Since the global upheaval of the pandemic, the work landscape has changed. Professionals left the traditional labor force in droves, opting instead for the freedom and control of entrepreneurship. If you’re thinking about following suit and starting a business of your own, strategy is key — a well-planned launch can increase your chances of success.
Come Up With a Business Idea
The first — and most important — step in becoming an entrepreneur is coming up with a business idea. Some ways to do so:
- Solve a problem in your life
- Offer consulting services in line with your professional background
- Improve an existing product or service
- Look for opportunities adjacent to new technology
- Find holes in an existing market
Choose the Right Business Model
After you have an idea for a company, you’ll need to choose a business model — the way you’ll operate and make money. If you want to sell baked goods, for example, you might create an online shop, open a brick-and-mortar store, or run a booth at farmers’ markets.
Popular business models include:
- Subscription service
- Freemium apps and software
- Affiliate marketing
- Independent contracting
When you pick a business model, you might also consider registering a “doing business as” (DBA) name. If you’re a sole proprietor, a DBA is a way to separate your name from your company. If you form a limited liability company (LLC), a DBA allows your company to offer products and services under another name without creating an entirely new business. It’s also helpful if the web domain for your current business name is taken; simply register a DBA for an open URL.
Find Business Funding
Many entrepreneurs are self-funded; this is a good option if you want to test the waters or start with a side hustle. Bootstrapping requires you to keep expenses low and operations lean, but it reduces your risk.
If you want to do a full-scale launch, you may need to find funding. Common funding sources are:
- Small business loans
- Startup grants
- Private investors
- Venture capital
Regardless of where you obtain funding, keeping a close eye on your books and cash flow will be crucial, so look to an integrated bookkeeping system with features like organized invoicing, receipt tracking, balance sheets, time tracking and inventory management.
Market Your Business
Marketing is one of the most important tasks for a new business; it helps you bring in customers. To start, create a website for your company. Then, you can try:
- Network marketing. Promote your business to your personal and professional networks using email or in-person conversations.
- Social media. Create profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to market your new company.
- Advertising. Pay for targeted ads on Google, social media, or print publications to drive traffic to your company website or e-commerce store.
- Content marketing. Write blogs or make YouTube videos to attract customers.
- Print media. Hang posters and flyers in public places to raise awareness of your business. Other options are signs, billboards, and business cards.
Outsource Common Tasks
Time is the most valuable resource for a new entrepreneur. You might not have the funds to hire full-time employees, but you also can’t do everything on your own. Outsourcing is a great solution; pay professionals on a contract basis to help you with:
- Web design and development
- Branding and logo design
- Social media
- Graphic design
- Customer support
Start a Business Today
There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Use the strategies above to start and grow your business.