So you want to start a small business? Well don't worry, there are tons of ways to start on a small budget. Lots of big businesses started at home. Some started in the basement, and some were just all run online. I run a small photography business from home that gets more and more traffic every day. The trick is not to get too discouraged ... and remember that you don't even have to invest too much money into it at first.
So let's get started.
Do Some Research
This might sound like the most boring thing ever, but it's a very important step.
Ask yourself questions like:
Is there a need for what you are selling?
Who needs it?
Are there are already companies doing the same thing?
What is the market like right now for your business?
Make a Plan
Now let's get the specifics down on pen and paper, after all... you have to make a plan!
Get these questions answered and made official:
What are you selling?
How is your business different from other businesses that sell the same thing?
How are you going to advertise?
Make a Logo
Logos are more important than you might think, you need to capture people's attention while still remaining professional.
Think About Finances
I hate to hear it and I hate to say it but... you have to spend money to make money... however, it doesn't always have to be a lot of money.
Try to think of how much the startup costs are going to be, add up all the fees and money for the first 6 months. This includes things like licenses and permits, market research, inventory, legal fees, equipment, flyers, insurance and maybe even a grand opening event.
You can apply for a small business loan if you need to, but remember to be prepared for your presentation when asking for the loan.
Get the Legal Stuff
Now for the boring stuff... first you should get your Employee Identification Number (EIN), next you can register your trade name and then you get your business license.
Pro Tip: You can use your EIN to register instead of your social security number!
Make a Website
It's hard to have a successful business without a website these days since everything is done online now. So make sure to claim your own .com and start making it look professional.
While your at it, you should also claim your social media names. Make an account on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WordPress and even Pinterest.
Make a Video
Videos increase customer viewing and participation with a website by an impressive amount, they increase sales by a decent amount too.
As your business grows, you can get better and better videos. In the meantime... any video will do.
Door to door flyer distribution still works and its the cheapest way to get your word out there. Even bigger companies like MacDonalds and Real estate agents still use the door to door method.
Pro Tip: to make sure you know which flyer distributor is the one brining in the customers/ add a unique promo code on each of their flyers. The code that gets used the most is the flyer distributor you should keep using.
Ask for Help
It's okay to ask for help.
In fact, when it comes to running a business, sometimes you have to swallow your pride and ask for help in order to keep your business running smoothing and making that precious profit.
There is no shame in starting from home.
The cost to have a physical store or office out of home is too much at first without a loan from the bank and many hugely successful businesses started in someone's basement. Plus, everyone shops online these days! So why not start small and work your way up!
Don't give up.
Chances are your first business plan won't be the one that goes as planned, but there are always more opportunities and more plans where that came from. So start from scratch if you have to, but don't give up.
Last but not least, once you get your business up and running take some time to celebrate. It may be your last chance in a while if you get too busy. So be proud of the small things.
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