Starting a business takes a lot of guts, but even more than that, it takes cunning, preparation, and the right skillset. Sure, give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to start your own company, but make no mistake as this is only the first step in the dozens of other steps and decisions that you’ll need to make along the way. To help ease you into your new role as an entrepreneur, here are five tips to remember once you step into the arena:
Come Up With Your MVP
MVP is commonly used in the tech startup scene but can be applied to any kind of business that sells a product or service. MVP, short for “minimum viable product,” is the initial version of a product that has the least amount of features and aesthetics that can be presented to and used by your target audience. Figure out the set of features that your product will need to have. For instance, if you’re creating an eCommerce store that primarily sells pet products, list down features that a hypothetical buyer will be able to access, such as searching for a specific item, signing up and logging in with their own account information, etc.
Figure Out Your Budget
How much money you have to start with will dictate the decisions that you make for your business. Even if you have a marketing campaign idea that you think will go viral or prospective candidates whom you want to hire, it won’t matter if you don’t have the dough to actually pay for them. Initial startup costs vary from one type of business to the next. Sit down and take an objective look at the expenses you’ll be incurring when starting and running your business. Many entrepreneurs intentionally avoid looking into expenses out of fear that they’ll realize they don’t have enough money to start it, but those who take the time to figure out finances beforehand will have a better shot of reaching success. Figure out how much money you’ll need for equipment, office space, business permits, insurance, payroll, etc.
Be Open Minded
When people think about starting a business, there’s often a preconceived notion that you actually have to create your own product and service from scratch. Nowadays, however, there are a lot of businesses that repackage and resell items purchased from other businesses. Others build a profitable distribution channel business with products sourced from other companies. There are plenty of ways to make money as an entrepreneur. If you are open-minded, you can capitalize on these opportunities by finding things you can sell at a higher price relative to what you paid for them.
Mind Customer Relations
Starting a business means caring what other people think about your brand. Maintaining a positive relationship with your customers is important to keep your sales numbers and revenues up. Use customer feedback as a means of improving your customer relationships. Nu skin reviews, for instance, give the company Nu Skin invaluable data to refining their product line, fulfillment capacity, and customer support. Take a page from the Nu Skin book; what your customers have to say should be taken seriously and should be acted upon immediately.
Market Your Brand
Even before you start your own business, you should market your brand and spark interest by leaving clues of the upcoming launch on social media pages. Other ways to spark interest include doing some tutorial videos where you demo your product, launching crowdfunding campaigns, and distributing business cards and posters everywhere you go. If you have the budget, hire a marketing consultant who can spearhead your business’ ad campaigns.
Starting a business that has the potential to soar often boils down to a few key elements, namely the right people, enough capital, and a product/service that has actual value and application. But even then, it’s fairly tedious and daunting to actually start a business. Use the five tips above to officially make the jump, and make it the right way.
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About the Author
Dawn is a loving wife and mother of three and an up-and-coming entrepreneur. She has spent the last couple years trying to get her business off the ground. In her journey, from working for a big CPG company and a pretty popular tech company to starting her own business, she has learned a lot about the difficulties of running a business and how to be successful. With all she has learned about business, she has decided she wants to help other businesses avoid the mistakes she has made and help them succeed even when she is still searching for that very thing for herself. First and foremost is her family. Second is her business and helping others with theirs.