Small Biz Viewpoints http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com Insights, Ideas, Results Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:07:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 4 Ways Customization will Help Your Business Succeed http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/21/4-ways-customization-will-help-your-business-succeed/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/21/4-ways-customization-will-help-your-business-succeed/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:07:57 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11823
In business, it is important to remember that you are on your own path. Just because something works for one of your entrepreneurial peers, doesn’t mean that it will work for you. You should also consider the size of your business, and the size that you would like it to grow to. As your business evolves, you will need to adapt your outlook. One way to make sure that you are always considering the specific needs of your company, is to invest in customization. This will ensure that every aspect of your business is tailored made. Taking this approach can help to improve your company’s online presence. It can also impact the image that you are sending to your potential clients. Finally, it can affect the way that you train your staff, and the way that you run your organization. Below are four ways that customization will help your business to succeed.

  1. A customized online marketing strategy

If you have made the wise decision to move the marketing of your company online, you should consider investing in a customized strategy. At Web Full Circle, you can find a customized project plan that will help to boost your online profile. Instead of receiving the same service as everybody else, you will have a strategy that perfectly suits your requirements. Web Full Circle employ specialists in each area of digital marketing. Therefore, you can always be certain that you are receiving expert advice. A digital marketing SEO consulting team will help your website convert high volumes of qualified traffic into profitable leads by securing page 1 rankings on popular search engines. These kinds of results would not be possible if only a standard service was provided. This level of success shows a dedication to creative thinking and extensive research. Why settle for less, when you can invest in a customized online marketing strategy that will propel your business to new heights?

  1. Customized handouts for clients

When you are conducting business, it is important not to lose the personal touch. If you have met a potential client, partner, or employee, you will want to make a favorable impression. Customized handouts are a fantastic way to achieve this. You should definitely consider investing in personalized business cards. This will help you to sell your brand and to project an aura of professionalism.

Don’t just opt for the basic package. Instead, go above and beyond to get the best results. Find a business card provider that gives you complete control in regard to the look of your finished product. Try to find a company that prides itself on accuracy and quality. You will need to think about the thickness of the card that you are using, the design itself, and the special embellishments that you can add. If you struggle with creativity, some companies even offer design services. Whatever you do, make sure that your business card isn’t letting you down.

You could also invest in giveaways for your clients. It is important not to go overboard, as this can look tacky. However, if you strike the right balance, you can use your personalized giveaways to help your business succeed. Look online to find a website that can provide your company with customized handouts. Try to opt for simple, yet effective, products. For example, a pen that features your company’s name and contact information, is a fantastic way to remain visible in the minds of your potential customers. It is a useful item, and is therefore unlikely to be thrown away. Instead, your clients will find themselves thinking of your company every time that they reach for the pen. This subliminal message will ensure that your business will be the first one that comes into mind whenever a client need the kind of services that you provide.

  1. Customize your own service

In order to run a successful business, it is important that you stand out from your competitors. You can do this by ensuring that you have customized the service that you provide. You could look into providing your clients with free delivery or free returns. Alternatively, you could make specific promises about quality assurance and attractive warranties. Make sure that you give your customers the opportunity to have their say about the service that they are receiving. Listen to both their praise and their constructive criticism.

Use your customer feedback to create a service that provides the answer to all of their problems. You could also invest in the training of your employees, so that they are able to function as specialists in your area of the industry. This will allow them to offer a personalized package to all of your customers. Taking these steps will secure you repeat business, and the trust and respect of your patrons.

  1. Customize your plans for the future of your staff

When it comes to dealing with your staff, you must remember to treat them as individuals. Take the time to get to know your employees. Find out where they want to go in their careers, and try to think of ways that you can help them to get there. Showing a concern for the future of your workers will drastically improve morale and increase feelings of loyalty towards your company. Customizing your plans to suit the specific needs of each member of your staff, will allow you to get the most out of your employees. You might find that one of your employees is a creative spirit who thrives when they are given the opportunity to think freely. By comparison, another employee may love direct orders and working in time pressured situations. In order to run your business effectively, you will need to be aware of these distinctions. Once you understand what your workforce requires, you can formulate specific plans for their future. You will know who to trust with certain jobs, who will succeed in management roles, and who needs a little more encouragement.

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4 Ways for Small Businesses to Be Charitable http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/21/4-ways-for-small-businesses-to-be-charitable/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/21/4-ways-for-small-businesses-to-be-charitable/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:02:44 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11820
When it comes to running a business, sales and profits are important. For some business owners, the ethics and the way they run their business is also important. For others, giving back to the community is one of their key drivers. You might typically associate being charitable with large corporations, but there are things that small businesses can do to give back. When it comes to charity, there’s no such thing as a small effort, and any of the following can be great things that your business can do to help others.

  1. Sponsor local events

Your community will benefit greatly from donations made in the form of sponsorship, particularly if it relates to an event or a sports team. Sponsorship doesn’t have to be much, but you’d be surprised at what the gesture will mean to the community. Businesses can also benefit from sponsorship as a marketing tool, as having your name and logo out there in the community will help people to recognize you. If there aren’t any local events taking place, perhaps you could host your own corporate event and add a charity element to it like an auction? This way you can invite members of the local community and build better relationships with people in your town or city.

  1. Help individuals

Social media and the wider reach of online news makes it easier to find out about local people who need some help. If you are in a position offer a service or a gesture that can help someone who’s been affected by an illness or a tragedy, then you should. The story of Steven Voudouris and his company Turn5, who donated parts and labor to kit out the Wrangler of police officer Chris Dorman who was shot while on duty. Businesses can help in more ways than simply just giving money, so if you can offer expertise or advice instead you can still make a difference.

  1. Get involved in community projects

There are many reasons why businesses should get involved in community projects. Some great ideas include allowing employees to volunteer during their work hours or having team days where everyone gets involved such as a community garden or helping out in a soup kitchen. Customers and clients value businesses who give something back and by highlighting your efforts via social media, your newsletter or blog – you’ll be showing that you are willing to take action rather than just talking about it.

  1. Get your customers onboard

For some small businesses, giving a sizeable donation is not always feasible, but you can maximize your efforts by getting your customers onboard. Organise some charity raffles, ask them to sponsor you for a charity race or event or host special sales that include a donation to a charity that your business supports. Even something as simple as offering them the choice to make a donation to a good cause at the checkout can help your business to raise money easily for others.

Businesses that are charitable can benefit in many ways. As well as being a way to gain some publicity and recognition in your local area, there are other positives from giving back to your local community that will affect your employees and the aims of your business – making it more than just about profits.

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How to Start a Commercial Laundry Business http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/21/how-to-start-a-commercial-laundry-business/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/21/how-to-start-a-commercial-laundry-business/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:53:44 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11817
Starting a commercial laundry business is a golden opportunity to cash in on a profitable small business venture. Everyone wears clothes, and many of them don’t have the time to maintain and care for their apparel. Your job is to care for their clothes, on their behalf, in exchange for cash. Very simple isn’t it. But how do you start a laundromat? What do you need to begin regarding commercial laundry washing machine, capital, human resources, etc.?

Start With a Plan

Your plan must include a thorough business plan that details everything you need to start. You need money, no doubt about that, but hopefully not a figure that will give you sleepless nights. Rough estimates show that you can start a small laundromat with $300,000 or close to $1,000,000. Don’t forget to put into considerations the most important things including location, marketing, human resources, etc. You should also choose energy efficient clothes dryers and consider licensing, and know the cost of commercial washing machine. Without these, your business can’t exist.

Building, Licensing, and Equipment

Building costs should include property value and the price of remodeling to suit your needs. You will have to install sewer access, commercial laundry washing machine, electrical outlets for equipment, and new water pipes. You also need to know the cost of commercial laundry washing machine and lease or purchase new equipment for your business. To succeed as a laundromat, you must have high-quality equipment like Electrolux gas dryers and of course, a friendly and professional personnel. Get a business license before you open your business. You may also need to get a sign permit, water pollution control permit, and a permit with the health department if you’re going to be serving food in the shop.

Study the Competition

The location you choose will become the primary factors that will determine the success of your business. Look for an appropriate site that gives you fast and easy access to your consumer base. A laundromat located in a residential area or near hospitals and schools will grow faster and make more money than the one based in an industrial area. Study your competition and know what they are providing their clients. If they offer home delivery or any other special services, you must offer those too to be able to compete. Find out what they are not doing right or not offering at all, and improvise.

Running the Laundromat

Starting a commercial laundry business is the easy part, the hard part is running the day-to-day activities. Your business must have a personality that resounds with the customers and sets you apart. You must be friendly, caring, and ready to listen and provide a satisfactory solution when things go wrong. Take part in customer relations and manage every aspect of your employees’ interaction with your clients. You must also take hygiene seriously by mopping the floor, cleaning the windows, and emptying the rubbish bins every day.

Successful laundromats pay their taxes and don’t joke with bookkeeping and proper management. Be ready to face the challenges. Issues regarding missing or burnt clothes, water supply, electricity, space, and laundry washing machine breakdown should be dealt with. Don’t forget to have a solid plan, choose energy efficient clothes dryers, get your license and permits, study the competition, and run your business like a professional.

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Tired of Begging for Startup Capital? Try Equity Crowdfunding http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/17/tired-of-begging-for-startup-capital-try-equity-crowdfunding/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/17/tired-of-begging-for-startup-capital-try-equity-crowdfunding/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:21:01 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11811
Everyone’s out to build a better mousetrap, but investment vehicles have changed very little since the creation of mutual funds years ago. Sure, there have been little innovations like online trading and other avenues, but nothing has really shook up the investment world until now. We’re talking about equity crowdfunding, and it’s showing the potential to deliver ROIs that are 30 – 40% higher than annual returns for traditional investment platforms.

What Is Equity Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is nothing new, although it has blown up in recent years to cover fundraising for everything from independent film production to financing your niece’s senior class trip. The idea is to go public with a worthy cause using one of the public fundraising platforms and offer some reward to those who help finance your endeavor. The reward can be anything from owning a percentage of a film to a signed copy of a book you helped get published.

Equity crowdfunding takes this premise one step further to offer public, joint ownership in ventures like building projects or investing in an unlisted startup. For example, the H Street NE Corridor in Washington, D.C. is jointly owned and built by 175 people from Virginia and the DC area who invested as little as $100 each in the project, making it the first crowd-sourced real estate venture in the country.

How does it Work?

Crowdfunding combines the idea of buying shares in a publicly traded company on the stock market with opening a Kickstarter account. You’re betting on the success of a young enterprise while getting in on the ground floor, when shares are more affordable. This is a solid option for innovators with good ideas but no access to capital as well as investors looking for a good bet.

There are two types of investment crowdfunding: startup and follow-on funding, which is used to finance business growth. Your investors don’t have to be well-heeled or have a stack of disposable cash to jump in on a project, either. Investments are usually for smaller amounts, so they’re not facing undue risk. This type of investing is good for novice or modest investors or for those who just believe in dreams and want to be part of helping business innovators reach for the stars. All you need to get started is:

  • Locate a financial adviser or group that handles investment crowdfunding
  • Determine your financial goals
  • Choose your type of investment from real estate, construction or business startup

Risk is limited, but you’ll gain leverage by pooling resources with a larger group of investors. This allows you to get the buying power of a big bank without paying the big fees that go along with it. All reputable financial advisers will deal only in SEC-regulated eREITs and eFunds.

One of the best examples of this type of investment funding was the 3 World Trade Center construction in 2015, which was made possible by bonds issued through a company called Fundrise. Fundrise reviews show that this company was a pioneer in investment capital crowdfunding, but they’re by no means the only ones. Ask an investment professional online or in your local area for more information.

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What do You Need before Starting Your Own Business http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/17/what-do-you-need-before-starting-your-own-business/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/17/what-do-you-need-before-starting-your-own-business/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:42:05 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11808
Starting your own business can be both demanding and exciting. While you may be itching to execute that idea you have in your mind for so many years there are few necessary steps you have to take before you can light up the “Now Open” sign. These involve government regulations and taxes, finding a workplace and letting the world know about your business. Continue reading to find out what do you need to do before you can open your doors for customers.

Taxes

This shouldn’t be a surprise because everyone, including businesses, needs to pay taxes. However, before filing for a business, you will need to complete a form for an Employer Identification Number, or EIN number. The fastest way to complete and submit an EIN form is to do so online. However, you also have the options of mailing or faxing, which can take two to four weeks. Keep in mind that there is a four to five week wait between obtaining your EIN approval and being able to file taxes- so budget your time wisely.

Work Space

Your work space will depend on your type of business. For instance, if you are starting a dance studio you will need a space with great floors and large mirrors with minimal furniture. On the other hand, if you have a medical practice, you will need to bring in specific equipment. Even if your business is online only, you will need a space where you can work in peace, an internet connection and possibly a space to store inventory.

Marketing

You will need to get the word out about your new business, which will include starting a website and engaging in social media. If you aren’t great online, or simply don’t have the time, hiring someone to promote for your company before you even open your doors may be a smart investment. It is recommended that you oversee the initial work with any new hire to ensure that your business is presented in a way that fits your preferences.

There is a lot of work when starting a business, but it is certainly doable. Staying organized and taking things one day at a time will help you on your road to success.

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Why Youth and Entrepreneurship May Not Correlate As Much as We Thought http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/why-youth-and-entrepreneurship-may-not-correlate-as-much-as-we-thought/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/why-youth-and-entrepreneurship-may-not-correlate-as-much-as-we-thought/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 02:30:03 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11805
The startup business world can seem like a young person’s game, but the truth is that the 55-64 age group boasts more entrepreneurs in America than any other age group. In fact, according to the Kauffman Foundation, in 2015 26% of new entrepreneurs were 55-64. In 1997, only 15% of entrepreneurs fell in that age range.

These numbers aren’t all that surprising: we live in an era where people are living – and enjoying life longer than ever thanks to medical advances. Even a person’s residential status is no barrier to retirement success, as it is perfectly possible with the use of technology to run a business while living in a residential care facility. Essentially, entrepreneurship offers seniors flexibility and a more gradual path towards retirement. Take Tim and Nina Zagat. At the age of 58 and 60, both were attorneys in Manhattan frustrated by critics’ unreliable restaurant reviews. So, they created their own, manually collecting results from 200 friends.

The couple has now gone on to create the famous Zagat publishing empire, owned by Google, which has made them millionaires many times over. Interested in becoming the next Tim or Nina Zagat? Here are three reasons why now is the right time–especially if you’re over the age of 50.

Technology Breaks Down Barriers

While keeping up the latest tech gadgets can be overwhelming, technology is less about complicating entrepreneurship, and more about making it cheaper and easier to reach your target market. It costs very little–and requires very little knowledge–to create a website, and allows you to gather feedback easily and quickly.

Still concerned you don’t have the technology know-how? Teens and twenty-somethings are easy to find and hire.

Raising Capital is Easier than Ever

Often, people in their 50s and 60s have established good credit, and since credit is currently fairly available and interest rates are low, starting a business is much easier now than in times of heavy recession or economic downturn. Need more credit than you can raise traditionally, but don’t want to go the angel or venture capital route? Now there’s crowdsourcing, a way to raise funds directly from potential consumers. Entrepreneurs have raised millions on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

You have What it Takes

Thanks to what is often a lifetime’s worth of career experience, wide and expanded personal networks, and (most typically) established financial security, seniors have a wealth of experience and insight that just doesn’t come with youth. The truth of the matter is that today there are twice as many entrepreneurs over 50 as under 25. 75% have more than six years of industry experience when they start a new venture, and nearly 70% start their companies to capitalize on current business ideas and build wealth.

Thanks to technology breaking down barriers, better than ever access to capital, and the kind of wisdom that comes with age, people in their 50s and 60s have never known a better time to become entrepreneurs.

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Infographic: How to Get a Job in Marketing With No Experience http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/infographic-how-to-get-a-job-in-marketing-with-no-experience/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/infographic-how-to-get-a-job-in-marketing-with-no-experience/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:57:25 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11800
Usually, the jobs you can get with no experience don’t pay well. Plus, they can be unbelievably boring. What if you could get a sought after job in marketing that would not only pay well, but ensure you felt excited about work each day? This quick and helpful guide is going to give you some tips on getting a marketing job with no experience!

Write an Amazing Cover Letter

By writing an amazing cover letter, you can make yourself appear interesting to your potential employer and make them want to know more about you. Ensure you include what you plan on doing in the future: your CV covers the past.

Find a Mentor

If you can find a mentor, you’ll be well on your way to securing a job in marketing. A mentor will be able to teach you things that you didn’t learn in school – this is nearly as important as finding the right company to work for!

Learn A Few Basic Skills

You don’t need to do a course in marketing or spend a ton of money to learn a few basic skills that could help you to land a job. Learn how to take good pictures, maybe teach yourself a few tricks on Photoshop. You can teach yourself these things easily with YouTube!

If you want to get a job in marketing with no experience, you’re probably going to want to be good at it once you’ve got your foot in the door. Take a look at the infographic below to help you!

 

Anatomy of Marketing

 

credit to : Marketing Executive | MBA Online Pepperdine

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4 Step Process to Improve SEO Ranking of Your Business http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/4-step-process-to-improve-seo-ranking-of-your-business/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/4-step-process-to-improve-seo-ranking-of-your-business/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:43:35 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11797
Having a website to showcase your products and services is a must for any business in this digital age. However, just setting up a website and hoping that your prospective customers will somehow find it is not going to work when there are thousands of other businesses doing the same. You need to make sure it is easy for your customers to find your website and it shows up high up in the search engine results when prospective customers look for the products and services you sell. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help. SEO helps improve the ranking of your website in search results. It also helps you reach to prospective customers wherever they are looking. So, how do you improve the SEO ranking of your website? Here is a 4 step process you can deploy.

  1. Site Analysis

The first step in improving the website’s SEO ranking is to perform a thorough analysis of the site. The in-depth analysis should check existing links and ensure that they are still valid and point to the right website. The analysis should also check the performance of the website to make sure it is loaded quickly in different types of browsers as well as on mobile devices. Google punishes the websites that are not fast.

  1. Site Optimization

After you have analyzed the website the next step is to optimize it to ensure the webpages are categorized properly and right keywords are used. Using the keywords that are related to the products and services you are selling in your webpages will help Google and other search engines identify and categorize the website in a proper way.

  1. Link Building

Google’s algorithm favors those websites that receive links from other authoritative websites. The thinking is that if other websites consider yours good enough to link to others will find it useful as well. You should aim to find and link to the websites in your category that are considered of high quality and that receive high traffic. Having a link to your website in those pages will help you improve the ranking with Google and other search engines.

  1. Local SEO

Finally, your goal should be to have a high visibility in the locality in which you do your business. Even though many businesses are global these days there are still few that operate in the local city or state. For example, if you operate in Sydney, you should aim to tailor your approach to Sydney SEO. You should make sure that the local directories listing the businesses operating in your area have your business listed prominently. The ability of your customers to find you in the local listing will help grow your business significantly. Letting your customers provide review and feedback on those local directories is another way to improve your website visibility and traffic.

Setting up a website is a must for any business whether they are online or offline, but having the right SEO strategy is even more important to ensure the website is found and visited by your customers. With this 4-step approach you should be on your way to prominent placement in the online world.

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How to Get the Most Out of Online Advertising Campaigns http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-online-advertising-campaigns/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-online-advertising-campaigns/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:35:13 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11794
Online advertising has grown exponentially in the last decade as you can see in the success of companies such as Google and Facebook. They have grown be multi-billion dollar businesses just by tapping into online advertising market. More and more businesses are moving their marketing spend from offline advertising such as newspaper and billboards to online media such as search results and videos. While there is no denying that the online advertising can provide great value you need to be careful about where and how you spend your marketing dollars to get the most return from your marketing investment. It helps to have a basic understanding of online advertising as well as figuring out how those ads are being placed.

Broadly speaking, advertising on search engines such as Google are based on the keywords that you can purchase in online auction. You identify the keywords that your customers are likely to search for and ask Google to place your ad when the search results are displayed. You pay to Google whenever your advertisement is placed in front of customers. The payment to search companies are based on Pay per Click (PPC) and Cost per Thousand Views (CPM).

You can also target specific customers to show your advertisement based on their location, demographic, interest, etc. Having an ability to show ads to specific customers based on the keywords related to your products and services helps you attract those customers that are most likely to be interested in your company and hence most likely to purchase from you.

As you can imagine to be successful at online advertising you need to have good understanding of how Google and other search engines place the ads in front of customers based on the keywords they are searching for. To make matters worse Google conducts an auction for the keywords and awards the slot to the highest bidders. The most popular keywords that are in high demand can demand considerably large amount to spend. If you are not careful you can run out of advertising budget very quickly. Finding the balance between the amount you spend and the right keywords is key to success in online search based advertising. This is where companies that can handle PPC management can help you get the most bang for your marketing bucks.

The online marketing consultants can help you run effective marketing campaigns by following a proven methodology. Typical steps they go through are as follows:

  • Conduct an interview to understand your business as well as your marketing needs
  • Analyze the effectiveness of current marketing campaigns, if any
  • Determine keywords that are most likely to be searched by prospective customers hat align to the products and services you are providing
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the marketing campaign by analyzing the reports generated on a regular basis
  • Use the reports to tweak the campaign to ensure it is effective and provides the most return on your investment

The online advertising is a necessity for any business in this digital age, however you need to have the right strategy and approach to ensure you are getting proper return on your marketing investment.

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10 Steps to Launching an Entrepreneurial Business http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/10-steps-to-launching-an-entrepreneurial-business/ http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/2017/08/16/10-steps-to-launching-an-entrepreneurial-business/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:16:55 +0000 http://www.smallbizviewpoints.com/?p=11791
The number of entrepreneurs in the United States is rising. A statement from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports that there are now nearly 30 million people in the U.S. who own their own business with the intent of making it their full-time career. If you have thought about becoming an entrepreneur but you are not sure where to begin or are concerned about the financial risk, you should know that careful planning is a vital element in the formula for success. Fortunately, there are steps you can follow that may be elemental in helping you build a healthy entrepreneurial business.

  1. Begin with a Business Plan

Many small businesses fail quickly because their owners jump in and spend money on materials, website designers, and other costs before they do any kind of long-term planning. If you want to avoid false starts and wasted money, the first step you should take in starting your small business is to plan each step.

Not only is it important to project your costs, but you should ask yourself other questions as well, such as who your target consumers will be, what you can offer them, and how you plan to advertise. Approach your business plan from the perspective of a potential customer as well as the owner so that you can better understand all aspects of your business model and identify potential problems early on.

  1. Invest in Business Training

If you have no business training, it may be wise to invest in a short course at your local college or business school. This training can improve your business savvy and train you in every aspect of small business, from how to get financial assistance to securing a loan with the best interest rate. The more you learn about business, the more confident you will feel about starting your own.

  1. Decide Between a Physical or Online Business

A clever entrepreneur considers all the angles of whether his or her business model is more suited for a brick-and-mortar or online company. To make the best decision possible, consider the types of services you will offer before you choose a physical location or decide if you’d prefer to run your business completely from a website. There are advantages to both, such as running an online business would save money on rent and zoning permits but lack the presence and visibility of a physical business. Refer back to your business model to decide which is best for you.

  1. Secure Your Financing

Even small businesses can have investors, and if you have managed to secure some, now is the time to share your business model with them and encourage them to back you in order to get your business started. If you lack investors and you are backing yourself, consult your local bank or better yet, begin a financial relationship with a credit union and learn how it differs from a traditional bank. A credit union may be able to give you a low annual percentage rate on a small business loan.

  1. Launch Your Business Website

Whether your business will be run primarily from your website or you plan to have both a physical store and a website, launching your home page at the right time can be crucial when it comes to getting your business’ name out there. Your landing page is especially important, as it will tell your potential customers right away what your business can do for them and how. Invest in your own domain name (such as www.your businessname.com) for a more professional presence online.

  1. Open a Business Account

While you might believe your customers will write out personal checks out to you or transfer money into a personal bank or PayPal account without complaint, many people who shop online or in stores are wary of business owners who do not keep their accounts separate. Before you make your first sale, consult your local bank about what you need to open a business account. Some banks will let you add a second account under a “doing business as” or DBA account, especially for a virtual business that does not require you to have any employees.

  1. Get Your Tax Information in Order

The U.S. government requires that even small businesses file taxes and claim any income that results from that business. Before you open for business, ensure that you have the proper tax forms and know how to claim any income from your business properly so that you are not penalized or so that the IRS does not flag you for an audit or withhold your tax refund.

If you plan to become a business philanthropist once your company takes off and follow in the footsteps of others who have set an example for how to support charitable causes, such as Eugene Chrinian, you may want to think about retaining the services of an accountant. An accountant who is familiar with how to deduct charitable expenses and track donations can help you better manage this aspect of your finances.

  1. Prepare an Office Space

If you want to run a small business out of your home, take the time to prepare a space for yourself where you can keep all your important papers, make phone calls, and conduct business without being interrupted. If you cannot claim a room as a home office in your own house, then invest in a small office or consider co-working, where you share a large office space with other small business entrepreneurs for a few hours a day. This allows you to escape the clutter and noise of a typical household so that you can focus on your business.

  1. Create Your Social Media Pages

Create Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for your business that are separate from your personal posts. Not only is social media a great way to advertise your small business for free, it lets you make connections with other small businesses to create link-building opportunities for your website. Remember to name your pages clearly and invest in brand recognition. While it is fun to be clever, but when people search social media for your business name, they might not be able to find it if what you have named the account does not match up with your business name.

  1. Choose a Launch Date

Timing is vital for launching your business, so plan carefully and choose the right date. Avoid launching your business around major holidays, as most people are saving money for buying Christmas gifts or for summer vacations. Consider advertising your business launch date on your website and social media, and offer incentives like free food or coupons to draw a crowd.

Starting your small business may seem like a daunting task. However, with a little careful planning and preparation, it could also mean the start of a fruitful and long-lasting career as a successful entrepreneur.

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