actually turns into sales.
Many businesses find that community outreach is another great way to market their business. If it fits your brand, consider becoming an active member of your community in order to market through word of mouth and referrals. Be someone that people want to work with.
Be People First
Part of having a successful business is ensuring that your customers have a great experience with your service or product. Your business should always fill a need, and its essential to put people first. From making your checkout process easy and accessible to treating customers with respect. It is vital that you build your brand to be centered around being helpful to your customers or community.
People first goes beyond your direct customers. So, it is crucial to present your business and yourself professionally in all aspects of your life. Be a supporter of your community, or consider having a cause associated with your brand. Do not forget that your people first attitude should include your employees too. Being a pillar of your community and a supporter of those you employ will go a long way in helping you create a successful and meaningful business.
This step is not something that you need to have figured out right from the start, and it does not necessarily have to cost you anything either. Just keep in mind the culture you wish to foster within your business and make decisions based on this. For more information on why being ethical and people first is essential, see our previous post, “Why is Ethical Decision Making Important?”
Make Smart Financial Decisions
Another essential aspect of starting a business is to make sound financial decisions before you get started. In many cases, you might have to take on some debt or overhead to start your business. Owners of gyms, restaurants or even those who simply need office space will need to put out money in order to operate their business.
But how can you lower your risk while still moving forward in business? The answer is to make smart financial decisions by weighing the risks with reward. If you have been working at your business for some time and already have proven results and income, it may make more sense to take on some expenses. But if you have never been in business before and do not fully understand your market, taking on significant expense could be a substantial financial risk.
Unexpected things will always happen in business, and there is never a right or wrong time to get started. But, minimizing your debt and overhead costs will almost always be the right answer. Always look for ways to increase your bottom line, and consider having a stable emergency fund to help you weather any financial storms that may come your way.
Do the Work
This one might sound like common sense, but its likely one of the most important things you need to start your own business. Doing the work means taking real action towards making your business successful. This might mean spending your downtime working for months, and for some, even years. But taking action towards starting your own business is the only way it will ever actually happen.
Sometimes people start businesses slowly over time while others jump headfirst into opening a business. Either way, you need to be taking action and making progress. If your work is client-based, you need to take clients as they come, even if it sometimes means working on a weekend or later in the evening than you would like. If you sell a product, you are going to have to have your product on hand to make a sale. You need to always be taking action forward.
Working long hours or “hustling” does not have to be a long-term thing. In fact, as you succeed, you should see more freedom in your business hours and find a better balance between work life and downtime. But in the short term, you should be willing to get uncomfortable and make forward progress by putting in the work. If you have trouble getting started or keeping the ball rolling, see our previous article, “What Causes Procrastination?”
Hire a Coach
There is so much to learn and do when starting your own business and being an entrepreneur can come with lots of highs and lows too. When you need help navigating your business, boosting your confidence or even balancing work and home life, it can be helpful to enlist the help of a support person. Your support person can be anyone from a trusted friend or family member to a colleague or business coach.
A business coach or life coach can be a great tool to have in your success toolbox. Not only can they offer you sound advice in business, but they can also help you work through limiting beliefs and break through feelings of being “stuck” too. Having a strong support network is essential for anyone. In business, this is even more true.
There will no doubt be failures and successes along your journey as an entrepreneur. It is crucial to have someone to help you amplify your success and help you move past your feelings of self-doubt. The right coach can help you take your business and your success to the next level. For help with finding the right coach for you, see our previous article “How to Find a Good Life Coach.”
The Rules are Yours to Set
One of the best parts of becoming an entrepreneur is that you set the rules. So, if any of these tips do not resonate with you, that is ok! Do not think that just because someone says you should do something a certain way means that you must do it too. We feel that these tips are valuable in helping set you up for success as a new entrepreneur. But, going with your gut and making decisions that feel right to you is crucial too.
The most important thing to do as an entrepreneur is to make decisions that honour who you are. We feel that when you are living as your best self, you will feel and be the most successful. Use these tips as a guide to help keep you in check with making decisions that are in line with who you are and what you value. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly rewarding, you can do it!