Updated: May 31, 2021
So many of us dream of creating and owning a business that we are passionate about. We also want it to be successful from the get-go, but there are some steps we need to take in order to get the ball rolling, and without them, a business may never get off the ground. We have outlined 6 crucial steps to follow when starting your own business, which will help you on the path to a successful business launch.
1) Make sure you write a business plan. All the passion under the sun and drive to success won’t help you if you don’t know where you want to go and how to get there. A business plan will help you set goals and figure out how to work towards them. But, this is not a ‘set and forget’ task – a business plan is only useful if you use it. You should have it somewhere easy to access and refer to, and check in regularly with your plan to make sure you are still working towards your goals and not getting distracted by other things along the way.
2) Commit to you and your business – If you aren’t committed, no one else will be. You need to be determined to make your business successful. This takes a lot of hard work, from working long hours, taking out loans, and even cutting down on spending in your personal life (say goodbye to all those late-night online purchases!) and being self-motivated 100% of the time. You need to be able to understand what is critical to your business’s success, what issues may arise and how you are able to best accommodate for them. You need to live and breathe your business when you are solely building it from the ground up. They don’t call it a side hustle for nothin’!
3) Get feedback – All feedback is good feedback when you are starting out, those initial opinions and comments on your business plan will help you decide which direction your business should go in. Negative feedback is good! You want to hear what your customers want, what is not being provided to them from anyone right now and how you can fill that gap. Not sure where to get feedback from other than family and friends (who let’s face it, might not ‘get it’) – check out your local Facebook groups. There are lots of them around, including industry specific ones. These can be a great place to get feedback from people who are a little removed from you personally.
4) Find your niche – Use feedback to find your niche and develop your business strategy. You need to decide on your target audience and know who you are competing with for their attention. What is your point of difference? How do you help solve your target audiences’ problems? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to refine your business and marketing plans. You need to be prepared; you don’t want to begin a step behind everyone else.
5) Create a schedule – When beginning it is hard to stick to a routine, but it is vital to draw out a plan and a schedule for your business roll out. It allows you to hold yourself accountable and ensures that tasks are completed when they need to be in order to keep your business running. Set goals for yourself. If you plan on launching your first product, create a timeline for this. This timeline needs to ensure space for all your tasks to be completed to a high standard. You also need to ask yourself questions like is your product is seasonal? How much time does it take you to produce your product? How much time will you need to take to promote and build up the hype for your services/business/brand? It is important to account for everything in the lead up to a launch to have it run as smooth as possible, then know that there will still be hiccups anyway.
6) Begin your marketing now – marketing shouldn’t be a something that you leave until after you have begun setting out to launch your business, it should be at the forefront of your planning. You need to figure out how you can best reach your target audience as soon as you begin your business journey. Finding out how to best reach your customers, and what makes them interested. Networking functions, social media and online advertising are all things you need to consider. What is the best option for you? Should you be planning a marketing launch event? Or will your customers respond better to influencers and a strong social media campaign?