Taking the leap, quitting your corporate job and starting up your own small business can be a terrifying journey to embark on. However, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Following your passion, doing something you truly care about and working for yourself has so many benefits despite the hard work and pressure that this lifestyle might entail. Because of COVID-19, many people have reassessed their work lives, whether by force or by choice and had the decision to start working and running their own business from home. In the beginning, this can be a tricky thing to manoeuvre and there are various elements you’ll need to consider carefully before you start and in the early stages of your journey. Keep reading for a few tips on how to make a success of this new venture.
Leverage the Internet
We live in 2021, a time when anything and everything that you can do in your life, can also be done online. Socialising, shopping, entertaining yourself, managing your finances, health and fitness – you name it and it’s part of the online sphere. This is why it’s a good idea to bring your small business into this world too and make sure that everything is effectively integrated. Even if your business revolves around handmade products, it’s a good idea to have a website where people can look at your stock, pricing and other information, and even order your products online. This will mean more traffic for your store and a larger market to reach.
If you’re not super familiar with the online world and how to navigate it all, it’s important that you have some professionals involved. You could get a professional web designer to help with your website and be sure to have good IT support in case you run into any issues that could have an effect on your business functioning. For example, if you’re in the area, you can click here for great IT support, Salt Lake City.
Optimise Your Costs
Your business budget, especially in the beginning stages, is going to be a crucial touchpoint for you. You’re going to want to assess your expenses regularly in order to determine which of them are truly necessary and which can be reduced or cut out entirely. Early on, you might not be completely sure of what you need to be spending on and what might be a waste, but these are things you’ll figure out over time. It’s important to set a budget at the beginning of the month in order to determine and plan where you want to be spending your money, and then reassess what you actually ended up spending at the end of the month to see if you went over any of your expenses and where you think you could have spent a little less.
Keep in mind that there are areas where you can and can’t control how much you spend. For example, when ordering stock and supplies, try to negotiate discounts for bulk buying from your supplier. Also, be sure to keep your overheads as low as possible by saving energy where you can and avoiding renting our office spaces or employing staff too early on in your journey. However, there are cases where these kinds of expenses are unavoidable and your best option is to be smart about how you handle them.
Keeping your expenses as low as possible will help you to break even in the beginning and hopefully start to see some profit soon too – but this can only be achieved through pretty strict budgeting and financial management. You may want to speak to a professional in this regard too. Financial managers will of course cost you money too, but if you’re struggling to work with your business costs, it could be a very worthwhile expense.
Get the Word Out
As a brand new business, nobody is going to know you exist, unfortunately. One of those unavoidable and extremely important expenses you’ll incur is your marketing and advertising. It’s crucial as a new business that you allocate some capital to good marketing to build some traction for your business. Social media is usually your best bet and is oftentimes more affordable than your commercial advertising strategies in mainstream media. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook offer paid advertising options for business pages which allow you to select the type of audience and market you want to target and they do most of the work for you, spreading your promotional content to the right kinds of people.
Social media marketing can be even more cost effective if you know how to work with it. Offering affiliate and referral links can drive free promotion and get traffic to your website, and working with brand ambassadors can cost you close to nothing to get some exposure that’s almost as good as good old word of mouth. It’ll be important for your social media presence to clearly state who you are and what you have on offer. More than this though, you’ll need your page to look inviting and draw the attention of your target audience. Remember, almost every other business is using social media for marketing too, so you’ll need to make an effort to stand out.
Starting your own business may be terrifying, but it’s absolutely doable if you have the right vision and a passion to get it done. In most cases, it’s a good idea to speak to professionals to help you out in the beginning, until you get a good grip on what you need to be doing to succeed. If you can’t afford to hire web designers and financial managers, try to do as much online research as possible. The internet is full of free resources for almost any industry you could imagine, from blog articles to YouTube videos filled with free advice. Take every challenge as a learning opportunity and your business will grow right along with you.