So you want to start your own business. You're not alone—plenty of people have the same dream. But the difference between those who succeed and those who don't is often fear. Yes, starting a new business is scary. But it doesn't have to be. Arm yourself with knowledge and understanding, and you'll be well on your way to success. Below, the Silverton Chamber of Commerce has put together some tips to show you how to get started.
Calculate Realistic Startup Costs
One of the first things you need to do when starting a new business is determine how much it will cost to get up and running. This includes everything from office space rental or mortgage payments to equipment and inventory costs. Once you have a good handle on your startup costs, you can start exploring funding options, such as small business loans or crowdfunding campaigns.
Choose the Business Structure That's Right for You
Another important factor in starting a new business is selecting the right legal structure. This will dictate such things as how much taxes you'll owe, what type of paperwork you'll need to file, and what sort of liability protection you'll have. The most common business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Selecting the right one for your business will depend on a variety of factors, so be sure to do your research before making a decision.
The Benefits of a Business Plan
A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs skip this step because they either don't know how to write a business plan or they find the process intimidating. But having a solid business plan is crucial for any new business—it will help keep you on track as you grow and scale your operation. If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online, including templates and examples that can help guide you through the process.
Network and Make Connections in Your Industry
Starting a new business can be lonely, so it's important to find others in your industry who can relate to what you're going through. SignPost recommends that you attend industry events, join relevant trade associations or networking groups, and follow thought leaders on social media. Not only will this help keep you motivated, but it can also provide valuable insights into best practices that you can apply to your own business.
Set Attainable Goals for Your Business
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a new business and bite off more than you can chew. That's why it's important to set realistic goals for yourself—both in terms of what you hope to achieve in the short-term and long-term. Doing so will not only help keep you focused but also provide a measuring stick by which you can gauge your progress along the way.
The Importance of Marketing Your Business:
No matter how great your product or service may be, it won't sell itself—you need to put in the work to market your business effectively. Fortunately, there are plenty of low-cost or even free marketing channels available these days, such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing (to name just a few). Again, the key is to find the ones that make sense for your specific business and then focus your efforts accordingly.
If you find that you need some support or guidance with your marketing efforts, solicit the help of a freelancer. They come with plenty of knowledge and experience, and you can dictate how much time - and money - you’re willing to spend. Just know that designers tend to share files as PDFs because of their speciality software. So, if you're wondering how to convert Word to PDF, it’s as simple as 1) drop in the file, 2) select your file type, and 3) click Convert.
Move Forward Armed with Knowledge
Starting a new business is definitely no walk in the park—there's a lot of hard work (and occasional heartache) involved. But if you go into it with your eyes wide open and arm yourself with knowledge and understanding, you'll be well on your way to success. Be realistic about what it will take to start your business, and find the right tools and support to make it happen. Pretty soon you'll be well on your way to achieving your entrepreneurial dreams!
Grow your business by building relationships with other local entrepreneurs and accessing unique resources offered by the Silverton Chamber of Commerce. Join us today!