***This post is a collaboration and may contain affiliate links. Whether you’ve quit your day job or not, starting up your own business can be a big financial risk. The last thing you want to do is invest a lot of money that you’ll never earn back. As for your time? If you’re doing something you love, perhaps it will never be a loss to you. However, your time is precious, and your startup needs to succeed to justify your investment, no matter how you choose to measure it. Here are my top tips for a successful business startup.
Successful Business Startup Tip #1: The Idea
Undoubtedly, you believe your idea is a good one. However, you should, at least, run it by a trusted friend or mentor and get his or her opinion. Sometimes, things can feel right but lack substance or true marketability. As a branding and business coach, I see this a lot. Dreams can become businesses but you have to have something concrete to sell, regardless of how cool your idea is. This isn’t always easy to accomplish. It takes savvy planning and development to build a successful business.
Successful Business Startup Tip #2: Time and Money
Most business ideas never become reality because they get squashed by life, lack of money or time. It’s important to count your costs before you move forward with any plans or spend any money. Some ideas are certainly worth investing in, but you need to consult with experts in the field to know for sure. From there, you can enlist the help you need to develop your business. Understand that you will have to put a lot of time into your fledgling operation. I can’t tell you how many women I’ve seen fail because they didn’t want to invest time and effort to get started. It’s a shame, too.
Successful Business Startup Tip #3: Working Space
The next thing to do is secure an effective working space. You don’t want to spend much money at this early stage, so a home office could be ideal. Most people use a spare room, garage, basement or other small space if they have it. If all you need is a desk and a laptop, you might not need much more than that. As long as it’s quiet and private, you should be able to focus on your work.
Successful Business Startup Tip #4: Vendors
Having quality and trustworthy suppliers for your business is essential. They are the ones that give you the ability to sell or, at least, a part of it. If you resell products like jewelry or fashion, you need the best price possible in order to make a profit. For example, this elf925 blog post says when you buy overstock jewelry your jewelry business profits could be much higher. While it makes sense to buy in bulk, be wary of investing too much in stock. It will drain your finances, and you may struggle to move it quickly.
Successful Business Startup Tip #4: Quality Website
Whether you sell your goods at the local market, or you operate exclusively online, your website has to be excellent. One thing that makes a website stand out is quality, interesting images. If you sell jewelry, illustrate the size in relation to the relevant body part. If you’re a supplier of toys, show the product from each angle. Don’t forget to detail relevant information like the materials used and the appropriate age range.
Your website will represent you, your business, and your brand. Keep things cohesive and interesting throughout the site. I highly recommend hiring a branding expert or graphic designer to help you with this if you are not visually creative.
Successful Business Startup Tip #5: Marketing
Once you have your product online, it’s time to drive traffic toward your sales pages. Use as much social media as you can without giving up every spare minute you have. You can also hire someone to handle this part of your startup if you have the cash flow. Some WordPress websites have plugins that will help you share your content quickly and easily across all the major platforms.
Successful Business Start-up Tip #6: Time Off
As much as you love your business and feel the need to work hard on it, you must take a break. Burnout is so easy and so common. If you start feeling tired and fed up, you might give up on your business altogether. I’ve been in this place and know what it feels like to start resenting what you’ve built. A solid day away from it all each week helps to keep things in balance.