5 Steps to Launching Your Own Business
If you’ve ever dreamed of launching your own business, you’re not alone. In the United States there are more than 28 million small businesses. What’s more, just consider this: Most large businesses started out as small ventures.
When asked, owners of small businesses give a few main reasons for why they started their companies. The main ones are that they had a unique business idea, they wanted financial independence, or they wanted to design a flexible career for themselves.
However, launching your own business isn’t a sure thing. As a matter of fact, statisticians report that only about two-thirds of businesses with employees continue after 2 years. And only about 50% survive after 5 years.
All the same, if you follow a few basic guidelines, you may well find yourself among the 50% of small business that will still be going after 5 years.
After you’ve identified your business idea you need to research your chances for success. Ask yourself:
- What problem does my business solve?
- Does my business fulfill a need?
- What can my business offer that the market wants?
Start your research by reading, asking questions and, perhaps, creating a focus group. You will need to explore issues such as:
- Who needs this product or service?
- How can my business fit into the market?
- Who else is presently offering this product or service?
- Who are my competitors?
RELATED ARTICLE: 3 EXCELLENT TIPS FOR STARTING A BUSINESS
2. Business Plan
The next thing you’ll need to do is create a business plan. This will be your blueprint to guide your business through its initial stages. Some questions to ask yourself as you create your business plan include:
- Will I need an investor?
- What do I hope to achieve?
- What are my goals?
- How do I plan to meet my goals?
Next, look at other business that are doing what you want to do.
For instance, if you want to start a restaurant, check out other similar restaurants that are located in the area in which you would like to operate.
For another example, if you are interested in offering some type of entertainment, review the different entertainment options, both land-based and online. An online casino is a good place to start because it offers a look at a site that is easy to navigate, provides simple games, and a variety of betting options. Moreover, since online casino bonuses generally attract the greatest number of patrons, check out how the bonus structure works.
When you begin to plan your finances for launching your own business, you move from the realm of dreaming and wishing and into to reality.
First of all, you’re going to need an initial investment plus money to cover expenses until your business begins to turn a profit. Create a spreadsheet with:
- Estimated one-time startup costs (equipment, licenses and permits, legal fees, market research, insurance, branding, inventory, trademarking, property leases, grand opening events, etc.)
- Estimated costs of keeping the business running for at least 12 months (rent and utilities, advertising, production, supplies, marketing, travel expenses, employee salaries, your salary, etc.)
Decide how you will meet these costs. Your options include:
- Small business loans or grants
- Personal contacts
- Bootstrapping, using as little of your own capital as possible to start your business
Work through your options as you create a plan. You might find that a combination of these options will work for you.
After you take care of the nitty gritty of launching your own business—getting the licenses and permits, picking a name for your business, getting an accountant, and so on—you’ll need to start to promote your business. After all, you want to attract clients.
Start with a marketing plan. A marketing plan should include:
- A marketing strategy that guides your marketing plan so that it support your business goals
- A mission statement that answers the question: What am I trying to accomplish, and why?
- An analysis of your competition. Who are your competitors? How are they faring?
- The question that potential customers will be asking: What makes my business unique?
- Your pricing strategy
- The population that you are targeting with your advertising
- A plan that will help you reach your target market
- Your marketing budget:
- Ways for you to analyze the success or failure of your marketing methods
These are the most important steps to launching your own business. However, your marketing plan and your strategies for meeting your goals will—and should—change continuously as you move forward.