If you have been feeling like your life needs a bit of a recharge, then starting a business might just be the thing for you. Starting a business and being your own boss is the ultimate American dream, with it can come financial freedom and a fresh new purpose in life. However, diving into the unknown territory of business ownership may be a bit scary, you may even be thinking that business-ownership is mostly for men, well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The number of women-owned startups has been on the rise over the last few years or so. In fact, according to the National Association of Women Owned Businesses, over ten million businesses in the United States are owned by women of all races and ages. These inspiring statistics proves that if those women can do it, then so can you. All it takes is an idea and enough courage to turn that idea into a business that can recharge your life and generate a continual income. Below are the eight steps you should follow to create a successful business.
8 Steps to Starting a Successful Business:
- Understand what it means to be a business owner: Many novice business owners fail before their first year of operation because they lack the knowledge of what it means to be a business owner. Running your own company goes deeper than simply making money, it can actually be a nonstop roller coaster of stress and anxiety, and if you’re not ready for it, all of that stress can knock you off your feet. However, the emotional and financial payoffs of it all can make the roller coaster ride worth it. And once you learn the ins and outs of running a business, the stress that come won’t seem so stressful.
- Determine what your business is going to be: The business you create should be based on something that you are passionate about; it should be something that evokes joy because you want to love what you create. If you are good at designing websites then you should consider starting your own firm, or if you enjoy promoting handmade crafts then a boutique would be an ideal choice, or if you are an excellent baker, then opening a pastry shop may be in your future. You can choose to open a virtual home-based business, a storefront or both.
- Create a business plan: After you have decided the type of business you are interested in creating, the next step would be to create a business plan. A detailed business plan is usually a requirement when taking out business loans. Additionally, your business plan will help you understand the industry you will be going into as well as help you determine how much money you need to maintain the business for at least a year. You can partner with a small business adviser for help if you need it.
- Raise startup capital: You need money to make money! Another reason that businesses fail is because the business owner failed to raise enough money. Funds are needed for things like mortgage for the storefront, bills, licenses, inventory, back-end supplies and those emergencies that will surely come. You can raise the funds by taking out a business loan, using personal savings, crowdfunding and by securing angle investors.
- Understand your target audience: Every niche has a target audience – if you are planning to open a health food store then your target audience will be middle to higher class people that are health conscious. Understanding your audience will help you determine your ideal location and also help you build your marketing plan.
- Find your ideal location: If you are planning to open a physical location then you have to shop around to find the ideal location. Finding a prime piece of real estate in a well-populated area that caters to your target audience will save you money on advertising. Also, a better location will help you see a return on your investment quicker.
- Market, market, market: You must continuously market your business to strengthen brand awareness and also to inspire repeat customers and invite new ones in. Your marketing plan should cover both online and offline forms of marketing – online marketing should include directory listings, SEO website creation, social media, newsletters and banner ads. Offline marketing should include word of mouth marketing, print ads, community involvement and sponsorships, promotional item giveaways and loyalty programs.
- Learn from your mistakes: There is no getting around mistakes when it comes to opening up a business; – the trick is to learn from them instead of letting the mistakes shake your confidence and end your dreams.
As mentioned earlier, starting your own business may be just the thing you need to recharge your passion and reclaim your life. Just follow the steps above, believe in yourself and take that leap of faith. Remember that you are a strong women and there is nothing that you can’t do!
What business venture have you thought about starting and what is stopping you?