Top Tips Before Starting Your First Business
Starting a business is no easy task. There are a lot of things to think about before you even get started, from developing a business plan to choosing the right legal structure. Starting a business in 2022 means you’ll need to be even more prepared for the state of the economy and marketplace you’re entering. As the world reels from the fallout of a pandemic, it’s even more important to have your bases covered when it comes to your ideas, passion and awareness of that state of your industry. Remember that you’re entering a marketplace that has its own unique fluctuations and responses to economic changes. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best tips for entrepreneurs ready to take the plunge into starting their own business from top level business leaders who have been there themselves.
Understand Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses
Any entrepreneur is going to have a set of strengths and a set of weaknesses. These are important to take stock of before starting your own business. “Before starting your own business, make sure you have a full and honest understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you are and aren’t good at can help you determine what kind of help you’ll need and who you need to hire in the future. Be honest with yourself and determine what your strong suits and weak links are before launching your business,” said Andrea Xu, CEO of Umamicart.
This can help with your decision making when selecting business partners and team members in the future. “Knowing your weaknesses isn’t just about being humble, it’s also about knowing what to delegate and to whom,” said Scott Kubly of Cabana. “If you have an idea of what you’ll need support with beforehand, it can help you hire the right people at the start of your business.”
Start Small, and Keep it Simple
Most importantly, make sure you keep your goals achievable and simple. This is a good way to set meetable goals for yourself and allow yourself places to grow in the future. “The best ideas are the simplest ones. A lot of ambitious entrepreneurs like to aim for their wildest dreams right from the get-go, and this often leads to failure rather than success. Start small with any new business, this will not only give you a realistic goal to work toward, but allow you to gradually expand and grow your business as you learn how to run it,” said Ryan Rockefeller, Co-founder and CEO of Cleared.
This will allow you to grow by refining your ideas rather than scrambling to meet expectations that are ultimately too high. “Starting with a solid but simple idea for a business is a great jumping off point,” said Kashish Gupta, Founder and CEO of Hightouch. “Don’t think that you need to have an advanced growth plan right away, that will come with time. When starting a business, think about how you can develop and maintain the core idea of the business so that when it is time to expand you’ll have a solid foundation to build on.”
Probably one of best but most obvious pieces of advice is to make sure that whatever business you start, it’s in an industry that you have a great deal of passion for. This is one of the most overstated pieces of advice when starting a business, but it still remains true that you must be passionate about the business you are embarking on! Starting a company just because you think it will make money or be lucrative in some other way is a recipe for suspicious customers and bad business. If you are passionate about your industry, your customers will see that right away,” said Jaymee Messler, CEO of The Gaming Society. This is not only important for the quality of your company, but also to make sure you don’t get burnt out doing work in an industry that you don’t care for. Seek industries that spark your passion, then start building your team.
Research Your Marketplace
Just as important as passion is ample research on the marketplace and consumer audience you’re attempting to do business in. Whatever industry it is, it will likely have unique trends that will help you launch on solid ground. “Remember that you are entering a marketplace that has already existed prior to you starting your business, and you’ll need to understand the ins and outs of the industry, marketplace, and your target audience to effectively attract their business. Details like location, goals and aims of your business can make a great business plan bad when not paid attention to,” said Michel Mosse, Co-Founder and Head of Revenue at Hoist.
Especially in 2022, as we reel from a global pandemic, it’s even more important to understand the economic shifts of the marketplace. “Do plenty of research on the current state of the marketplace you will be entering,” said Shaun Price, Head of Customer Acquisition at MitoQ. “Many markets are fluctuating due to inflation and pandemic related economic shifts. This can mean different things for different industries, so look at competing companies to see what others are doing to get a sense of how the market is fluctuating.” Consumer spending trends have changed in recent years, shifting more to an online focus as Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce tells us. “One thing that business owners should take into account early on are current spending trends. Online shopping is at an all time high, while in store retail is struggling to keep up. Keep in mind your demographics and where your potential customers will most likely be shopping for your products or services.”
Cover Your Professional and Legal Bases
Is your business a non-profit organization, or a cooperation? Are there partnerships? These are details you’ll need to have covered before launching your company. “Do as much research as you can on the benefits of each type of business you can start,” said Kyle Weatherly of Frontdesk. “Depending on the business, you may want to consider registering your business as a non-profit or cooperative.”
You should also make sure to check all of your bases in terms of website domains, social accounts and networking materials. “Make sure you have all of your professional materials in check such as business cards, websites and social pages. These things are small, but they go a long way to improve your image especially at the beginning of your business’ journey,” said Michael Hennessy, Founder and CEO of Diathrive. This step is important to take early on as it’s always possible your preferred domain names and social accounts are taken.
Anticipate Needing Help, and Ask For it!
Anticipate that you’ll need assistance running your company. We already talked about strengths and weaknesses, and this is where applying that knowledge comes in! “Before starting your business, you should have a rough idea of the kind of help you’ll need moving forward. You will likely be starting small, so looking at one or two trusted team members to assist you with tasks that might be out of your skill zone is a good thing to start exploring early on, long before you launch your company,” said Joel Jackson, Founder of Lifeforce.
When you run into a problem you feel stumped on, ask for help! Whether it’s from your team or a trusted friend, it’s important to have people we can count on to bounce ideas off of in times of need or frustration. “Ask for help from your colleagues! No successful entrepreneur made big bucks completely on their own, and it’s totally normal to seek assistance from other experts in the industry. This also creates strong relationships between you and other business owners, an important step for any freshly launched business,” said Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder of The Pocketbook Agency.
Use the right tools
With the right tools, you can start your own business and have a lot of fun along the way. But before you do anything else, make sure to research your marketplace so that you know what works for other businesses in your industry. You’ll also want to spend time really figuring out who customers are so that you can tailor every aspect of the new company’s brand around them–from their needs on down to how they’d like to be communicated with. Once all those details are taken care of, it’s time to come up with an idea! Keep this simple by focusing on solving one problem or need at first instead of trying to tackle everything at once. Starting and maintaining a business is a process, so make sure you take it slow and give yourself lots of time and space to move forward and grow your business. Stay positive, passionate, engaged and ready to accept help from your team and colleagues when you need it. This will ensure that your business will mature as it ages!