Analyze Your Current Finances
Starting a new business often requires an upfront financial investment. Although it seems like many online entrepreneurs are starting businesses without funding, that may not be the reality of the situation. Before diving into setting up your business, analyze your current financial situation. Are you financially equipped to invest in start-up essentials such as inventory, supplies, or promotional materials? Have you researched the market for quality/cost-effective products? Will you be able to responsibly keep up with monthly expenses while utilizing extra funds or savings to strategically fund a start up? Before starting a business it is very important to have this honest conversation with yourself. Be sure to truthfully answer so you may diligently create a plan to take action.
Start A Business You’re Passionate AND Knowledgeable About
The process of starting a business will be daunting! There are many legal components to launching, building a foundation, and soon scaling a business. Choose a business that’ll keep you motivated and inspired. Many entrepreneurs don’t realize quickly enough that their passion could feasibly become the next million dollar venture. A quick google search and afternoon spent on YouTube rather than Netflix is all you need to create a list of steps to start your business. A steep learning curve may hamper your success. It may be tempting to start a business because someone you know miraculously made six figures from it, however, you should avoid companies or industries that you aren’t (or aren’t even willing to become) educated about. If it isn’t your dream, your vision, your passion, you may not find the tenacity to push through.
Create A Business Plan
A successful, well thought out, and strategic business plan will allow you to secure financing, set up your business structure, and help you decide on how and when to expand. This makes it an invaluable tool that you can always refer back to during any phase of your business. Conduct research on the demographics of your market, research the level of demand in your marketplace and its scale potential, along with any potential competitors. Pay close attention to any patterns that appear from the data gathered from this research, such as the buying habits of your consumers or reviews on your competitors. Keep your business plan at the forefront in the early stages of starting your business. It’ll come in handy when you feel stagnant and like “nothing is working” because your business plan should be a roadmap to success!
You don’t need the “perfect product” to have sold out weekends! Even a service that may be an “overpopulated” niche will still have you overbooked! Why? People form relationships with people, not products. Customers like to see that you appreciate their business, whether that’s giving them a shout-out in your newsletter, re-circulating news and photos they posted on social media, or simply engaging in customer conversations online. If you know your customers’ birthday, send them birthday greetings. If you see they’ve had a special occasion, send a voucher for a free gift. Customers that feel appreciated tend to stick around longer, and spread the word to their friends and family members.
Know your target audience! Once again: Know Your Target Audience. Find your tribe on social media. Go to networking events. Host pop up shops. Get to know people and always proudly mention your business. Today the most effective and direct way to market is on social media. Marketing on social media helps build brand awareness, increase customer base, and build relationships with current customers. Never stop conducting market research. It’s not about what you like, it’s about what your target audience desires. Send out regular surveys and take the pulse of your core demographic frequently. You’ll learn so much in the process!
Consistency is KEY!
Desired by all, but elusive to most, consistency is paramount to success. In truth, it is quite easy to claim consistency, however, to truly maintain consistency is to accept the journey of struggle that comes with it. Make a choice to grapple with everyday life–thus, encouraging you to adopt routines and transform those routines into habits. Without even noticing you will find yourself practicing daily habits that promote consistency. Yes, it will be hard, and yes, some days you will feel defeated, but make the choice to stick with it because consistency is the MAJOR key! The only way to success is to work on it every single day!