Many of us have business dreams: maybe it’s a bar that never has a last call, or a bakery that specializes in vegan treats, or the ultimate tax preparation specialists for horse ranchers. Whatever it is, there are steps that you can take today to turn that dream into a reality – and, importantly, a profit.
How can you do it? We’re here to tell you. There are a few tips that every aspiring business owner should know before diving into the world of small business ownership. Take a look, see what works for your particular business idea, then get ready to hit the ground running and start the hustle.
Start with a business plan
Your business plan is your roadmap to the future. It explains how you plan on turning your ingenious business idea into a functioning enterprise built to generate profits. Without one, you’re pretty much adrift without a sail.
When you’re first sitting down and thinking about turning your business idea into a reality, you should stop, invest in quality business-planning software, and start actually gaming out how you plan to grow and succeed. Doing this step well will actually help you when it comes to the next item on this list.
Figure out funding
Funding is often one of the most difficult hurdles many aspiring business owners have to leap over when building up their brands. After all, few people have the capital in-hand to start a business without any extra help. Where can you get funding? You have a couple of options:
- Investors: Remember your business plan? This is what you can show to investors who can offer you funding in order to help you grow your business. The better, more convincing, and more evidence-based your plan, the more likely you are to attract wealthy business investors.
- Loans: Your other option, and one that many small business owners opt for, are loans. Small business loans can come with decent rates and reasonable repayment periods as long as your business credit is strong and you have a great model that generates an income.
Once you know where your initial funding will come from, it’s time to focus on your long-term financial picture.
Consider your long-term finances
In addition to funding for getting your business off the ground, you should also think about how you plan on managing your finances long-term. This means getting into the weeds on topics like small business accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation.
These areas, though they may seem like the annoying homework portion of running your business, are actually some of the most important. Without balanced books and a clear financial outlook, you won’t know how well your business is doing, and you could soon find you’ve run out of money.
Hire on extra help
Let’s face it: nobody can run a business all on their own. That’s why, as your business grows and develops, you’ll probably need to consider hiring on a little extra help to manage the parts of your business that aren’t your number 1 strength areas.
Don’t panic. Hiring doesn’t have to be a headache. Bringing on the right people is just a matter of finding the talent profile that suits your business’s needs – and ensuring that you only bring on people that you can trust.
Plus, you have a couple options when you’re getting started:
- Outsource work to freelancers: this is cheap and effective for many businesses, but is a shorter-term strategy.
- Bring on part-time employees: maybe a salary and 401k aren’t in your budget yet; don’t sweat it. You can bring on a few part-time workers to help you out. Just be sure to run a background check employment history screening to ensure you’re getting the person they say they are.
Secure your scaling strategy
The last thing to focus on is how you plan on scaling. All businesses must continue to grow (at least in the early days) to ensure their long-term success. However, with scaling comes certain growing pains – like a stretched budget, longer lines of credit, and more employees to manage.
If you’re serious about turning your dream into a reality – and securing returns for your initial investors – you’ll need to figure out how to scale. Like everything else on this list, scaling is just a matter of taking time, patience, and talent and applying them in a smart way. With these tips in hand, you’ll be off to a good start.