You've thought about it. Maybe you even have an idea of what you want to offer to your community through your business. But maybe you're just not sure where or how to begin.
The two most difficult obstacles you will have to overcome when starting a business are:
- Getting established.
- Obtaining a base of steady clientele.
The best way to start is to really get a good idea of just what you want this business to do. What are your goals? What are you offering? What kind of a profit margin are you hoping to achieve? If your business expands, what are you ideas for expansion and incorporation? What happens if your business fails? Are you willing to go into debt? What's your business model? Sole proprietorship or limited liability company? Would you be willing to go into a partnership? Is this even realistic? Now, don't get too overwhelmed. These questions are important to ask because you want to know what you're getting into. Say you have an awesome business model, your product or service is useful and high quality... however, due to the location of your business, you have no clientele.
When your starting your business, get involved in the community. Are there mostly elderly people? Perhaps going with a more classic decor theme would go over better than a pop retro punk theme. Opening a daycare? Check how close you are to schools and parks and who might be living in the neighborhood. You can have the best business in the world, but if it's not in an environment where it can thrive, it may not survive.
Who are you selling this product to, and how are they going to hear about you? Advertisement is a huge part of business. Anyone can hang a couple flyers, but have you put them where potential customers will see it? If your target is young mothers, and your putting flyers up around local bars, then I worry about your community. Advertise where your target audience is likely to be. Advertise where your target audience is not likely to be as well, the more the merrier, but focus and follow up on places likely to stir up interest. Don't forget social media! Get on every platform possible. The more you get your name out there, the more likely a potential customer is to see it.
How do you turn a one-time customer into a repeat offender? It's as basic as the Pavlov Principle. If every experience your clients have with your business leaves a good taste in their mouth (especially if you own a restaurant or bakery), they will associate you with something desirable. If you can't feed them delicious things, try feeding them compliments or laughter. No one is going to repeatedly pay for an undesirable experience. Think about it like this; in the early stages of owning a business, you aren't selling a product, you're selling you. Clients are investors, and they are investing money to see you succeed. Take a class in public speaking. Go to lectures and take notes on how the orator interacts with his audience. There's always more to learn, and the better you connect to your clients, the better your business will do.
I hope some of this article has been thought-provoking, and please leave comments of some other ideas for people starting new businesses. Thank you :)