Deciding to start your own business is a huge decision. And if you’ve done any research, the statistics might scare you. With roughly 50% of small businesses failing within the first four years and only one third making it past 10, you may be thinking it’s better (and safer) to stay at your 9 to 5.
While the journey can be riddled with difficulties, it can also be equally rewarding. And there are many people taking the leap into being their own boss, with small businesses making up over 90% of all business in the United States.
But even if you are sure that business ownership is the right path for you, you may still be a little fuzzy on the details.
It can easily become overwhelming to identify the first steps to getting the ball rolling for your business. And there are a few things you should consider.
Do You Want a Product Based or Serviced Based Company?
One of the key things you need to establish right away is if you want to start a product based company or a service based company. Product based companies sell tangible physical products like clothing or office supplies. Service-based companies sell their skills and offer a service to their customer like a hair stylist or graphic designer. Of course, the only “catch” to a service based company is being able to monetize your skills effectively and they are sometimes difficult to scale up. Determining which industry best fits your personality, skill set, and character strengths is a crucial first step to starting a business.
What Problem Are You Solving?
You have probably heard this before because it is very true! If you see a problem out there in the marketplace that is not being solved properly, or you believe you can “solve it better” that is a great start to establishing an idea for your business! Gaps in the marketplace are basically free money pits, so I would get on that as soon as you can!
If you are not sure what it means to “solve a problem”, I would say look for areas in the marketplace that don’t seem to be servicing a group of people or a niche. Or, if you personally are looking for something that you can’t find in the marketplace, that is a great place to start too. I am a huge fan of the show “Shark Tank”, and more often then not the entrepreneurs say, “I couldn’t find anything like this out there, so I created it myself”!
How Will You Market the Company?
This is critical. Marketing has always been a staple for business with good reason. Getting the word out about your company and what you offer is the only true way to connect with your customers and grow. Nowadays, you can do this relatively inexpensively thanks to social media. In fact, you can grow your business exceptionally well without ever going to “traditional” marketing strategies such as TV commercials, or print advertisements. If you are unsure where to start with that, there are tons of social media marketing experts out there with very valuable information!
What Is Your Networking strategy?
Ever heard that saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? That is becoming more and more true as time goes on. We live in a society that exclaims the important of “self-preservation” but the reality is we can not do everything by ourselves. This is especially true for business, as you start to grow it will become necessary to have a strong network around you. They will be able to help you when you need it, offer their expertise and you can do the same for them. Also, your network will be likely to do business with you, pass on business to you and vice versa. It is an excellent way to get our name out there and to grow your business, and while some may say it’s “too soon” to be thinking about this before the business has launched I think it’s the perfect time!
What Partnerships Will You Form?
At first glance, this might seem like the same thing as networking but it is not. Partnerships are established when two individuals (or companies) come together to achieve a common goal. This “common goal” doesn’t necessarily mean that you are working in the same field or looking for the same “customer”. In fact, I would venture to say it is important to partner with companies that are not in the same space that you operate your business from. Partnering with companies strategically can really help to push your company to the next level and it’s important not to wait! Doing this, in the beginning, will put you years ahead of your competitors.
What do you think are some things to consider when you are first starting out in business? Let us know in the comments below!