Starting a business can be immensely rewarding. But, it can also be stressful. There’s so much to do, it can be hard to know where to start.
If you’re a new entrepreneur, here are 5 things you need to do when starting your business:
1. Secure funding
Before starting a business venture, entrepreneurs need to secure funding for their business idea. In many cases, business owners don’t have access to enough money to launch their company alone, so they might turn to private investors or financial institutions.
There are various financial products available for small business owners. For example, business loans have been part of the mainstream banking system since its inception.
Although the banks have typically focused on larger companies, most now offer small business loans. These are customized for the needs and capabilities of small businesses, and they take into account a likely lack of assets and the higher risk nature of the loan.
Another option is crowdfunding. This is a newer concept, but is growing in popularity. Crowdfunding platforms give businesses the chance to get funding through a series of smaller donations from multiple investors and individuals, often for an equity share in the company.
2. Become financially savvy
Financial literacy is a key part of success for business owners. Making smart financial decisions is critical. This includes making a business plan and regular budgets, taking into account different items like administrative costs, wages, selling expenses, and other overheads.
Another point to consider is investments. Investing in the future can help you avoid unforeseen costs. It’s a good idea to put money aside for taxes and other expenses, as well as investing in new technologies when needed.
3. Research legal requirements
Laws and regulations can be complicated. It’s not something you can afford to just learn as you go along. You need to do thorough research before starting a business. Depending on your industry, what you’re selling, and your location, you could face huge fines if you fail to do this!
Another thing to look into is insurance. If something goes wrong and you don’t have it, you could end up in a lot of trouble. Additionally, in some places and in some industries, it’s a legal requirement to have business insurance and, again, you could face fines if you don’t.
4. Expand your network
Networking is vital to business success, and you should focus a decent amount of time on it. Doing this really pays off – making connections is one of the best ways to progress in business.
From launching your business (or even beforehand), you should regularly network with others in your industry, both online and offline. If you’re doing business events or joining online groups, make sure you share contact details with any new connections.
If you’re meeting people in real life, you should have business cards ready to hand out. If you’re a business owner and you don’t have these yet, you can make them for free using an online tool like BusinessCards.
5. Automate tasks
Repetitive tasks can be time-consuming. If you want to avoid outsourcing work to save money, another way to deal with these tasks is by using free or cost-effective tools and resources to automate them. You can do this in all areas of your business.
Some examples of tools you can use are Sage for payroll and accounting, Slack for communicating with team members and clients, Google Calendar for managing tasks, and LinkedIn Recruiter for recruitment.
Using these tools, as well as others, is great for freeing up time to work on other areas of your business. In the early days, this can be the difference between success and failure!