So you’ve decided that the corporate ladder can kiss your ass – you’re going solo. There’s money to be made for intrepid entrepreneurs like yourself, you just need the right idea, some starting capital, and elbow grease. Here are a few tips to get your endeavour off the ground.
Be Ready to Work
Don’t go into business because you want to avoid work. Managing a small business can be incredibly rewarding, but you have to be prepared to eat, sleep, and breathe your business until it gets off the ground. Just like a baby, businesses need the most attention when they’re new. Handing off the business at this critical point to managers who don’t share your vision and enthusiasm could go very badly – you need to be the one providing leadership and direction. Because you’re the head honcho of your little kingdom, you have no one who will force you to work, but at the same time, if you don’t sell yourself and your business well, you won’t get paid.
Choose your Party
Some people like to work alone, but in business it’s always nice to have someone at your back. Get yourself a solid network of suppliers, workers, and advisors to help you. Alone, you’ll never have that second pair of eyes to tell you how bat-shit crazy your ideas are. Choose workers who compliment your style, can bring that much-needed spark to your brand, and can embrace your direction as their own.
Produce your Passion
Make sure, before you start off, that you’re PASSIONATE about your market. Forcing yourself to sell something you aren’t enthusiastic about will just make you resentful – and customers and clients will notice. If you’re selling carpet because there’s money in it, but your mind is on computers, there’s going to be a disconnect. Now, this might not be fatal, but you’d be a much more effective marketer/salesman if you were talking about what you loved. So find out what you’d be happiest doing – what excites and intrigues you?
Nail your Niche
How well your product or service sells depends on a few things, but in the beginning, marketing is key. Who wants your product or service, and how can you offer it to them? Find your target demographic and shift your advertising to take advantage of what you know they want. Advertising in a church bulletin is going to net different customers than advertising on Kijiji – know where your target is looking, and know how to catch their eye. Once you’ve caught them, make sure your product or service is easy to find, easy to use, and stylish to boot.
Most governments have grants to help out small businesses, so hit them up! You need all the help you can get to make your business flourish, and if there’s something out there that can help you, there’s no shame in nabbing it. Do some research into what you can write off as business expenses for your taxes, and budget to make sure there are no surprises come year-end.