Small businesses are ubiquitous in the US.
As you read this, there are 30.2 million of them in operation around the country. That’s approximately one for every 11 Americans!
Clearly, this is a land of entrepreneurs.
This enormous number may naturally lead people to assume running one is easy. Alas, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
It is, of course, possible. But it takes a high level of risk-tolerance, hard-work, and savviness to succeed over time. The vast majority of new businesses fail in just a few years.
It helps to know what you’re doing from the outset. Starting a new venture with a solid understanding of what’s ahead is key to longstanding success. There are certain things to consider above others. Thinking of starting your own business? We want to help.
Keep reading to discover the key things to consider when starting a business of your own.
1. The End Result
Like a good story, sometimes it pays to begin at the end.
What does that mean?
It means starting your business venture with a solid understanding of where you want to end up.
It’s going to be hard work in the beginning. You’ll invest masses of time and money with little return. Having an idea of the end result will keep you motivated.
Of course, leave room for change too. The best businesses are able to pivot on a dime. They start and get going, only to realize the current approach isn’t working. However, the process reveals where the true treasure lies and they alter course accordingly.
It’s a balance. Know where you want to end up and constantly visualize achieving it. But be flexible and honest enough to know when to chart a different path.
2. The Business Plan
All successful businesses start with a plan.
It’s downright crucial to success. You need a clear understanding of where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
That’s where the plan comes in. Analyze the market. Set clear, SMART goals to work towards. Break those goals down into smaller, workable chunks. Figure out the processes that’ll get you there.
Consider any obstacles too. What’s going to stop you from achieving those goals? Forecast and figure out workarounds to the challenges ahead.
3. The Market
The market is a key consideration for new businesses.
You may have a great idea. The trouble is that 100 people had the same one ten years ago. They set up shop and are now well established. This is your competition. They have an audience and you don’t. You need to beat them for your business to be a success.
Sure, competition isn’t a bad thing. But when the market’s already saturated, getting ahead becomes that bit harder.
The basic rule is simple, though: understand the current state of the market in advance.
A clear idea of whether your idea could gain traction is pivotal. Look at the current state of affairs and where it’s headed.
4. The USP
USP is short for a unique selling point.
In essence, how will your product or service stand out from the competition? What will make your business unique?
Every business needs one. Otherwise, what’s the point? Why would a customer choose you over the other dozen similar services in operation?
Maybe you’re bigger, better, faster and cheaper. Maybe you take a novel approach to an age-old problem. Maybe you’ve found a way to deliver exceptional service at significantly lower costs. Maybe you provide a higher-quality service with a premium attached.
Your USP could be anything.
But you need one, and you need to know what it is from the outset in order to advertise it.
5. The Customer
You might read that and think it sounds silly.
After all, you don’t even have a business yet! Why would you think about the customers? Heck, how could you think about the customers?! You haven’t got any yet to learn about.
We aren’t asking you to consider actual customers. Instead, we want you to think about your customer avatar. This is your ideal customer. It’s the person/audience you want to appeal to; the people you expect to walk through your door or click the ‘buy’ button online.
Take some time to conceptualize them. Be as accurate as you can. Picture what they look like, how they think, where they live, how old they are, where they work, how much disposable income they have, their political preferences…the absolute lot.
This avatar will help determine your business decisions down the line. It’ll be a guiding hand to branding decisions, marketing efforts, and so on. It’s invaluable.
Here are some top tips on determining your customer avatar.
6. The Team
Many successful businesses start from humble beginnings.
Think Steve Jobs and Wozniak founding Apple from their garage.
Of course, Apple then grew into the behemoth of today. The same could be true for you. Even if you don’t attain such heady levels of success, though, your business may well grow over time.
If/when that happens you’ll need to hire new people to the team. Think about the ideal people you want to work with. Indeed, you may want to take on help from the very beginning. Going it alone is exponentially harder.
Always seek to hire people who are better than you are! They should share your value and vision, and fill any holes in your expertise with their own skills and experience.
7. The Legalities, Finances & Insurance
It’s time to think practically.
First things first: you want to know about the legal side of things.
What are your legal and fiscal obligations? The worst thing you can do is start making business decisions that will be detrimental in the future. You must abide by legal requirements. Consider speaking with a lawyer to help answer questions and cover your legal back from the beginning.
Next up, money.
All businesses need capital. Think about how much investment you’ll need to get going. Next, consider where you’ll get it from and set about making it happen.
Last but not least: insurance. Business insurance, such as business interruption insurance, is a vital means of mitigating serious eventualities. It’s downright essential for preventing legal and financial implications hamstringing your operations.
Final Thoughts on Things to Consider When Starting a Business
There you have it: 7 key things to consider when starting a business from scratch.
Tens of millions of small businesses are currently in operation around the US. However, never assume that starting one is easy. It’s common knowledge that the vast majority of businesses close after a few years.
It’s crucial to know what you’re getting into from the outset. In that endeavor, certain considerations are important to take into account.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted exactly what to keep in mind in your bid to run your own business.
One step ahead of the game? Already started your business and looking to get insured? We can help. Click here to get a business insurance quote.