If you have an idea for a business, you’re probably wondering what are the next steps you should take to make this a reality. The good news is that having an idea for a business is the first step to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Next, you’ll want to do some research to ensure that your idea will be successful— this includes conducting a market analysis, which will help you determine who your target market is and what the competitive market looks like. Once you’ve done these things, here’s what you need to know about starting up and running a successful business.
Starting Your Business
Create Your Brand Identity
When you have your business idea and know that there’s a market for it, it’s time to create your brand identity to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your brand identity will consist of:
- Your company name
- Your company logo
- Your slogan/tagline
- Your brand personality
Creating a brand personality is key to establishing a brand identity. Come up with a list of adjectives that would describe your business if it were a person. Write down your core values, why you want to create this business, and what you hope to achieve. In no time, you’ll have a solid brand identity that you can apply everywhere.
Develop Your Business Plan
A business plan is a roadmap that details the purpose of your business and what you hope to accomplish. There’s also a section in a formal business plan that details the financial aspects of a business, which includes getting financing for everything you’re going to need to start and run your business. This will help you secure financing so you can take the next steps in starting up your business.
Choose a Business Structure
The type of business structure you choose has a huge impact on virtually every part of your business. The four main business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC). An LLC is the most common type of business structure created by new business owners because it provides liability protection for the business owner.
Of course, the type of business structure you choose depends on the type of business you plan on opening, how many people are involved in the startup, and what your country’s laws state.
Secure All Legal Aspects
You’ll also need to obtain a federal tax ID/employer identification number (EIN) and a state tax ID, for tax purposes; obtain a business license and any permits you may need; open a business bank account, and obtain business insurance. The main types of business insurance you’re going to need are:
- General liability insurance (GLI)
- Business income/interruption insurance
- Product liability insurance and/or professional liability insurance
Other types of insurance you’ll need include commercial property insurance (if you operate within a building), commercial auto insurance (if you use a vehicle for business purposes), and workers’ compensation insurance (if you hire employees).
Running Your Business
Hire a Team
In order to successfully run a business, you’re going to need some help— which means that you’ll have to hire a team of people. This can be individuals within your company that you will pay directly, or it can be outsourcing to different companies for specialization. Some examples of roles you’ll have to fill include:
- Customer service manager
- Inventory manager
- Graphic designer
- Marketing specialist
- Social media manager
Familiarize yourself with Marketing
Even if you hire a marketing specialist, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with all of the latest marketing strategies— especially in the early stages of your business before you’re able to hire someone. Some marketing strategies that you’ll need to understand the basics of include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- SEO marketing
- Social media marketing
Select Business Software
Business software is going to be a lifesaver once your business starts to take off. It’s a set of computer programs that helps you organize and manage your day-to-day business functions. Examples of business software you’ll need include:
- Accounting software
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Project management software
- Time tracking software
- Website development software
It’s helpful to be able to manage all of your business software in one place, and this is possible with JDE Managed Services.
It takes a lot to start and manage a business, and this only scratches the surface. However, if starting a business is something you’re passionate about and you’re willing to put in the work, then it’s definitely worth doing and can be something that you’ll succeed at.