Want to start a business? Simple…said no one ever!
Starting your own business can be one of the most rewarding while at the same frustrating experiences you’ll ever experience. There are so many things to consider that in many cases, the important ones slip through the cracks, creating issues when you least need them.
If you’re a green entrepreneur about to dive into a new business with little to no experience here are some key steps that will assist in your success.
Get a Business And Marketing Plan
With no experience, starting a business is like entering a maze, you won't really know which way is up. In the business world there are plenty of experienced experts that have not only ‘been there and done that’, but their business is to assist people by creating detailed and actionable business and marketing plans for startups and new businesses.
As the first point of call, you’re going to need a plan. A strategic business and marketing plan will outline the key business deliverables, objectives and assist you in functional areas – such as finance, supply chain, operations, sales, and marketing – areas where you might have little experience.
A specialist business plan writer will outline your situational analysis – including external and internal variables, providing you a clear map of where you are at that current point in time, your key capabilities and where the business needs to improve.
The plan should then outline key financial and non-financial objectives and deliverables for the business, which will underpin all the functional recommendations.
Set up Your Support Network
With your business plan in place, there will be a set of key deliverables around marketing, sales, accounting, legal, supply chain and operations to get into place to start kicking goals for your business. But what are you going to do with all these new found deliverables?
Next, it’s a great idea to set up a support network of people you trust to provide advice or simply lend an ear when you’re wading through the uncertainty of starting up a new business.
Getting a business manager or trusted accountant to provide you with sound advice about setting up your business for tax and reporting purposes including back end and accounting systems is vital for your business to start off on the right path.
Similarly, in the early days, it’s important to set up CRM and sales pipeline programs, integrate them with your accounting software, set up marketing and sales platforms as well as liaise with designers and web developers for your e-commerce platforms are paramount for your business.
Join a Business Community
If you’re going to launch a business but don’t have any experience, it’s important to broaden your business horizons and join as many business communities as you can.
Join local business breakfasts, business groups, small business conferences & workshops, incubator programs and any other small business centers that might have workshops and mentors available for you to tap into. For a while you might feel like you're attending every business event known to man, however, it's a great opportunity to tout your wares and get some understanding of what others are doing in business.
The key is to find networks and individuals who have done it all before to gather ideas, advice, and support when you are going out in business for the first time.
Understand Your Industry
Take the time to understand the industry you are launching our business in. If you are kicking off a business in an industry that has high regulatory hurdles, you might want to re-think your launch or focus on what vendor relationships or entry barriers you might have and understand anything you need to arrange before you launch.
If you need a bricks and mortar or shop front for your business, it’s going to be a heck of a lot more planning than a digital shop front, so be sure to put the planning in place to understand your industry and what planning needs to occur before you open your doors.
There’s no point kicking off a business if you don’t understand the industry. Take the time to develop relationships with contractors and anyone in the industry that you can and gather some knowledge from industry reports or people who are already running businesses in your industry to get a feel for the challenges and successes they are having to ensure your business is viable.
Get Digital And Set up Your Business Online
Setting up your website, email, social media and e-commerce platforms are paramount to your businesses success, so if you want to start a business, you’re going to need to get cracking on getting digital.
Web designers can help to create your website complete with e-commerce, links to social media, blog and SEO, all essential in today’s business world.
The key is to set your business up for where you want it to go, not where you are now. So why set yourself up for failure by not investing in a proper website, which has the possibility of making you look unprofessional and leading to missed sales and opportunities.
In addition to a website, you need all your social media platforms with rich content which is regularly updated with interesting content that your networks want to be a part of.
Spend Time on Processes For Your Business
By this stage, it is important to get a stack of systems in place to make sure your business hums along nicely.
Systems and processes for your new business may include back-end systems up to support growth, such as accounting and CRM software, inventory management software and bank accounts as well as supply chain systems to support growth.
The more processes you can set up to be automated the more streamlined you can make your business so you can focus on drumming up business rather than the day to day systems.
Test Your Market
Test, test then test again. Be open to feedback from those around you and don’t be offended – if someone has a criticism, look at it as an opportunity for growth.
Embrace the minimum viable product (MVP) methodology, which allows you to release something to the market in a ‘raw’ state, without the ‘bells and whistles’ attached, but with enough functionality for constructive feedback to be provided to you and your business.
To evolve your product, service or experience give customers what they actually want, rather than features you build in they may not even want at all!
Release your product to a ‘captive and controlled market’ of friends, family or in a geographic area or channel where you can get feedback, test the delivery mechanisms, payment methods and advertising/marketing spend in a controlled environment before you take the product to market and spend money on something that people don’t want, or market through channels where the market simply don’t buy.
There are countless examples of where too many features are built into products that are simply not needed – take men’s razors, for example, they come with 10 blades a flashlight, a beard trimmer and all you want to do…is shave your face. Many simply processes can be overcomplicated and miss the market of your client base.
Learn, evolve and take negative feedback from your customers, not as an insult, but a change to better yourself and your projects.
Let Your Business Evolve
Change is good, there are very few products that have come out and not evolved. Facebook started out as an internal communications platform – now it is the largest social network and marketing platform in the world.
Your business may start out with all intentions of being one product for one market, but things change, things evolve.
Seek Help From The Experts
It’s pretty rare to have all the answers when you are starting out, so it’s important to engage experts to help you with tasks that you can’t do yourself.
Rather than trying to wear ten hats, focus on doing what you do best and leave the rest to the experts.
That might mean bringing in a marketing expert, business development manager, graphic designer, web developer, web designer, copywriter, or any other expert to meet your needs.
Hire a Freelance Team to Help Grow Your New Business FAST!
In the early days, it’s best to engage freelance help so that you’re only using experts when you need them and not paying huge fees for ongoing support.
Building up your street cred and understanding what you’re selling can be hard, so it’s important to start with a plan, build your networks and seek help from the experts to grow a business when you have limited experience.
Freelancer.com makes hiring the best talent for your new business easy.
If you’re in need of a brilliant freelance content writer, app developer, business development expert or graphic designer, Freelancer.com has thousands of freelancers ready and waiting to work on your project.
Whatever freelancer you’re looking for to work on your startup, you’ll find the perfect match for your business needs.
Post a project today, and receive bids within seconds.