Let’s face it, nobody wants to work for someone for 40+ years only to retire with enough money to afford your healthcare plan and basic needs. Starting a business is and should be the endgame for every individual wishing to achieve financial independence and early retirement. But starting a business can be a daunting process. The legal forms and permits alone can be enough to deter an aspiring entrepreneur from taking that first step. Here are six simple but effective tips to start your first business in no time:
Validate Your Business Idea/Model
If you’re starting a very niche business, such as a cat modeling agency or a Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine restaurant, it is especially important to confirm that you have a big enough market to service. You don’t want to place a large inventory order with your overseas manufacturer or start hiring employees without knowing if someone actually wants to buy your product/service. Perhaps the easiest way to get outside feedback is through social media. Start posting about your business idea and then gather and analyze the feedback.
Zero in on a Business
Deciding what specific business to start can be the trickiest part of entrepreneurship. With dozens of business ideas that you can find online, you might be too reluctant to pull the trigger on any one of these ideas out of fear that you might have been better off picking a different business idea if the first one you picked doesn’t pan out. As a basic rule in business or any professional pursuit, stick with what you know and what you love doing. For instance, if your background is in finances or banking services, you can start a lending business. Using loan management software can bootstrap your lending business in a short amount of time.
Figure Out the Financial Aspect of Running a Business
Finances are a big part of starting and running a business. Without a clear-cut financial plan that covers how much you need, where you’re getting the funds from, what your expected burn rate is, and what interest rates are fair when considering financing options, you put yourself at risk of running out of operating capital or not getting the funds you need in the first place. It can also lead to unsustainably high monthly loan payments or giving away a good chunk of your business before you even get a chance to grow it.
Figure out the Legal Aspect of Starting a Business
First things first, pick a name. It might sound like something you’d be able to do in under a day, but picking a name is actually tricky. In fact, some businesses have had to pay someone else to pick or come up with a name for them. Take the time to draft a list of potential winners and then start narrowing it down to one. Once you’ve got a business name, you’ll need to register it with the SBA, or small business administration. This step officializes your business and will protect your brand from copycats and knock-offs. You can find the step-by-step process of how to register your business on SBA’s website.
Start Bringing Attention Towards Your Brand
Now that you have a legitimate business up and running, you can start marketing it. Up until now, you’ve only probably told your family members, close friends, and coworkers about your brand. And while that might yield a couple of sales, it’s not enough to grow your burgeoning enterprise. Start your marketing campaign on social media. Make an official page on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other networking sites. Stir up talk about your brand by following people, starting polls and surveys, hosting contests and events, and creating engaging content.
Expand Your Reach
Expanding your reach means bringing in your first batch of employees, leasing office or warehouse space, and exploring new marketing channels. Even the best business ideas that were born out of cramped garages, such as Microsoft and Apple, eventually had to expand to bigger facilities. To ensure a smooth transition, have an expansion plan ready, which covers costs, target locations, hiring processes, new assets and tools you’ll need etcetera.
Starting a business is truly an exciting time in a person’s life. It’s a great way to slowly gain more control over your life, be able to help more people and leave a positive impact and work on something that genuinely interests you.