You have waited long enough. It’s time to take the leap into the entrepreneurship arena and start your own business. You are confident that your idea, product, or service is going to be a success. But now you’re facing the daunting task of knowing where to begin and what to add to your business venture to-do list. Before you start selling online or servicing clients, there are a few critical steps you must take. Today, we’ll highlight three considerations and key details you should consider before embarking on your new business journey.
There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Startup Research
Before you even think about launching a new business, youmust first do your homework. Knowledge of your industry, competition, and customer preferences will ensure that you start off on the right foot. And there’s no such thing as conducting too much research. The more details and information you can gather in the beginning, the better position you’ll be in when it’s time to get started.
Research the Market
You might feel your business idea is genius. But it will only be successful if there is a market need for the product or service you plan to offer. Before you start your own business, research the industry as a whole and look for nuances and trends. Identify industry associations or trade groups that might offer insights about your niche. Know your seasonal buying shifts and look for customer reviews. Spending time learning about what potential buyers of your product or service want or don’t want can help you carve out your service delivery to specifically meet their needs.
Know Your Competition
Get comfortable researching your competitors. Know what others in your market or industry are doing successfully so you can follow suit with your business plan. You can also gauge where the competition is failing, allowing you to provide a differentiating solution. Look for how they market their businesses and what they charge for similar services.
Developing Your Price Structure
You might already have a realistic idea of what you want to charge for your services or products. But you don’t want to undercut yourself or overprice yourself out of the market. As part of your research efforts, pay special attention to what your industry is charging. Look for national benchmarks, but also be mindful of your particular market or region. If you’re providing a local service, for example, your city may bear a higher cost of business than other areas. If your business is entirely an online service or product, meaning your audience can be national or international, you’ll still want to be aware of what others are charging. You will then have concrete numbers to help calculate your ROI margins.
Enact a Business Plan
Once you feel confident that you have all the necessary data and information to move forward, it’s time to put together your official business plan. Even if you plan to operate by yourself in this entrepreneurial journey, having an itemized plan can help keep you organized through the setup process and ensure you don’t miss any critical steps. Before you start your own business, make sure your plan outlines these key details.
Design an Operations Strategy
Your business plan should include a detailed operations strategy. In other words, how will you produce your product or deliver your service? Will you field customer inquiries by phone or via the web? Do you need a scheduling tool, and what is your intended delivery time? Imagine yourself several weeks into your business launch and plan what you anticipate your operational steps to be for successful delivery.
Know Your Operational Costs
Starting your own business won’t work if you don’t understand your finances and have a clear path to revenue. Itemize your fixed costs for startup as well as your ongoing expenses for operations. These costs will include direct supplies or services you need to perform your service or produce your product. Other expenses and fees you will need to consider include website development, ongoing marketing efforts, necessary supplies, and industry memberships.
Secure any Permits or Licensing
You’ll want to be sure that you understand your particular industry’s requirements for service. If you need to secure state licensing or regional permits, you’ll want to make sure you have those in place before you begin servicing customers. Not having these credentials in place could result in costly penalties down the road.
Find Professional Support
You may have expertise in your particular niche, but there are other areas of business startup and operation that are unfamiliar to you. Successful business owners know there are some aspects of business that require strategic partnerships with other professionals. They also know when it’s time to seek assistance or professional guidance in getting started.
Legal Professionals for Business Structure
The process for setting up a legal corporation really isn’t difficult and, in many instances, can be done online and through the mail. But to know whether an LLC, S-Corp, or Sole Proprietorship is best for your situation, you might want to seek the advice and counsel of an attorney. Don’t guess or take this step blindly. Know your potential risks and protections with each business structure type and ask a legal professional to help if you’re unsure.
Accounting Professionals for Finance Management
You can set up a business bank account. Still, to really understand the tax regulations and guidelines for self-pay, it can be helpful to talk to an accounting professional or CPA about your financial plans. Not planning ahead could result in owing back taxes come filing time. And not having a financial plan for yourself and your business could translate to revenue pain points early in your business operations.
Insurance is a significant component of your business plans. You’ll want to have protection for yourself and your customers should things go awry. To understand the complexities and costs of general liability, errors, and omissions, or umbrella coverages and limits, you might need the help of an insurance professional. And as a business owner, you’ll need to secure health insurance coverage for yourself and any employees you bring on board, as well. To navigate the Marketplace for available plans, W3LL can help you calculate any available subsidies and sort through the various plans and benefits. And browsing the health insurance plan options with W3LL is entirely free.
Congratulations on making the decision to move forward with your new business dream! The road can be challenging to start your own business, especially in the beginning. However, with these tips, you can be sure you’re starting in the right direction. And remember, when it comes to health insurance, you already have a professional helping hand to navigate the Marketplace. Answer a few simple questions with W3LL and get started today.