Mauricio Rosero is the founder & CEO of M2 Studios.
Starting your own business can be a very lucrative venture for some. It can be the difference between personal freedom and being economically trapped in your day job. With your own business, you are your own boss.
Many entrepreneurs don’t take the first leap into starting a business because of how difficult it can be. Getting started requires know-how, connections, funding and more. It also often requires making that extra leap to finally quit your job. Having said that, here are ten tips to start a small business, assuming you have already secured funding and a place to begin operations.
1. Improve your technical know-how through research and learning.
Mastering technology can increase your efficiency. The best software and hardware can mean greater efficiency in achieving your goals. Taking a class at a community college could yield profitable information and allow you to build your skills. Also, researching programs to use, such as a photo editor to make engaging ads, can assist in your marketing efforts.
2. Build your social media presence.
You must have a presence on social media to succeed in the modern business world. While it is possible to have a basic business without it, a lack of social media presence prevents impactful growth. The ads you created with a photo editor, as I mentioned above, could be posted to your business’s social media pages to boost sales and overtake stalwart competitors.
3. Interact with your audience on social media.
Having a social media presence is not a one-and-done phenomenon. To get the most out of what social media has to offer, you have to utilize it to its full potential. Liking, commenting, sharing and interacting with consumers on social media is a great way to network and boost sales. Business collaborations are often the result of social media connections.
4. Establish a brick-and-mortar presence.
All the technological hullabaloo might make you want to jump ship almost entirely and ditch your storefront. I’m here to tell you not to do that. Online companies are great, but I find they fall short on customer service simply because you can’t connect with customers in person. In-person businesses can benefit greatly from having a combined brick-and-mortar and online presence. Do this and you’ll go miles.
5. Seek wisdom from those with more experience.
You probably aren’t the most skilled or knowledgeable on every last facet of the small business economy, so it’s important to find someone who can complement your shortcomings. This might be a friend who knows a thing or two about marketing, or a qualified consultant. It doesn’t hurt to read books, which can also provide mentorship.
6. Schedule your life.
Starting a business is always tricky, especially with all your other commitments. Make sure to define a set schedule for yourself to prevent catastrophe. A solid schedule can prevent you from missing important due dates, trade shows and more. A whiteboard or Excel document is often enough to get started. The basic reminder and calendar apps on most phones are a big help, too.
7. Optimize your workspace.
Many people start their small businesses from their homes, also known as a home business. A good workspace is a place where you can find tranquility and peace to work diligently. Finding a secure, quiet place to work should be at the top of your list. Ensure it has adequate outlets for your computer and other technology. Also, make sure it’s close to basics like the bathroom and the fridge. Finally, make sure it’s free from distractions that could prevent you from reaching the goals you’ve set on your schedule.
8. Be alert to local and federal regulations.
Not paying taxes, or engaging in shady accounting practices, can be apocalyptic during an audit. It’s best to avoid this issue entirely and ensure you are following all local laws and federal guidelines from the get-go. Bankruptcy, fines and imprisonment are not good for your business.
9. Update your insurance.
Insurance for a small business is critical. Paying for this service protects you in the case of future mishap. For example, simple things such as medical insurance for employees allows them to feel secure, recover and get back to work quickly. Flood insurance can save your business if a horrible storm occurs. Simply put, insurance is your business’s safety net for when things go wrong.
10. Research applicable permits.
Having the right permits is necessary for the functioning of your business. That might be a certificate of authority to sell goods with sales tax in New York, or a permit to expand your residence to incorporate your growing home business. Whatever the case may be, the right permit is decisive for a business. Seek out local ordinances to get a better feel for what is needed and what’s not. When in doubt, ask a mentor.
Ultimately, the success of a small business depends on your own grit and determination. If you don’t ruthlessly seek to innovate and expand, your business will always be at risk of failure.
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