How to Start Your Own Business
Going from Freelancing to Owning Your Own Company? Important Steps to Take When Starting Your Own Business
Taking that first big step to becoming your own boss is full of mixed emotions. You’re excited, hopeful, and maybe a little scared of what is to come.Deciding to leave your day job and invest in yourself is more and more common these days. No matter how smart you are, most people need a little help navigating how to get started. If you’re like us, you’ll be scrolling through a lot of websites doing research. If you’ve got some money saved, you can also hire a consultant to help you get through the guesswork of local regulations, contracts, employment laws, and taxes.
We’ll be going over the general steps to take and other important things to keep in mind when you start your own business. Keep in mind that fees and laws vary depending on where your business will be located, so be sure to check with your local small business councils to ensure you’re following all the rules.
Most people start their side hustles and passion projects as a way to make extra income and work really hard to offer quality service and build up clientele. When the time and money from your side hustle starts to exceed what you can handle while keeping your day job, it’s time to make some decisions.
Steps to take:
File for a business license.
The paperwork required to legally have your own business varies by location and industry. Check your state and local town’s websites to see what license, permits, certifications, etc. are required to run your type of business. There are many decisions you’ll need to make, so do your research before deciding on an LLC over a corporation.
You’ll need to choose a name, decide on the structure, and register your business on a local, state, and federal level. This is where many people get stuck and where mistakes can be made, if you’re not careful. It is a good idea to work with a consultant if your business is highly regulated, involves more than one person, or if you’re feeling lost. Getting started on the right foot is money well-spent!
Open a bank account and set up a system to track your financials.
Keeping your business and personal expenses separate and organized is necessary when you start your own business. Setting up a system for tracking your transactions will make your life much easier come tax time. Many companies offer accounting services and software, but whether or not you need an accountant or a google sheet depends on your business.
Weigh out the pros and cons and see if the cost of paying for a service or someone else to do it is worth it. If your business has a lot of operating costs and equipment involved, it’s a good idea to speak to an accountant to make sure you are maximizing your business deductions come tax time. And if you are completely lost, a little help in the beginning will help set you up for long-term success.
Get to work on growing your business.
If you already have a good group of clients and are covering all of your expenses with your current clientele, you may not be thinking about growth right now. However, changes in the economy (like, say, a global pandemic -__-) can quickly affect your business and deplete your savings.
When an opportunity to grow your business by taking on more clients/work presents itself, it’s a good idea to take it while you can. You may need to hire help or contract out certain aspects of your business to make it happen, but it’s always a good idea to build up your stream of income and clientele. If you are struggling to grow your business, put some time and money into your marketing strategy.
Depending on your type of business, the way you offer your products and services can have a huge impact on your business. If your business is struggling or stagnant, it’s time to plan out your marketing strategy. This may all seem simple, but doing it well can be time-consuming and difficult to maintain when your business starts to get busy.
Before deciding to pay someone or going the DIY route, weigh the costs and benefits, and don’t forget that time is money! Also keep in mind that first impressions are very important, so if you’re not skilled in graphic design or lacking in tech skills, it may be a good idea to pay for the service. Below we made a list of important aspects to consider in your marketing strategy.
Target Market Your target market and marketing strategy work in a symbiotic way. It is very important to keep this in mind while creating your marketing strategy because the ways you offer and promote your products and services vary in success depending on who your target market is. Your target market may be a type of person or a business, and what matters to them is something you need to become familiar with.
Product (or service) If you make products, you need to evaluate everything; from the materials and packaging to whether you offer refunds or guarantee programs after the sale is made. If your target market is a frugal shopper, you may use materials that are less expensive and you may not offer guarantees, since frugal shoppers tend to be most focused on price. On the other hand, if your product is costly to make and sold at a higher price, your target market may value knowing where materials are sourced from and expect that it comes with a guarantee of some sort. Be sure to research your competition and set yourself apart with your service, innovation, and quality.
Place Depending on the type of business you run, where you are located can have a huge impact on attracting your target market. Restaurants, salons, and day cares are examples of businesses that are greatly affected by their physical locations. We all know how important it is to be visible, but being in the best place isn’t cheap. Consider if the cost of paying for your physical location is worth it for your business or not. These decisions have a huge impact on your financials and most commercial leases last 3+ years, so make sure you do your research before committing.
Price How you price your product is very important both on a financial level and on a competitive level. Your target market is more informed than ever before and a quick internet search for a competitor’s pricing is commonplace. If you offer a high quality product with a guarantee, be sure to highlight that; even frugal customers know that paying a little more is worth it if the product is better quality.
Promotion The influence of social media has changed the way businesses advertise and your business’s online presence matters more than ever. Having a website is necessary these days, but especially important if your business doesn’t have a brick and mortar location. Having your products and pricing online can also save you a lot of time on back and forth communication.
Choosing what channels to advertise through varies depending on your target market. If you’re selling to older generations, some of the traditional modes of advertising may still be viable, but it really depends on your business. If you don’t have the time or skills to do this well on your own, it is a good idea to hire an expert because the pay-off is almost always worth it in the long-run. Sometimes you really do need to spend money to make money.
Starting and growing your business will require a lot of time, energy, and good decision-making. Time will become a commodity once your business is up and running, so get comfortable about the idea of getting help with the things you can no longer keep up with on your own and try new things if you’re struggling with growth. Reach out to KAKE if you need help with your marketing strategy and online presence. We have years of marketing and consulting experience and a track-record of success, and we’d love to help you reach your goals.