7 Tips for Starting a New Business that Every Startup Should Consider
Starting your own business can be a mixture of excitement and fear. It's exciting knowing that you can set your own schedule and do what you are passionate about. However, it's also scary embarking on an unknown journey that comes with risks.
Your path of opening your business will be different than others in many ways. You'll quickly learn that what worked for another may not work for you or what did not work for another worked wonders for your business. This has a lot to with differences in timing, location, environment, budget, emotional and mental patterns, and trends.
We wanted to offer some tips that are not offered often to new business owners, but tips that are wise to consider and to implement. Check them out:
1. Be prepared to learn as you go.
You may think that you have to have all the answers and solutions before you even open the door of your new print shop, sign shop or whatever business you open. Unfortunately, you can not possibly have all of the answers that you need run your business. Fortunately, you will have opportunities to learn along the way.
2. Know what solution your business offers.
Oftentimes, business owners have a passion for something and they want to offer that product or service because they love and believe others will. But, it's not that simple. Have a great understanding how your product or service is the solution that a consumer or another business can benefit from. For example, Rao and Ravi, the co-owners of shopVOX, created their first software signVOX with a solution in mind. SignVOX was created to help sign shops better organize and manage their businesses. 10 years later, shopVOX is used by 1000's of custom shops in over 26 countries. Ask yourself, "What solution will my business offer?" and "What problems will my business solved?"
3. Keep it simple.
When you think of some of the most successful companies, they started off selling one or two products or services. Think of Crocs, Spanx, and Uber.
Offering too many items at once, will spread you too thin. You will need too many different tools, more space and more advertising. If you target too many types of consumers and industries, you can become overwhelmed. It's better to be an expert at one thing, then trying to balance 10. Once you master those items and can afford to expand, then expand.
4. Be organized from the beginning.
Benjamin Franklin stated, "For every minute spent organizing, an hour is learned." How do you want to organize your sales leads? How are you going to organize your quotes? How are you going to organize your notes, invoices, customers, vendors, and other important areas of your business? Having post it notes and scattered piles of a papers or files will cause chaos in the future. Find a solution that makes organizing your business easy.
5. Don't go solo.
It's tempting to try to be superman or superwoman when opening up a business that you are passionate about. It's your baby and no one knows it better than you and no one can take care of it better than you. While that may be true, you can't possibly do everything alone. You will need to market, do sales, run the everyday operations, create the products and/or perform the services, invoice, maintain excellent customer relationships, clean, research, and also motivate yourself. It's best to have at least one person you can rely on even if that person is only a consultant, part time worker or independent contractor in the beginning.
6. Carve out "me time".
It's so easy to get caught up in the passion of owning your business that you overwork yourself. You may truly love what you are doing and want to completely immerse yourself into all aspects of your business from dawn to sleep, but you will burnout without breaks for fitness, connection and quiet time. Even an hour a day to go for a run, a workout at the gym or lunch with a friend will rejuvenate you and give you an added boost of energy.
7. Invest in the right tools.
The right tools for your business will save you time, maximize your productivity and make you money. If you are starting a print shop, investing in a high quality printer, laminator, cutting system and graphic design software are obvious. But, it's also wise to invest in your accounting software and business management software in the beginning so all data is organized early on.
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