Essential Advice for New Business Owners from Expert Entrepreneurs
Starting a business can be one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make. If you love taking on practical challenges with varying degrees of risk, navigating the nuanced world of business can offer plenty of opportunities to thrive. Not to mention that being your own boss offers a new kind of flexibility in lifestyle and personal freedom that’s hard to find in a corporate work environment.
That being said, it’s important to remember that New business success is not guaranteed. To put things in perspective, here are some important statistics to know about small businesses in 2022.
- The Small Business Association reveals that half of new business close within five years of launch. According to Failory, about 90% of startups fail
- Around 32.5 million small businesses comprise 99.9% of all businesses in the United States.
- About 64% of all jobs created annually are by small new business.
- The most common reason people start their own business is to be their own boss (39%).
- Lack of market demand is the main reason that small new business fail.
- During their early years of operation, the greatest challenge for small businesses is finding qualified individuals to hire.
- An estimated 64% of small businesses market their services and products via social media.
Despite some of these sobering numbers, there are millions of other success stories and reasons you should continue pursuing entrepreneurial success. And the best thing about getting started right now is knowing successful entrepreneurs who have once been in your shoes and are willing to share essential advice to help you get off the ground.
Social media marketing is one of the easiest avenues to reach an audience. More than half of the world’s population uses social media, and the biggest social platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram are free! As a beginner marketer, your main concern should be connecting with your target market. If you can, build your presence on the most popular platforms, but it’s okay if you choose to concentrate and devote your time to one or two. The most important thing is to keep your interactions genuine and consistent.
Develop a brand
Your brand is what makes you recognizable. It can be in the form of a logo, colour palette, symbol, tone of voice, or a distinctive design that makes up your visual identity as a business. It can also be a vibe or aesthetic. Try to keep this coherent throughout your social media posts, stories, website copies, and product packaging if you’re putting out products. The unboxing culture is alive and well, and having on-brand packaging is a fantastic way to give your customers a good first impression.
Easy on the promotions
Most of the time, the best way to sell is not to sell. People on social media don’t want to be bombarded by product ads all the time. As a brand, you’d fare better by bringing your existing and potential customers value through helpful content like tutorials and FAQs, improving your customer service experience, and making the checkout process easy by providing different payment options. Ask for feedback and show that you’ve listened. There are many ways to sell than running aggressive ad campaigns.
Customer Engagement Tips
Add a personal touch
Customers love personalized service, whether that be addressing them on a first-name basis in your monthly newsletter or giving them a small thank-you note with their purchase. Little things like these go a long way in making your customers feel heard and cared for.
Build a referral program
People like buying items vouched for and recommended by people they trust. So why not incentivize the behaviour? Make it easy for existing customers to recommend your service or product to others with a robust referral program. There are many ways to reward referrals, from cash and discount options to gift cards and coupons.
Offer in-store rewards via a loyalty program
Loyalty program members are 80 percent more likely to keep buying from your store than the competition and are twice as likely to recommend you to others. Loyalty programs are great for customer retention and boosting sales. Consider partnering with related businesses for this purpose. For example, if you’re in the hobby niche like selling gift baskets for men, you might want to offer a cocktail mixing class as one of your loyalty rewards.
Financial Tips For New Business
Perform a break-even analysis
How many products or services do you need to sell to cover your costs? Performing a break-even analysis will help you set price baselines and sales goals in the future.
Consider creating an LLC
An LLC or a limited liability company is a business structure in the United States that protects business owners from personal liability in case of debts and suits. This makes your company a separate entity from you, saving personal assets and finances from being harmed and seized due to any business-related liabilities. You also gain tax benefits from establishing your business as an LLC.
Track your money
Keep track of how much you’re earning and spending. Money matters are crucial, especially when there are legalities involved. Hire a professional accountant to keep the books just to make sure you’re putting your money to good use and are filing the pertinent paperwork where necessary.
Invest in automation tools
You will be surprised at how much you can save by using automation tools to run your business in one central hub. Not only will these types of tools make managing a small business easy, but they will also save you so much time and money.
Research the legalities
What permits do you need to operate a small business in your state legally? Are there tax-related forms that you need to file? Legality is a big part of owning a business, and it’s important to get it right before complicated and expensive issues arise later on.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Only through experience will you learn. Failing fast is a way to test if a certain idea has value. Be sure to have a learning mindset and gather critical lessons from your failures to hone your business and pivot in a new direction.
Hire experts for new business
If you’re not sure how to do something, especially critically important and potentially expensive aspects like taxes or marketing, invest in expertise — hire a professional.
Always have a document trail
Put things into writing. Verbal transactions don’t hold weight, especially when there might be a need to legally prove it later on. Write contracts for transactions and sales that cost at least $500.
Start small new business
Even on your own. Take it slow. Keep your day job if you have to. Only jump ship when you feel that you’re making enough — and know enough — to make it work.
Have a routine
Following a routine will give you an anchor and make you feel stable despite the hectic and demanding work schedule. It will also help mitigate burnout and keep your stress levels manageable. Taking care of yourself should be your most important investment.
Connections will give you useful industry-specific advice, refer you to reliable contractors and suppliers, and help you find quick solutions to obstacles that may arise along the way. So keep track of the people you meet and stay connected. Most importantly, help out connections when you can, and they will return the favour.
Starting a small business can be both exciting and intimidating, but every great business has once been a startup. Success takes time and consistent effort. With these essential tips to guide you, you know you’re starting on the right foot.