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Being an entrepreneur is a challenge in itself. Besides a concrete business idea and adequate funding, you’ve to consider many things while starting up. Rigorous market research and competitor analysis will ensure nothing falls short to turn your idea into a successful business.
To that end, you’ve to decide on your priorities first. Understanding the scope of a new business is crucial, as it will help you outsmart your competitors, who have been in the same field for quite some time now.
However, you also have to make the most of some not-so-obvious but necessary things to minimize the hassles that your business may encounter in its initial days. Let’s give you an idea about these much-required elements to give a kick-start to your small business.
Business registration and certifications if any
You should register your business officially and get the necessary certifications once you’re clear about the business plan. Having your company registered under the state or federal government assures you that the business name isn’t taken by anyone else. It also adds to the reliability of a new business, thus increasing the chances of earning customers’ trust.
Once you register the business with the Registrar of Companies (ROC), you’ll be given a Certificate of Incorporation, which will protect you from liabilities, ensures perpetual existence and easy transfer of ownership and also makes it easier for you to manage the company when it grows.
You should consider getting a Certificate of Commencement issued, especially if you’re running the business on shared capital. The COC will also help you borrow money for your business.
Opening a business bank account
Having a business account can help you in numerous ways. The most obvious benefit of it is being able to keep your personal and business finances separate. This will ease up the process of accounting and tax calculations.
Of course, you want your business to grow into an enterprise in the future, don’t you? Maintaining a separate business account will enhance your professional impression in front of your clients, creditors, and financers.
Not having a business bank account will also give you a hard time separating your personal assets from that of the company’s, in case your business runs into trouble. Let’s all hope it doesn’t happen, but why that chance? You should create a separate account for your business at the earliest.
Getting a virtual phone number
This is something that generally doesn’t come to your mind while thinking about owning a start-up, but it’s necessary. Joe Murphy from GBPN recommends getting a business phone number in order to keep your personal phone number private. Besides, you’ll get a dedicated business voicemail and be able to maintain distinct operating hours, exceeding which, all the calls will be transferred to the voicemail.
You may start by owning a small company, where you’re solely responsible for the key business decisions, but it needn’t be so always. When you start hiring people to manage the administrative and other tasks, using your personal number for contacting your clients/customers won’t be an option anymore.
This apart, a virtual business phone number offers a series of benefits such as improved call-forwarding options, customized call routing facilities, custom greetings, detailed call history and many more. With minimum investment, you’ll be able to operate your business seamlessly.
Building a website
If you want to rule in this digital age, you need a strong online presence. Taking your small business online will not only expand your reach but also increase your chances of getting prospective leads. Even if you have a small business, it’s important to build a simple, responsive website to create brand awareness among your target audience.
You may think that your reputation and existing customer base will be enough to get you new leads every day, but it’s not true. Once you’re out there, you’re likely to face stiff competition from your peers, who have been there before you and have established a strong impression on their customers.
It’s then that you need to think out of the box and take the necessary steps to get new customers (or clients) based on your online presence. Even if your business idea is unique with lesser chances of encountering competition, a website will help you promote that idea to your potential customers.
Marketing your business
Once your business is up and running, you should think about marketing it online, as well as offline. Without proper marketing strategies in place, your business, no matter how promising it is, won’t do well in the cut-throat competitive market.
Why should your customers choose you? What’s so special about your products/services that they should leave your competitors and come to you instead? All these factors should be carefully jotted down and creatively presented before your audience.
These days, even the small to smallest of business owners rake their creative minds to come up with unique marketing strategies from time to time. Besides using the socials media platforms for promotions, they hire people (influencers) from the industry to review their products/services and increase trust among their customers.
You should do the same to establish your brand identity and get your small business to the next level. No small business owner likes to remain so for the rest of their lives, right?
Finding a mentor
If you don’t have any prior idea of how to take a business forward, you should find a mentor to guide you. Either you can get in touch with someone you know, or you can find a professional business coach, whichever seems suitable for you.
Managing all business aspects single-handedly can be a huge headache and may involve a lot of stress and anxiety. Getting the right guidance at the time is crucial for achieving your business goals and climbing up the success ladder gradually.
Wrapping it up
Every small business owner needs to create a definite strategy before setting off. Creating a to-do list and prioritizing your immediate requirements are integral to fulfilling your short and long-term objectives. If you follow the aforementioned suggestions and plan your actions accordingly, chances are, you’ll face fewer obstacles on your way towards success.
So pull up your socks and get working on your priorities right away.