7 Business Basics for the Entrepreneur
Building a Business is as Complex as it is Exciting
Here are 7 Essential You Can’t Overlook
Getting started in any new endeavor can be a tremendously exciting new chapter in your life- one that could lead to wealth building and freedom.
However, it takes a lot more than just coming up with a great idea. As always, not enough can be said about hard work, persistence and dedication; and, there are a number of other factors that go into creating a successful new business.
Here are some business basics you can’t do without:
1. Get educated.
Most would agree that running business is a multidisciplinary effort. Before you start, it is imperative that you get educated in the concepts of basic business management. I realize that up to this point you’ve probably been completely immersed in creating the perfect product or service, and you may even be planning on hiring talented individuals who can handle the operations, marketing and administrative aspects of your company; nonetheless, it is still fundamental that you know what’s up when it comes to running a business. Your employees, and maybe even your partners, will ultimately look to you for guidance. You need to be able to give direction and also understand that is happening so that you know your company is moving along, as it should.
One really great book I would recommend anyone read is The Personal MBA by Josh Kauffman; a “start here” book about business basics, Seth Godin says “file this one under NO EXCUSES…”
2. Build a Business Plan.
Just as with anything, building a business requires a plan. When you build a strong foundation for your efforts to stand on, your business will become sustainable, able to overcome any of the multitudes of obstacles that may come your way.
Don’t know where to start? You’ll find tons of information, and even a few templates online for writing a business plan.
3. Build your business office- even if it’s virtual.
Regardless of where you’ve got a brick and mortar office or you’re working out of your basement, there are some basic business needs you must have in place.
- Make some branding decisions- choose a company name and USP. Spend some time with this; it will say a great deal about who you are and what you do.
- Obtain a business address, phone number and email. Even if your office is virtual, you will need to have a physical mailing address, a phone number that is for business use only (Tollfreeforwarding.com is great for this) and a business email address (this means don’t use Yahoo or Hotmail). These things help give your business credibility in the eyes of those who come across you online or in any setting.
- Set up a corporation or company – many successful entrepreneurs feel that a LLC is the most optimal way to go.
- Build a website, sales funnel or both! There is no doubt that having presence on the web is essential, but you probably don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to do that. Your business plan will dictate your needs here, but at a minimum you should have a simple website that acts as a virtual business card or CV, and, if its in your business model, squeeze pages and a sales funnel.
- Set up your social media business accounts. You may be thinking, “why the heck do I need to be on social media? If for no other reason than attribution to your SEO efforts, you must be active on social media. However, social media goes far beyond optimization of your website- when you get social you make connections. Gone are the days of networking opportunities that were limited to cocktail parties or trade shows. Now you have opportunities the size of the World Wide Web.
4. Financing for your future.
Leverage is the name of the game here. When you are able to leverage other people’s money to grow your business, the sky is the limit to how far you can take it. There are limitless possibilities out there ranging from private moneylenders to crowd funding to traditional loans and grants. Never again should you think that money is an obstacle to starting the business and life of your dreams.
6. Marketing is a must. Learn how and put as much as you can into it.
Regardless of what kind of business you are in, you will absolutely need to have a strong focus in marketing. Not your forte? Marketing basics are not that difficult to learn and there are a number of great resources available to help you automate many of your marketing needs.
Marketing comes as an afterthought to far to many entrepreneurs and new business owners- trust me when I tell you that putting together an excellent marketing plan, and allocating the necessary budget towards those efforts, is crucial to your success.
7. Have an exit strategy firmly in place.
While it might seem counter intuitive to be thinking about how to get out before you even get in, having a good exit strategy for every endeavor you start is vital. As you are building your business, you should be thinking about how that business could continue without you, as well as how you can recover your investment. Keep in mind: your actions today will have huge implications tomorrow.