Today I was happy to bring a post that talks about starting your own business. This is packed with great information and each point could be a post of its own, but it’s a great overview on what to expect when starting your own business. Special thank you to Ericka for providing this post for my readers.
After putting all of your time and energy into your job, getting fired can be a blow to the gut. While getting canned may feel like the end of the world, it might be the kick in the pants you need to turn your lifelong passion into an entrepreneurial opportunity.
Being self-employed will certainly fix your problem of being jobless, and you never have to worry about getting “pink slipped” again.
Financing Your Business
The biggest issue with entrepreneurship is the startup cost. Many people abandon the idea because they feel they can’t afford to take the risk. Keeping your business a one-person operation can keep your costs relatively low. If you transfer skills from your former job, you won’t have to come up with money to pay for basic equipment or training.
Also, consider purchasing second hand equipment to get you started. As your profits grow, reinvest it back into the business to purchase better equipment. If you don’t have the extra capital to buy everything you need, consider selling some personal belongings you don’t need.
Since most businesses are not profitable in the beginning, you might not want to use every dime of your savings to finance your venture. If possible, keep at least six months worth of living expenses stashed away. If you received severance pay from your previous employer, consider tucking it away so you don’t end up living under an overpass while your business grows.
Choosing a Workspace
You will likely spend more than half of your days working in your office. So the space you choose needs to be comfortable. If you do decide to rent an office away from home, you might want to consider:
• the location of the space
• whether or not it will allow your business room to expand
• the kind of amenities nearby
• whether or not the Internet connection is up to par
• whether the space is the right fit for your working style
In order to save money, a lot of small business owners opt to set up a workspace in their homes. If you go this route and your chosen business will require you to meet with clients, consider renting a virtual office. A virtual office is less expensive than a traditional office space and it will give you a professional mailing address and a professional place to meet with your clients.
When you first start your business, you will probably be doing all the work yourself. However, as your business gains steam, you may need to hire employees to help. Since high turnover can result in high costs, you want to do your best to hire quality employees. These tips can help.
• Consult an attorney. You don’t want to inadvertently violate the legal rules of hiring workers for your business
• Be detailed in your employment ad. You will narrow down the flux of unqualified applicants by being specific about the kind of workers you want
• Weed through resumes carefully. Sort the resumes into two stacks – “Possibly” and “Heck no.” Toss the resumes that land in the “Heck no” pile in the trash. Go back through the “Possibly” pile to choose your final applicants.
• Prepare for interviews. Put together a list of open ended questions for your interviewees to answer. The list should contain standard interview questions, as well as some additional questions of your own.
• Check all references. This will give you a well rounded view of the type of employees you are considering hiring.
Getting the Word Out
In order to be profitable, you have to let people know that you’re out there. After you have chosen the kind of business you want to start, choose and research your target market. Once you’ve done all of your research, it’s time to launch your marketing campaign.
Here are some ideas that may help:
• start a business website and blog
• print small ads on postcards and mail them to prospective clients
• host an open house or seminar
• send out brochures
• use content marketing
• start an email marketing campaign
• research your competitors to see what they are doing
• pass out flyers
• use referral networks
• cold call
• use social media
For ideas that involve sending something physical to prospective clients, it would be worthwhile investing in brand protection in order to avoid any fraudulent activity and ruining your businesses reputation. Make sure you are careful with anything you do within your business.
No single marketing tactic works every time, so rotate your methods and try different approaches to find what works best. Also, it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to draw in new ones. Reach out to existing customers and keep them coming back by giving immaculate customer service and offering special promotions via newsletters, email and direct mail.
About the Author: Ericka B is a business coach who loves helping business owners improve in a number of aspects. In her spare time she loves to write; she often writes about business related topics.