Opening A New Business: Taking Your First Steps as an Entrepreneur
If you believe that you’re ready to take that giant leap of faith and open your own business, there are some things that you need to know before you start. Although new businesses are started every day, many fail because first-time business owners don’t take advantage of or research all of the resources that are available to them. Some also aren’t willing to invest in services that will help them save money— and even make more money— in the long run. So before you open a business, there are many things you need to know, from coming up with your business idea to promoting your products or services to your target market.
Starting a business isn’t free, so you’re going to have to have a significant amount of money before you start. Many people don’t have the funds themselves to start a business, so they have to find an investor to finance it. This investor can be a bank, individual, or other entity that’s willing to take that risk (all start-ups are considered risks).
In order to receive financing for your business, you must write a business plan that details every aspect of your business, from the name of it and what you’re planning to sell, to the estimated startup costs. A good business plan requires a great amount of research and should project your business’s success for the next five years.
Unless you’re an e-commerce business, you’re going to need a physical location (though even e-commerce businesses need some sort of physical location). It’s a good idea to look at vacant commercial properties listed for sale in order to get an idea of how much it will cost to buy or rent a space for your business. This is something that also needs to be included in your cost estimates. When searching for the best location for your business, make sure it’s located in an area where there’s a lot of foot traffic and where similar businesses (but not a competitor) are located.
Licenses, Permits, and Insurance
An operating license is required for every business, but you may need some additional licenses and/or permits depending on the type of business you have. For example, some businesses require zoning and land use permits, and all healthcare facilities need a health permit. All businesses also need various types of insurance; again, depending on the type of business you’re operating.
In general, all businesses need general liability insurance (GLI), commercial property insurance, business income insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance. And it goes without saying that the employees you hire should be properly licensed to perform the work they’re hired to do.
Equipment, Software, and Other Materials
Another cost that should be included in your estimate is the cost of all of the tools, materials, and equipment you’re going to need in order to successfully run your business. This can be something as simple as shopping bags for a retail store, silverware for a restaurant, or a company vehicle if you’re a delivery service or if you’re a construction company.
Also, don’t forget about the tech side of your business, as every business utilizes technology in some form. Many business owners tend to forget that they’ll need certain types of software (e.g., accounting and payroll software, database software, etc.) to make managing business functions easier. JD Edwards is one of the leaders in business software, offering a variety of services for businesses in all types of industries.
All businesses need employees, whether it’s just two people or 200+ people, in-person employees or remote workers. When it comes to looking for employees, you have a few options. The most popular option is to post your job opening on popular job boards, such as Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn. However, if you want to find employees that are the best fit for your company and ensure that you don’t have a high turnover rate, it’s worth looking into hiring a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies specialize in branding and marketing your company to the most qualified job seekers.
Another option for hiring is to advertise on social media. Millions of people all over the world use social media every day, and creating a page especially for your business can help you find job seekers who also have an interest in your company. Social media is also a great marketing tool for advertising to potential customers/clients.
When it comes to marketing, digital strategies (i.e., marketing that occurs online) are the best way to reach the largest possible audience. As mentioned above, social media can be utilized to market your business to a bigger audience. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have business tools that help you reach more people and give you insight into how you’re doing in terms of social media marketing.
Other digital marketing strategies include email marketing, SEO (search engine optimization) marketing, content marketing, PPC (pay per click), and affiliate marketing. In order to be successful in your digital marketing efforts, look into hiring a marketing agency to help you.
This list just scratches the surface of what you need to think about before you open your own business. Of course, all businesses are different because of factors such as what they’re selling, where they’re located, and what the buyer’s market is like in that area. For you to be successful, you should take the time to research and understand your market and the industry you’re entering as a whole.