“New year, new me.” You’ve admired this philosophy for a while now, but 2017 will be the first time you actually embrace it. That’s right—you’ve decided you’re going to start your own business. However, starting your own business requires a lot more than just mental prep-work.
You need to think about how to orchestrate a successful business launch, where your business will go, who you’ll sell to, and how to protect your business as well. Failure to consider the less glamorous possibilities, and your journey could end before it’s even begun.
Here are three things to do before you strike it out on your own to ensure success down the road.
Do Your Research
The transition to self-employed isn’t easy for everyone. It’s one thing to think about starting your own business and another completely to actually do it. That’s why having a few reference points to draw experience from can be immensely helpful.
Look up how other businesses in your industry started up. Learning the challenges they faced and the things they’d do differently could make your own transition go more smoothly. Be sure to not only consider the things you need (a critical piece of software, a special license, etc.) but also consider how things could go wrong. For example, if your new website launch is not successful, you’ll need a contingency plan to get back on track.
Attract Your Ideal Customer
Who do you want to sell to? Who’s the kind of person you’d love to have buy your products again and again? Does he or she have a name? Do you know their age? Their likes and dislikes? If you can answer any of these questions, you’re already well on your way to knowing your ideal customer. Creating a customer profile allows you to send more effective messages, increasing your chances to appeal to like-minded customers.
Before your business gets underway, create a marketing plan around your ideal customer. Figure out how your business will give them the answers they’re looking for.
Protect Your Investment
One mistake could cost you your business. It’s true—an accident on your property or a failed contract could lead to a lawsuit for thousands upon thousands of dollars. Accidents happen—so what can you do to protect your business?