Are you thinking about setting up a small business as the next step in your career? Developing a business is an endeavor that requires a lot of time, commitment, and most importantly, money to cover any preliminary overhead costs. Sounds simple enough, right? Even so, only 4% of newly started businesses manage to reach their 10-year mark. So how do you ensure that you don’t end up a victim of these cut-throat statistics?
There are several things you’ll need to keep in mind when establishing your own company, and we’ll be exploring the most major considerations you’ll find yourself having to tackle throughout your business development process. Here are the top 5 crucial things to consider before starting a small business.
1. Understanding Startup Costs
Estimating your start-up costs is one of the most important things to consider when starting a new business. Some examples of basic startup costs include licensing and permits, insurance, office supplies and technology (here are some of the best cheap printers on the market), payroll, marketing costs, research expenses, and utilities.
Combined, all of these costs can add up to a significant amount of money that you will be required to invest into your business before you can even think of opening your doors to customers or clients. Additionally, once your business is set up, you will have to think about the working capital needed to run your business. Some examples of this are ongoing inventory costs, customer credit, and day-to-day expenses.
2. Refining Your Business Plan
If you want your business to stand out, you will need to offer products or services that are unique to your organization. With that said, not everyone can come up with a unique business idea. There may be dozens of businesses just like the one you are going to start. You can, however, gain a competitive edge by answering the following questions:
- What can you do to make my product or service better?
- What makes your business stand out?
- How can you improve on existing products or services to make them better than the competition?
- Will I be able to grab market share in this industry niche?
- What do you hope to accomplish within the first year of operations?
- How do you offer more value than competitors?
These are just a few questions you will need to ponder over when creating and refining your business plan.
3. The Importance of Insurance
It may slip your mind as something you’ll sort out eventually, but purchasing the right business insurance is a crucial step to take before you officially launch your enterprise. With so many things to do and details to go over, it is no surprise that new business owners tend to allow insurance to slip their minds. However, dealing with incidents such as property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit can be costly, and you need to be sure that your business is adequately protected in the event that any of these unfortunate incidents do occur.
Without business insurance, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for costly damages and legal claims that may arise against your company. Naturally, having to foot these unforeseen and often substantial expenses can drive any start-up towards bankruptcy.
For this reason, you must conduct a thorough risk assessment of your workplace and any other business premises to ascertain what kind of business insurance is best suited to your organization. Be sure to talk to a licensed insurance broker, business advisor, or insurer for advice.
4. Hiring the Right Employees
The number of staff or employees that you will require is highly dependent on the type of business you are planning to operate. Regardless, your staff members are more often than not, what will make or break your business. When it comes to hiring the right person for the job, you have a variety of different options including recruitment agencies, social media, word of mouth, or headhunting. There are also a number of websites that make it easy to find the exact kind of people you are looking for.
Here are some positive traits to look for during the recruitment process:
- Honesty and integrity
- Problem-solving abilities
- Dependability, reliability, and responsibility
- Conflict resolution skills
As a new business owner, it is also vital that you familiarise yourself with employee laws and entitlements to ensure you don’t land yourself in hot water anytime shortly. Some of the things we highly encourage business owners to look into include national employment standards, minimum wages, the Fair Work Act, positive workplace culture, and strict workplace policies. For more information, be sure to have a look at this page.
5. Focus on Branding
Last but not least, you will need to build up your brand and get a following of potential customers or clients ready to jump on board when you open your doors for business. In the age of social media, a business’s online presence, regardless of industry, can have a massive impact on its success. Here are some ways you can easily build a brand or follow with minimal effort:
A company website is the first and most important aspect of branding you should focus on. One of the main reasons you should have a website for your business is to increase your organization’s credibility, as many modern consumers look for a web presence nowadays before mindfully visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
Social Media Presence
Using social media to spread the word about your new business costs close to nothing and can ensure that you reach as many members of your target audience as possible. You could even consider offering promo codes or discounts to your social media followers once you launch.
Developing your company logo is naturally important to your business and for more reasons than just the fact that this logo will be imprinted on your products, business cards, website, and on your social media profile. The most important surface that your company logo will be imprinted on by far is of course, on the minds of your clients. A strong and memorable logo will communicate to potential customers everything that they’ll need to know about your business, including your brand’s tone and by extension, the atmosphere surrounding your business. As such, it is important to create a recognizable logo that helps to easily identify your brand, and be consistent in using it across all of your platforms.
CRM software solutions allow you to increase the number of leads coming in and can help your marketing team find new customers faster. An innovative and attention-grabbing marketing campaign can do wonders for reaching customers and communicating with your audience.
Most importantly, once you have established your brand, website, and social media following, you must keep these digital assets up to date with relevant, interesting content about your business and industry.
And there you have it – 5 crucial factors to consider when setting up your very own SME and increasing its sale. Starting a business is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you can have, so the last thing you want is to go into your new venture unprepared. So be sure to keep these 5 considerations in mind as you continue to forge a strong foundation upon which you can build a prosperous enterprise.
What are some of your tips for aspiring business owners? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know.