6 Things You Need to Do Before Starting Your Business
Creating a new business is exciting. You’re about to embark on a journey that comes with tremendous risks and many rewards. You’d be amazed at the businesses people create when there is a need and they have a solution. But before you jump in with both feet, there are important factors to consider. You’ll want to take the right steps to prepare your business so you can have a better opportunity for success. Here are the top things you need to do before you start.
You might not think it’s a big deal, but certain items, especially food, body care products, and supplements, have regulations around how they can be created and sold. Whether you’re looking to start a cottage foods business or you want to create a new makeup line, there are very important safety regulations to follow. Some states require cosmetic testing or cooking in a certified kitchen. Additionally, financial products, communications, and even technology all require compliance with regulatory agencies. Before you start your business, research any regulations you need to follow and create a plan to ensure you stay compliant.
Create a Business Plan
Whether you’re selling homemade pies, a new software program, an app, or you’re starting a local store, you need a solid business plan. This plan acts as a guide to help you stay focused on your mission, your products, and how to get them in front of the right clients. While it’s tempting to jump in and start selling the moment you have your business idea, don’t do anything until you make a plan. Your business plan will help you determine pricing, profit, and other business expenses as well. You can easily find a template for a simple business plan online to get you started.
Register Your Business
Once you have a plan, including a name, you can easily register your business. You’ll want to connect with your state to learn more about how to register your business name and create the right business structure. Some businesses can start out as a sole proprietorship, while others will start as an LLC. Some businesses are better as an S-Corp. It’ll be up to you to decide which structure to create for your business now and to grow in the future.
You may not think you need insurance, but it will protect you and your business assets if you have it. Liability insurance is the most important type you’ll need. There are different companies who offer it for businesses depending on their industry. For instance, there are companies who work specifically with those in farming, other insurance products are available for those who do consulting, and still others offer insurance options for handmade goods. It’s important to read through the policy in its entirety and to ask questions about exclusions before you pick the right one for you.
Create a Marketing Plan
You may know nothing about marketing, but the truth is, marketing is simply about how you will promote your product to the right audience of people. The intent is to convince them to buy by meeting a felt need. Marketing is about how your product or service meets the need of the intended target. You need a plan that helps you promote your business and gets it in front of people who need what you offer. Digital marketing is a very popular option because so many people use computers and mobile devices. With a good marketing plan you can set yourself up for success.
Whether you need a little capital to buy a few pieces of equipment or a large amount of funding for the development of a complex software, there are plenty of ways to fund your new venture. You could crowdfund from family, friends, and strangers using something like Kickstarter. You could get a bank loan. If you want to start a farm, you can get a USDA farm loan. You could use a business credit card to fund your business, and even look for business partners. Some people start very small and pay for things as they go with their own personal funds. Whatever you decide, know that there is money available for all sorts of different businesses.