Building your own business from the ground up is one of those thrilling events that we all consider at some point or another. You bring your dreams to life and you leave your mark on the world in a unique way. However, starting a business isn’t something you do on a whim. There are dozens of minute details to keep in mind, from your startup financing to your exit strategy.
If you’re ready to realize your business dream, here are a few of the things you’ll need to get in order before your startup is ready to make a dent in the market.
Have an exit strategy
Everyone knows that a startup needs a solid business plan, but does your blueprint include an exit strategy? It may sound a little early to start thinking about the day you’ll give up your business, but the essence of a stellar plan is that it is conceived from start to finish, accounting for each possibility that one could encounter.
Write up the options you intend to strive for in terms of backing out of your company. Obviously a worst-case scenario would be a liquidation if your company performed poorly, but include a plan for better situations as well, such as a sale of the business or a buyout.
Choose your business structure
How you structure your business determines your tax status, ease of obtaining funding, and debt liability. If you plan on being the sole member of your business, a sole proprietorship will do just fine and be simple to set up. However, you will be responsible for any debt that your business incurs, and your credit can take a hit accordingly. LLC’s are becoming a more common business structure, as they eliminate this liability while still offering more freedom and flexibility than a corporation status.
Read up on the types of structures, and spend some time considering which one will suit your business best.
Boost your credit score
As you get your business off the ground, you’re going to be on the hunt for funding. One of the biggest factors in determining the type and amount of financing you receive will be your credit score.
Spend time boosting your credit score by lowering the amount of revolving credit you carry and paying bills on time.
If you have low credit due to an insufficient history, open a low-interest card and use it and pay it off monthly to build up your credit.
The importance of marketing
You get out of your business what you put into it, so marketing needs to be a huge priority once you’re up and running. This means keeping up a professional, high-quality website, and sending out regular email updates and promotions.
You also need to make sure you’re maintaining a presence on social media on a variety of platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest. This not only helps build your brand, but also helps you engage potential customers in a direct way. You might even consider starting a company blog to inform people of industry-related news and relevant info, as this widens your net and gives you more opportunities to draw in potential clients.
Consider the odds … but don’t let them deter you
The sad fact is that anywhere from half to 70-percent of small businesses fail within the first 18 months. However, you shouldn’t look at this as a deterrent, but rather as a challenge! You can overcome these odds with enough determination and planning, and even if your business doesn’t take off as planned you will still learn from the experience and be ready to take on the next venture with even more knowledge.
We learn from failure, and we learn from growth, so no matter how your company fares, you will come out a stronger and more experienced individual as a result — with the added benefit of having realized your dream.