By Thomas R. Reich PhD
Are you ready to start a business in 2013? A new venture can be an exciting prospect, but your success depends on 10 simple pieces of advice. Millions of men and women have had a dream to start a business and have done so successfully. Most have one thing in common, planning. The more prepared you are the better your chances of success.
You have heard many statistics about starting a new business; some cover the failure rate and some the success rate. Common sense will tell you the following 10 tips can help you be a new business winner in 2013.
TIP #1: Right up front, make sure what you are about start a business, what do you love, and what you are willing to devote you life and your passion to for a long time. Remember, running a business takes a lot of time, energy and effort. Building it into a successful enterprise will require even more effort. Since you need to put a lot into your business, you better make sure that you love what you are going to do to make it easier and more fulfilling. Besides, doing something you love means you already have a head start. Being familiar with your product or service eliminates much of the steep learning curve that first-time entrepreneurs normally encounter.
TIP #2: Put together a proper business plan; this is a must when you want to start a business. To get a loan, to speak intelligently to government agencies, investors, suppliers and even key potential employees, you need a complete business plan. A well structured business plan should include the following:
- Details about your business (e.g. corporate structure, number of employees if any).
- A marketing plan that specifies minutiae like pricing, product/service details and promotion strategy.
- An operational plan, which describes supply chain requirements and staffing needs.
- A financial plan that goes over current financing and cash flow projections.
- A risk analysis that analyzes market operational, staffing and management risks.
- And so much more to be truly a complete representation of your intentions as a business owner and developer.
TIP #3: Research. Research. Research. You have already done a lot of research for the creation of your business plan, but the work does not stop there when you start a business. Every aspect of your new business should be researched, who is in the area, is your potential office or store convenient, what about your colors and logo; do your potential customers react positively? You know from your business plan that there is a need for your business, now micro-define your research.
TIP #4: Get your legal house in order; make sure you understand what it means to be a business owner and start a business, your legal responsibilities to your employees and suppliers. Make sure you have properly formed the business entity, and that you understand the local state and federal regulations that may affect your particular business.
TIP #5: Work with a professional to create a well thought out logo and graphics package that gets attention and represents who you are when you start a business. Even before you open your doors you need to be building your reputation and image through your logo and graphics package, and make sure you have a standard color package, which carries through all you do.
TIP #6: Have a full online presence even before you open your doors. The nature of business today is the Internet. You need a fully operating business website when you start a business, fully branded and using the colors and logo you developed in tip #5. Make sure to register this website to all local directories and as soon as you get a physical location, register both the location and your website to Google maps and all local directory services.
TIP #7: Have a full social media presence, including Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook (including a business page for each distinct product or service), a fully filled out and implemented LinkedIn, and any other sites you can find. Brand everything you can when you start a business with your logo, graphics and colors. Make sure you are creating a network of social media that is funneling back to your website and eventually your business.
TIP #8: Have a YouTube presence; create a simple video about you and your mission when you start a business. You may have access to training videos made by the manufacturer of the products you are representing, or training videos of a service you are providing, make sure these videos are fully branded to you and your new business. YouTube is the largest search engine in the world; make sure you are a part of it!
TIP #9: Always be professional in everything you do. From the minute you begin to start a business and talk about your dream and begin planning, you need to represent the character you want your business to project. If you go to training or a meeting, you are representing your business, dress and act accordingly.
TIP #10: Hire professionals to help you start a business every step of the way. Have you spent your life creating graphics and logos? Probably not; so why think something that important can be produced from thin air? Use professionals to help you create a stunning business plan; again have you done one before? Using professionals saves time and money, if you have an amateur business plan, who will respect you or invest with you? If you need a delivery van you aren’t going to build it yourself, you let the pros at GM or Ford do it; same thing with business services, let the pros make you shine!