Many people would like to go into business for themselves- the ability to choose what to work on is great, but deciding what kind of business you want to run can be difficult. If you’d like to set up shop but don’t know where to begin, use the tips below to help find your niche.
Know Why you Want to Own a Business
The idea of going into business for yourself can sound overwhelming at first, but finding a 9-5 job is hard these days, too. It’s scary to have control of your work life, but inactivity can be even worse. You shouldn’t start a business solely because you don’t have any other choices. If you really want to be in control and you can fully commit to the process, being a small business owner can be the most liberating experience you’ll ever have.
Decide What Type of Business You’ll Have
There’s really nothing new under the sun; the best businesses are based on tried-and-true ideas and success comes when you add your own personal touch. We all need tech support, we all visit the hair salon, we’ll all need the help of a plumber eventually- there’s plenty of room for competition; you just have to set yourself apart from it somehow. When coming up with a business idea, remember that service-based businesses are much cheaper to launch and maintain than product businesses.
Draft a Business Plan
Many new business owners think they have to write out a long business plan, full of assumptions on how much they’ll be making in the coming years. Some get so wrapped up in the plan’s minute details that they never even get their business off the ground! For most small businesses, a one-page plan should suffice. Your plan should cover your offerings, your target market, your prices, and what you’re going to do to get your business started. Business plans are fluid by nature, so keeping it simple is key.
Find Your Target Market
Knowing your customer is essential to the success of your business. Your packaging, ingredients, pricing and production process all help to determine who your customer base will be. The more you can narrow your market, the easier it will be to create targeted marketing campaigns.
Set Your Prices
Your pricing plan shouldn’t only cover your costs; it should also include profit. Many small business owners drastically undervalue their talent and time, which is a costly mistake. Start at the top: How much do you want to make each year, and how do those numbers break down by the day, week and month? How much product do you need to sell, or how many clients must you service before those numbers are met? What does it cost to deliver your product or service? Price-setting doesn’t require complex software or hiring an accountant- tinker with your numbers so they’re more realistic, and adjust them as you go.
Until you start turning a profit, you need to keep costs low. Achieving business continuity may require creativity: if you’re running a catering business, it would be nice to have a commercial kitchen, but a free or cheap community or church kitchen would work just as well.
Here’s where things really get going. No other part of your business will work if there are no customers, so you should focus most of your efforts on sales. Don’t over think things- just start somewhere. Draw up a list of potential customers and start making phone calls, and start building your business’ social media strategy
Dreaming about making it big in business is great, but you’ll need to put forth a lot of effort to achieve those dreams. Success is about effort- the things you do and the decisions you make each day will get you where you want to be.