So you've got an idea that you think will make a difference in the market. You’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and you think now is the right time. The next question is how to start up a business.
After a year and a half of many of us being in pause mode, the economy is opening up again. With increasing employment and pent-up demand, this has the potential to be a great period for entrepreneurs. So, if you’re wondering about how to get your business off the ground, here are five practical tips to get you started.
Rather, what they wished they knew. This is something that you’ll seldom find in business journals. And it’s the most practical suggestion you’ll ever need if you want to avoid the typical mistakes that startups make.
Before you start a business, you need to research your competitors. Let’s say that you’re starting an accountancy firm in Philadelphia. Go to Google and type in “What I wish I knew before starting an accountancy firm in Philadelphia.”
Now you’ll hear from entrepreneurs like yourself. You’ll get the inside scoop on how to get your startup running. Some might tell you how to have a few clients before opening an office or warn you to avoid unnecessary marketing spend.
By good, we mean unique, short, memorable and one with an available domain name. Naming your company is one of the most exciting things about being an entrepreneur. You also need to get a name quickly to register your company.
If you’ve got a unique name that’s short and memorable, go for it. Otherwise, look for category cues. What are other businesses in your sector called?
The best thing would be to find a name that conveys the product, service or solution you hope to deliver. You also have to ensure that your name is easy to spell and pronounce. People should be able to easily refer to your business. Always, always do your research before committing to a name.
Once your name is finalised and you finish your business registration, it’s time to build your online equity. You’ll need a website and profiles on Google My Business and other platforms. These will be your customers first point of contact with you.
You need a website that’s fast, responsive and SEO-optimised. The good part is that you don’t need any technical skills to get one made. You can use sites such as Fiverr or Upwork and find designers at exceptionally reasonable costs.
You’d also need social media pages but depending on your product or service, you’d need to focus only on a key few.
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae. One moment you’re talking to your accountant and the next, you’re going through utility bills. To an outsider – and even to yourself – you may be working hard, putting in 12 to 15 hours a day.
Unfortunately, most of that time is spent on activities that don’t matter. To avoid this, you must distinguish between your core and non-core activities. As the founder, your time is one of the biggest assets of the company. It should be judiciously used for your core activities.
These include product development, market research, finding investors, analysing competition, securing customers etc. Delegate or outsource all non-core activities or automate through apps.
How to start a business is all about how to sell. And that’s a skill you should learn, whether your business sells directly to consumers or to other businesses.
Selling is influencing an individual or group of people to pay for your product or service. For that, you need to make a convincing case. You should know why your offering is better than that of others and how the buyer will benefit from it.
Selling to buyers is only part of the process. As an entrepreneur, you’ll also need to sell the uniqueness of your business to the media and potential investors. You need to continuously persuade others to side with you and believe in you.
That’s a skill that will make all the difference.
Starting a business has the potential to be one of the most fulfilling things you’ll ever do. But for it to be productive, you need to be practical about it. If you can learn from the success and failures of others, build a persuasive identity, focus on important activities and sell effectively, your business has a greater chance of succeeding in the marketplace.
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