Owning your own small business can be a richly rewarding experience. However, over a half million people a summer introduce new small business in the UK and around 51% of them do not make it into the second year. Success on the small business level takes planning, preparation and commitment. If you are considering opening your own business, here are the finest things to consider.
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Your Idea: What is that makes your idea of a product or service differently from anyone else? Is it unique and improves business? How serious is your competition? Do you do it better than anyone else? Is your idea built for sustainability? It is crucial to take a close hard look at exactly what you’re purposing to put in so much time and hard earned resources.
Build A Business Plan: Even if you do not have to approach a bank for financing to start your venture, a written business plan is essential for success. It allows you to walk through the steps of growing your business on paper before you put it into practice. Most new small business does not break even until 12 to 18 months after they’ve opened their doors. Less than 80% of new small businesses generate any profit whatsoever in their first year. How do you make it through that time frame without incoming revenue and still create your product, pay for a staff and feed your family? You wouldn’t build a house without accurate building plans, the same should go for your small business.
Do The Math: Run the numbers - over and over. You should be knowing exactly how much income you need to keep your company running and how you will make it. If you realize that you won’t begin to generate any sales until six months into the life of the business, which, in fact, needs to be figured into the start-up investment costs of your company, as well. Be tough with the numbers. While it’s fun to look at the best case scenario, a prudent policy would be to aim for less than ideal conditions so that you are protected and give your company time to find its feet.
Location, Location, Location: Think carefully about where your business will be based and if its location will affect your success. If you are selling a product from a retail store and your site is remote with no foot traffic, sales will certainly be negatively impacted. You will either have to address the problem through increased marketing costs or find another location. However, with the advent of so much commerce being done online, various service based companies can be based somewhere more accessible to the owner’s budget (like a home based business) without a negative impact on the business.
Marketing: How you will systematically let others know about your business. Newspaper ads cost real money, and direct mail campaigns cost even more. There is no doubt that you will need a website and that your outreach should include all types of social media. If you’re not comfortable with communicating through these new forums, find someone in your team who is knowledgeable and actively work with them on getting your message out into the community. Effective social media campaigns can reap your company substantial rewards with minimal financial investment. The internet has become the leading equalizer and should be used to its full advantage by all small businesses.
More Marketing: While website and social media are essential tools for any small business, word of mouth and direct contact with customers will go a long way to build your brand. Carefully plan sales strategies to reach your potential customer base, know before you open your doors - how many people you need to reach and how you will do that.
Gut Check: After you have actually accessed the various components of your plan, do you still think it’s a powerful and a practical idea? Are you willing to sacrifice things such as time, money and sleep to get it off the ground? If so, then you are ready to begin the necessary legal steps to establish your company.
A small business is not for the faint of heart, and many have succeeded solely on their owners will and determination. Hopefully, you will find tremendous success with your well-thought out new small business.
About the Author-
Candace Allen writes for FranchiseExpo.com and offers news and information on the top franchises and business opportunities across the country.