In the first quarter of 2022 alone, approximately 375,000 businesses opened their doors for the first time in the United States. Most years end up with between 650,000 to 800,000, with all having various levels of success. Owning a business might seem like an unreachable goal, but it might be closer than you think. Many startups have nothing at the beginning, but they are still able to build it up into something successful. Here’s how to create your business from scratch.
Have an Idea
If you want to be successful, you can’t just decide you are going to sell something and away you go. You need an original idea that will provide value to consumers. Trying to break into an already crowded market will only put you at a disadvantage right off the bat. If you have an idea, do some research about it to see if it’s something that’s already being done. If not, then you can move forward.
Have a Plan
The worst thing you can do is have an idea and then start up your business without a plan. Even if you find initial success, without a plan you won’t know where to go next, or how to avoid overextending any investments you might make. A business plan will outline everything you need to do as well as your goals. Your business plan will force you to think critically about your business operations, your projected costs and revenues, and what realistic time frames might be. You will also need a solid business plan to show potential investors and funding sources that your business is viable.
Even if you don’t have any money to your name, it doesn’t mean you can’t fund and start a business. You might need a little help, though. Getting business funding can be frustrating, but there are several possible options. For one, you can seek out angel investors who will hopefully like your idea and want to eventually make a profit. They will take on some risk and also share in those profits with you.
You can also take out a business loan with favorable payment terms that you can manage. There are also grant possibilities from various levels of government that you can apply for. Some entrepreneurs try crowdfunding their ideas. If they have a prototype, they can ask for help among friends, family, and the community, and provide prizes and benefits for those who invest the most.
Your branding should be a reflection of the type of business you want to start, and the type of personality you want to portray. You can choose your colors, fonts, and graphics, and they should be consistent through any contact with your clients and prospects. Your website, social media, and marketing materials should all have consistent colors and branding. Much of your design can be done affordably using online services, such as a logo maker, or through low-cost tasking programs. You need to be certain when choosing your branding, since it is not advised to change it after your audience has started to recognize it.
If you want to be successful, then you need to get the word out. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest right off the bat, then you should take a strategy of targeted marketing. You might get fewer eyeballs than you would with wider broadcast strategies, but the ones you do get will be more likely to make a purchase. For example, you can target social media ads to people who meet certain criteria. They might live in your area and have searches and interests that match the type of consumer you are looking for.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great option as well. It is the process of developing your website so that search engines will index it favorably and place it near the top of certain search rankings. This will give you organic traffic to your site of people who are already showing they are interested in your type of business.
For many businesses, their rent or mortgage is the biggest expense they have aside from staffing costs. If you want to save money, you can always work from home, depending on the type of business you are running. If you are a retail shop, then you can operate online and ship your products. You can outsource manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping so that you aren’t paying for a space for all of it. Working from home has never been easier, so take advantage if you can. Just remember, if you work from home, then your personal insurance may not cover you, and you will need extra protection.
Starting and running a business is a dream for a lot of people, but it can sometimes seem out of reach. If you want to be able to work for yourself, do something you love, and hopefully bring in a good amount of money, then there’s no reason that you can’t. Starting a business from scratch is not easy, but it is certainly possible. Just make sure that you take all the necessary steps and don’t rush. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish, even if you start with nothing.