Mauricio Rosero is the founder and 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 stuck in your day job. With your own company 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, financing and more. It also often requires you to take that extra leap to finally quit your job. That said, here are ten tips for starting a small business, assuming you’ve already secured financing and a place to start your business.
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 can provide profitable information and enable you to build your skills. Researching programs to use, such as a photo editor to create compelling ads, can also help your marketing efforts.
2. Build your social media presence.
You must have a social media presence 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, can be placed on your company’s social media pages to boost sales and overtake tough competitors.
3. Communicate with your audience on social media.
Being present on social media is not a one-time phenomenon. To get the most out of what social media has to offer, you need to take full advantage of it. Liking, commenting, sharing and interacting with consumers on social media is a great way to network and drive sales. Business collaborations are often the result of social media connections.
4. Have a physical presence.
All the technological red tape can make you almost want to jump ship and leave your storefront. I’m here to tell you not to. Online businesses are great, but I think they fall short on customer service simply because you can’t interact with customers in person. Personal businesses can benefit greatly from a combined physical and online presence. Do this and you’ll be making miles.
5. Seek wisdom from those with more experience.
You’re probably not the most skilled or knowledgeable on every last facet of small business economics, so it’s important to find someone who can make up for your shortcomings. This could 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. Plan your life.
Starting a business is always tricky, especially with all your other obligations. Be sure to define a set schedule for yourself to avoid disasters. Solid planning can prevent you from missing important due dates, exchanges, and more. A whiteboard or Excel document is often sufficient to get started. The basic reminder and calendar apps on most phones are also a big help.
7. Optimize your workspace.
Many people start their small business from their home, also known as a home business. A good workplace is a place where you can find tranquility and peace to work diligently. Finding a safe, quiet place to work should be at the top of your list. Make sure there are enough power outlets for your computer and other technology. Also make sure it is close to the basics like the bathroom and the fridge. Finally, make sure there are no distractions that can keep you from achieving the goals you set in your schedule.
8. Be aware of local and federal regulations.
Failure to pay taxes or engage in shady accounting practices can be apocalyptic during an audit. It is best to avoid this problem completely and make sure you follow all local laws and federal guidelines from the outset. Bankruptcy, fines and jail time are not good for your business.
9. Update your insurance.
Insurance for a small business is critical. By paying for this service, you are protected in the event of a future accident. Simple things like health insurance for employees, for example, help them feel safe, recover and get back to work quickly. Flood insurance can save your business if a terrible storm hits. Simply put, insurance is your company’s safety net in case something goes wrong.
10. Investigate applicable permits.
Having the right permits is necessary for the functioning of your company. That could be a license to sell goods with sales tax in New York, or a permit to expand your home to include your growing home business. In any case, the right license is decisive for a company. Search for local ordinances to get a better idea of what is required and what is not. When in doubt, ask a mentor.
Ultimately, the success of a small business depends on your own perseverance and determination. If you don’t relentlessly try to innovate and expand, your business is always at risk of failure.