Make Your Dream Come True!
Have an entrepreneurial spirit? Of course you do or you’d be checking stats right now for your fantasy football league if you didn’t. An entrepreneurial spirit, commitment and passion are just a few of the key things that you need to start and run your own company. You can do it, and here’s how:
Find A Solid Idea, Then Make A Plan
Every great mind will find an idea, a product or a service they can offer that no one else has, or they’ll capitalize on a way to make an old idea better. Think about those quality razors that are sent in the mail. Better than the cheap stuff, right? Of course. Once you come up with an idea, map out your course, meaning draft a business plan. This can be a mock version for now, but tap into those creative resources to decide how you will sell it. Factor things in like:
- Brick and mortar store, online site or both
- Sole proprietor, a partnership or the whole gang from your graduating class
- A product, line of products or a service
- Patent, trademark, logo, motto, business name
- Employees in a rented space, or you at home in your sweats multi-tasking on your laptop
- Taking out a loan and seeking out venture capitalists, asking mom and dad for help or just winging it
Keep in mind that you want your business to do well, so read up on pitfalls to avoid. Businesses can fail because of bad ideas, poor planning, lack of capital, bad locations, scaling too soon and lack of marketing which leads to low ROI. Read up on these areas and be sure you understand them. The more research you do in relation to your business, the better your business will do.
Seek Outside Help
Another key area that can help you is to tap into the wisdom of others. It’s not that you want to share your ideas only to have them shot down, but you do need to hear all those “what if” scenarios. Talk to the following people who can help:
- Someone close to you who knows your personality and work ethic
- A parent or older adult who may know about various business ventures
- A lawyer who can offer you advice with setting up your business. You may want to tackle this yourself with help from sites like LegalZoom and through free resources if you can’t afford the legal help just yet
- An accountant who can help you set up your accounting software, or try getting Quickbooks and finding someone online who can help get you started. Make sure they know about inventory, sales tax, and end-of-year filings
- Someone in the industry you want to work in who can tell you about their experience
Focus On Your Market And The Potential
Another area that you have to carefully consider is who you will be selling to. For example, if you’re selling laptop cases for men, you need to narrow down the age groups and price range. Here are a few other things to consider to help you define your target market:
- The age range of your customers
- The race, religion, education level and salary of your customers
- Does the product or service meet symbolic, functional, or experiential?
Building A Brand, Tax IDs, Legal Help And Accounting
As you solidify what you want to sell, you have to build the brand around it. For starters, you might want to contact an intellectual property rights attorney to help you, or you can tackle a few of these on your own:
- Finding a business name, confirming its not taken, filing for a business license
- Getting your Tax ID, setting up your business account, running your accounting software, ordering any extra equipment for shipping and day-to-day operations
- Creating your logos, letterhead, website through sites like Wix, GoDaddy or Shopify
- Focusing on products, a prototype, a product launch, etc.
PR, Networking And Advertising
Another area to focus on is how you will promote your company. Creating brand awareness is a vital part of starting your own company which is why companies often send customers information with offers to check out their site or sign up for their newsletter. Consider these other ideas to help get your business the buzz worthy attention it will need:
- Set up social media on your site and make sure your site converts to mobile devices and laptops
- Run ads, have free products, do demonstrations, post video tutorials on your site and send newsletter emails
- Set up ads through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google + depending on the type of products and services you have
Prepare To Fail, Then Success Will Come
It may sound harsh but Business to Community reports that about 90% of businesses fail their first time due to poor planning. Learn from the mistakes of others and this can help guide you if you do run into problems.
The goal with starting your own company is creating something yourself, so do all the reading you can, balance your books accurately, get sales in and work on an increased return on investment.
Starting a company can be a bit stressful. Don’t forget to keep your personal finances organized as well.