If you’re thinking of starting a new business, it’s important to be prepared for some new challenges alongside the opportunities. For the best chance at success, you need a strong idea and a receptive market. The good news is that by working smart and making use of the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to increased profits and a thriving enterprise. The Oldham Chamber & Economic Development explains how.
Find an Idea
Choosing the right business idea to implement will largely depend on whether you’re looking to operate in person or opt for selling products or services online.
An offline business will most likely start off in the area you live in, so take some time to uncover gaps in the market by identifying products or services that are difficult to access in the community. It may be worthwhile to perform some preliminary market research, which can be achieved by engaging with potential customers on online platforms like Facebook groups or subreddits.
An online business offers a lot more room to work with since potential customers can be found anywhere in the world. However, if you’re selling a physical product, you’ll need to ensure that you have the operational capacity to distribute it as widely as possible. Alternatively, you can advertise a service-based business on a platform like Fiverr or Upwork.
Register Your Business
The way you register your business has the potential to influence your opportunity to attract investors, your tax obligations, and your personal liability to the business. Every business type has advantages and disadvantages; however, it may be worthwhile to register your business as a limited liability company (LLC) since you’ll have tax advantages and protections in case of litigation. If you’re deciding between S Corp or LLC formation, know that if you classify your LLC as an S Corp, you can save even more on taxes.
Although your budget may be limited, there are a few roles that you should consider outsourcing. Every business has financial and legal obligations that must be complied with in order to remain above board and avoid being fined. Familiarizing yourself with these requirements could take up valuable time that could be better spent on marketing and growing your business. Consulting with professional lawyers and accountants instead could potentially save you time and money in the long run.
When it comes to marketing, social media is something that many entrepreneurs feel they can handle on their own. But website development is often a different story. Even if you choose to maintain your site on your own, you may want to hire someone to set everything up for you. If you do, make sure that you have a clear communication system with your designer even if you can’t meet face-to-face. Many people use a PDF online editor to provide feedback on mockups and drafts because it is free, easy to use, and allows you and your consultant to keep copies of all of your feedback. This tool allows you to circle problem areas, highlight things you love, and leave sticky notes to clarify your notes.
Use the Right Tools
Technology has made it easy to utilize digital tools that can streamline processes that would otherwise be unnecessarily time-consuming.
Accounting: Record keeping is pivotal for accounting purposes, so making use of accounting software can be helpful in storing and processing invoices. Integrated software will also offer insights into how to better manage your cash flow and get the most from your tax deductions while still meeting your obligations.
Marketing: Since most marketing campaigns take place on digital platforms, it’s vital to analyze your efforts to ensure that you are reaching the right target market. There are plenty of paid and free tools and software that can aid you in this process.
Use the Right Tools
Although there are no guarantees in life or entrepreneurship, there are plenty of great opportunities out there waiting for you to find them. If you have a great idea and there is an unfilled need you can address, go for it! Start by establishing your business structure, and work with professionals to manage the stickier areas of entrepreneurship. And always take advantage of free tools to make your job easier so you can focus on connecting with your customers.
Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Oldham Chamber & Economic Development.
This Hot Deal is promoted by Oldham Chamber & Economic Development.