Did you know that 99.9% of all businesses are small businesses? According to Forbes, These companies employ over 46% of all employees even though a whopping 80% of them don’t have any employees at all, only an owner. If you want to get in on this trend, there are some things you need to have to be successful.
1. A Passionate Owner
The first thing you need is a love for whatever business you decide to open. Since you may be starting and working on this on your own for the foreseeable future, you have to be comfortable pouring your heart and soul into it. If you don’t love it, this will be hard, and it will be easy for resentment to settle in when the struggles come along — and they will.
2. A Great Product or Service
Just because you want to sell thing-a-ma-bobs doesn’t mean people will want to buy them. Before you start on this adventure, you’ll need to do some research into what products or services are marketable AND that you are capable of providing. Check places like Amazon and eBay and see if any of your product ideas are popular.
3. A Business Plan
Do NOT start this process without a good, in-depth business plan. This is a document that outlines your goals for the business with specific steps and milestones for achieving them. This is the road map for your success and your offering to investors so they can decide whether or not to give you start-up capital. HINT: You want to use OPM (other people’s money) to start your business whenever possible.
Some things to include in your plan are a mission statement, a list of things you will be selling or providing, a bit about yourself and anyone else involved and what the current financial outlook is for the business. Include any supporting documentation you may have, like your product research.
When you have it all fleshed out, make it look pretty and professional by adding appropriate graphics in the form of charts and graphs to help you get your point across.
4. A Face/Voice for the Public
Once you’ve got all the background work done and you are ready to launch, you need to decide how you will interact with customers. This is true whether you sell direct to consumers (B2C) or to other businesses (B2B). No matter who they are they need to be able to reach you. This could mean anything from a company email address to an answering service for small business. The latter can be advantageous because people still like talking to a live person when they call a company, and a service can free you up to do other things instead of answering the phone all day.
5. A Marketing Plan
The old adage about building a better mouse trap doesn’t guarantee sales success if no one knows you’ve built a better mouse trap. That’s where advertising comes into play. For most businesses, that means social media. Figure out which platforms will work best for your products/services and start blasting those newsfeeds.
6. A Professional-Looking Website
Even if you have a brick-and-mortar store, you still need an online presence besides social media. Customers today often do research about products and brands before they ever make a purchase. Having a website that performs well for desktop and mobile users and one that looks professional is a must.
If you have the six things above and the desire to be your own boss, small business owners just might be in your future.