7 Things That Are Often Overlooked When Starting a Business

 26 Mar, 2021

Introduction

There's a crucially important fact that most new business owners are unaware of. 

As an entrepreneur, you need all the help you can get. 

It's the very act of going solo that creates your need for this support.

Yes, it sounds contradictory, but without the help of others, whether it be friends, old colleagues, or new software systems, your chances of success significantly diminish.

And as 50% of start-ups fail to make it past year five, it's wise to take all the help you can get when starting your entrepreneurial journey.

And unfortunately, it's often the avoidable and straightforward things that scupper a new business's chances of survival. 

But you can avoid that faith.

All you do is pay attention to these 7 things that are often overlooked when starting a business.

1. Support system

Starting your new business involves numerous significant challenges, all individually capable of wearing you down, but and when combined, they can even break your entrepreneurial spirit. 

We all know that focus and consistency are significant contributors to achieving our goals. It's why a support system is crucial, as it enables you to give your undivided attention to what your business needs to keep moving forward. 

And while you might be navigating the current challenges with relative ease, it pays to be prepared for any unforeseen storms that could lie ahead.  

For anyone new to running a business, a network of trusted and reliable mentors and peers is of utmost importance. Yours could consist of family members, friends, or a third-party advisory team. Who they are isn't essential, as long as they're there when you need them.  

If you don't have such a network at hand, here are ways of building one.

How to build your support network:

  • Contact a business innovation lab: You can connect with other start-up entrepreneurs, successful business owners, and serial entrepreneurs who actively help people like you by sharing their knowledge and experience. Check online groups such as WeWork and locally through colleges. 
  • Join a professional organization related to your industry: Today, every business model has an online community sharing innovative ideas and support. Start by looking at Facebook community groups, and 
  • Join other local business organizations or the Chamber of Commerce: Both of these options can provide quality feedback pertaining to your business, enabling you to assess the demand for your idea. And as most start-ups go bust due to a lack of demand for the product or service they're selling, this is something you shouldn't overlook. 

2. Branding

If you want your business to be a success, you have to understand why branding is important.

A worrying truth is that many entrepreneurs don't consider branding to be important when starting their business. 

Perhaps it's because they believe that they don't need a brand as they're a solo operation.

They couldn't be more wrong.

Large corporations and successful businesses invest heavily into creating a brand that consumers can relate to because this builds trust. And regardless of size, every business needs its target audience to trust it to make sales.

By building a brand that engages and connects with your target audience, you're instantly giving your business a real chance of success. And you no longer need a vast budget to do it. Start with a logo that works for your marketplace and your audience, add a color theme that fits, and create a personality and voice that speaks their language.

Once you've created your brand, use it throughout your marketing platforms, such as your website (more on that next), social media platforms, emails, and any physical promotional material you're using, like business cards and letterheads, and signage. 

3. Website

Over 46 percent of U.S. small businesses don't have a website. 

It's a mistake for the following reasons: 

  • Credibility: Odds are you're not the only business within your niche, and 56% of consumers only trust companies with a website. A website will increase your business's credibility and create the trust required for converting potential customers into sales.
  • Traffic: Over 92% of all web traffic is search engine driven. Over 80% of consumers use the internet to research brands before making their purchasing decisions. And Google alone processes over 2 trillion searches a year. Can you afford not to take advantage of those statistics? 
  • Your digital hub: Your website is more than just a search engine destination. You can also drive leads from multiple marketing platforms (like social media), converting them into loyal customers. 
  • Anyone can build one: Today, anyone can quickly build a fully optimized (mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop friendly), high converting website, even on a small business budget, by using a website builder

And due to modern consumers using modern technologies for searching and shopping, you must ensure your website's ready, Mobile Ready.

4. Use Social media For Authenticity

Once you have your branding and your website, it's time to create authenticity using social media. 

Your new business needs authenticity because 64% of consumers say they choose companies that share the same beliefs, and there's no better place to make that connection than on social media. 

Research your target audience to find out which social platforms they're using most.  You do this using customer demographics as Yocertain platforms attract a particular age group. For example, Facebook's largest age group is 25-34 years, while Twitter's is 30-49.

And don't forget to create a social media scheduling plan using a tool like Sprout Social, so you're consistently publishing new, relevant, valuable content at a time when your target audience is most online.

5. A Marketing Plan

Your new business should have a marketing plan because it acts as a guide, ensuring you invest your budget into strategies that are proven to work. But more importantly, a marketing plan enables you to review how each strategy is working, letting you know if and when you should change your approach, and that can save you time and money.

For your business, it could be your website and an email campaign or organic social media and paid Facebook advertising. Perhaps you're a brick-and mortar-business, then you'd be looking at local advertising, such as niche print, local radio, and Google my business. 

And don't overcomplicate things for yourself; a simple one-page marketing plan will do, to begin with. Right now, it's all about creating that guide.

6. Create a Legal Entity

You're required to register as a legal entity for most business models and obtain the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance.

If you're starting a dropshipping or e-commerce business, you might not need a certain-licenses or permit to trade; you can find out your legal requirements on your state website.

You have four choices of business entity to choose from:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • LLC (limited liability company
  • Corporation

All have different registration requirements and costs. However, if you can afford it, you should incorporate your start-up business as an LLC to remove all personal liability. Another reason is consumers trust companies with an LLC structure over a sole proprietorship. 

7. Apply for Your EIN Number and Open Your Business Account

When registered as a legal entity, you can get an EIN (employer identification number) from the IRS website.

You require an EIN to open a business bank account and to file your taxes. A business bank account is essential for simplifying your annual returns, which decreases your accountancy fees. 

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