Eight Things to Do Before Launching Your Business
Launching a small business is like training for a marathon. It’s easy enough to hang a shingle and flip the switch on the open sign, but unless you’ve laid the groundwork, you’ll be like the person who shows up on race day without a single kilometer run on their brand-new running shoes.
Understand that running a business is work
Yes, a lot of work! It’s stressful and requires a much different level of dedication than working for someone else. There will be extended hours for little pay – on average; it takes two to three years for a business to be profitable. Expect to devote many hours to develop and then refine your small business strategy.
Write a Business Plan
The business plan is your playbook and is a valuable tool to keep you on track. It assists in providing clarity for your goals and is an aid in tracking the progress of your venture. If you’re seeking funding, most lenders and investors will need to review your formal business plan. There are many business plans writing services and tools to be found online and in your community.
Ensure there’s a demand for your product or service
You believe that your concept is terrific, but the question that needs to be asked is whether consumers feel the same way. Bottled water for dogs may be a hot seller in upscale neighborhoods where tiny, fluffy canines are carried around in designer bags. Still, it will likely be a flop in an area with average owners whose pets drink out tap water and puddles.
Understand your demographic and what makes them tick
What are their buying habits? Study your competitor’s online presence and how they are delivering what people are looking for. What are their customers saying about them? Hiring a business plan consultant at this stage can prove to be a wise business expense. Good consultants are experts on the subject of demographics and the fluid nature of consumer demands.
“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake, co-founder, Flickr
Have a strong mission
The purpose of your business should drive your every decision. It’s easy to be distracted and lose focus when starting up a business simply because there are many demands. The mission, a part of a solid small business strategy, will keep you focused and prevent you from being pulled in many directions,
Network, network, network
Joining community groups like the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce or other local service organizations are excellent ways to get to know other businessmen and businesswomen. In these groups, you’ll also be able to meet people who offer valuable services like small business consulting, marketing, and business plan writing. You may also find the potential customers of your products and services in that community.
Assess your finances
Unless you have a bag of money buried in the backyard, you’ll not only need money for start-up costs, but you’ll have to have the resources to pay the bills until your business begins to turn a profit. Starting small and growing your business slowly will enable you to control your personal and professional finances. If you already have a day job, and this is your side hustle or passion project, you may need to weigh the value of keeping your current job until your business is firmly on its feet.
Find a mentor
Surround yourself with experienced and successful business people. They have been where you are right now, and you’ll find that most are delighted to share what they’ve learned from their experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out other people’s opinions about your business idea.
If this seems too much, hire a business plan writer. Need help writing a business plan? Check out more details here Adept Business Plans Inc. I am an independent business plan writer. I can help you write a professional business plan for your startup. If you’re interested in working with me, bouncing ideas, or just want to say hello, I would love to hear from you.