Employees who have experienced working the daily grind usually dream of having a business of their own, regardless of how small it is. Many of them long to be free from the pressure and monotony that are usually associated with corporate life. A number of them also try to save up for a planned business come their retirement age. Even students (read: the inception of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg while at Harvard) dream of becoming the next big entrepreneur or innovator, too. The bottom line is, people from all walks of life dream of seeing their business ideas come to life someday.
As with all things in life, the prospect of venturing into an unknown world can be overwhelmingly scary. It may be safe to say that no business owner was spared from this kind of predicament, but keep in mind that all businesses started from scratch. How they reached success may or may not be a secret, and with this article, we offer some honest-to-goodness guidance and inspiration as you set out to live your business dream.
1. Create your business plan.
Planning is a driver of success. In business planning, you will need to define and identify your vision (intended result), mission (reason for your company’s existence), objectives (goals you want to achieve), strategies (your objectives’ general framework), and action plan (small baby steps for each objective).
The business plan doesn’t have to be very technical or written with a business school quality to it, but it should outline your ideas so that it will be easier for you to visualize and execute them.
2. Draw up a budget plan.
Every business goal is to go low on costs and do well profit-wise. With this in mind, you need to decide on how much, realistically speaking, it will cost to take your business off the ground, as well as how much of your cash on hand can you actually spend.
Fortunately, in this age of technology, whether you invested traditionally or with the modern ways of investing, you can set up a business even without large sums of funding from the bank or investors. All you need to get started are a domain name and your business idea.
Ideally, you should allot an extra 20% on top of your monthly budget. This amount will form part of your incidentals, reserved for unforeseen or unplanned expenditures. Also, make sure you separate your business funds from your personal accounts to avoid confusion in auditing matters.
3. Decide on your business’s entity type.
Most small businesses start out as a sole proprietor type of entity for a good reason—it cost less money and paperwork filing. Monetary speaking, putting up a sole proprietorship gives you cash savings as you evaluate the viability of your business venture.
Tip: One way to help you increase your chances of having a winning business is to actively seek the wisdom of fellow entrepreneurs. You could leverage their enthusiasm in talking about their business, while you learn a thing or two to apply in your own backyard.
4. Get your business online.
People are connecting by leaps and bounds on online platforms, and your business shouldn’t be left behind in this trend. Whatever type or nature of business you have, you will need a website by today’s standards.
Websites are especially helpful if you have an online business, as you can form a tie-up with an online shopping store for a minimum fee but for greater exposure of your brand. You could blog about your business, too.
Read about web publishing, SEO, content marketing, and everything else related with blogging to help you understand how pushing out blog posts makes your business more visible and reachable to the market.
5. Find time to test your business.
Ever seen a soft opening of a restaurant business? The idea is to test out the different facets of the business—from cooking procedure to menu type to pricing before formally introducing the food establishment to the public.
Doing a soft opening, soft launch, or a dry run of your business will give you valuable insights as to what the market’s perception about your business is, especially in terms of things to improve. Similarly, your website will need testing to determine other stuff you might have missed.
These are all simple, practical steps that you can implement without costing too much on your resources, including time, money, or energy. Not to mention, the results you get along the way can help you decide whether your dream business is something that has a great potential to grow. If it is, put your heart and soul into it and nurture it. While everybody has ideas to pitch, to actually bring those ideas to life will be the turning point for any business’ success.