There are many steps to take when starting a small business. From coming up with a great idea, to finally opening your doors for your first official day running, and every day in between and after, becoming a business owner means there will be a never-ending string of decisions you will have to make.
However, before you begin your journey into entrepreneurship, there are things you will want to complete to ensure both the success you’ll have as an owner, and the success of your business itself. Here are five things to do before starting your small business:
- Study your industry
From agriculture to restaurants, you’ll want to understand the ins and outs of your industry. Studying its popularity, the audience it attracts and trends, you’ll be able to better understand what will be asked of you when working in your specific industry, network with influential people, and prepare for your future.
- Compare your competitors
For the entirety of your business’s life you’ll want to know how you’re measuring up to competitors; this includes before you begin your first day. Check out your competitions locations, social media accounts and websites. What audiences are they attracting? How successful are they online? What seems to be working for them, and what isn’t? How can you not only separate yourself from your competitors, but simultaneously make yourself more appealing? Know who you are competing against so you can do better.
- Analyze your motives
Answer this question as honestly as possible: Why are you starting your small business?
Do you feel it’s an easy way to make money, or has this been a dream of yours for years?
Soon, you’ll find yourself answering more questions like, “Is this an industry that you love, or just something that you’re good at? Where do you want your business to be in five years?”
Answering these questions (and more like them) will help you find reasoning into why you’re starting your business and, honestly, whether or not this is the right move for you.
- Research funding options
Unless you have thousands of dollars saved up to invest in your business, odds are you’ll need to research ways to obtain capital. From renting or buying real estate and equipment to working capital, a loan may be essential to initially getting your business off the ground.
Check out this eBook on how to better understand and overcome the challenges surrounding SBA loans.
- Analyze… again!
Are you (or will you be) prepared if your business isn’t as successful as you’d hoped? Do you have a business plan to present should you need funding or marketing advice? Are you committed to seeing your business through? Answer these questions truthfully to really find where you stand in regards to diving into the world of entrepreneurship. Keep asking questions—to question your company, your direction and your motives is to find areas where you can grow and improve.
While there is not a concrete set of tasks to complete before you are ready to start your small business, you will want to make sure to cover the basics. Understanding the industry that you are going to be working in and the work you will need to put in to make your business stand out and be successful is only the beginning of an exciting and challenging career move.
Have you started your small business and are trying to decide what your next step should be? You may want to seek the advice of a Florida Capital Advisor to assist with the critical thought process required to achieve your goals.