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Setting Yourself Up For Success As A Small Business Owner

There’s a lot to learn when you first launch your business, and the more you can learn from others’ past experiences, the more likely you are to be able to avoid some common pitfalls and missteps. Having a marketing strategy in place should be one of your top priorities. Dritschler Media can help you get started on the right path.

Starting On The Right Foot

There are a number of start-up necessities, and it’s easy to overlook them if you aren’t prepared. Beginning with creation of a business and marketing plan is a good idea because it helps you identify common pre-launch needs, like choosing the right business entity. A limited liability company, or LLC, is a wise move, as it can protect you from some kinds of liability, give you greater flexibility, and make it easier to file taxes. You can hire a pricey attorney, invest the time to do it yourself, or better yet, use an online formation company to handle the details. Laws around LLC formation vary from one state to another, so check yours in advance. For example, search “how to register a business in Texas.”

Managing Your Money

Another nice thing about starting with a business plan is that it forces you to create a budget – which is, in fact, a necessity if you apply for a small business loan. According to Thriving Small Business, your budget should include realistic projections based on market research and anticipated revenue and expenditures. Always build in a bit of padding for unexpected expenses, and resist the urge to run up high-interest debt on credit cards. This can quickly put you underwater. A good accountant or bookkeeper can keep your records on track, as well as help you with your taxes, and bring any red flags to your attention before financial matters get out of hand.

Mixing Business And Pleasure

While it’s natural to like the idea of including family and friends as colleagues and consumers in your new venture, keep in mind the potential for conflict, hurt feelings, or misunderstandings. What would you do if the brother you hired to work your retail center is always late, or regularly gets into quarrels with other staffers? What happens if your next-door neighbor hires you for a pricey job and doesn’t pay on time, or worse, asks for a deep discount? According to Refresh Leadership, there are a lot of things that can go sideways when it comes to mixing business and pleasure, so tread lightly. If you do get

involved with close confidants, put agreements and contracts in writing, and make sure there is a firm understanding of terms and conditions.

Hiring Smart

It’s important to avoid burnout, and that means getting rid of the idea that you can single-handedly do everything yourself. If you need to hire employees for your business, write detailed job descriptions in advance of recruiting and interviewing. You might advertise in online job boards, through industry associations, or even via social media and your website. If you don’t need staffers, but will require occasional or specialized help, consider the benefit of hiring independent contractors, consultants, or freelancers. This can be especially beneficial for one-time or short term projects, like creating a logo or designing a website.

Smart Marketing

Don’t be fooled into thinking strategic marketing and advertising is a luxury rather than a necessity. The right marketing agency or public relations professional can help establish your business identity, elevate your brand, and put you in front of the right consumers at the right times. Marketing can also help you zero in on your target demographic, differentiate you from your competitors, and help you develop winning messaging to drive sales. Marketing and advertising costs should be as much a part of your operating budget as rent, salaries, inventory, and equipment needs. While you may need to increase, decrease, or revamp marketing expenditures from time to time, never eliminate them entirely.

Getting a new business up and running involves a lot of steps and hoops to jump through. Learning from the mistakes of others can help ensure you’re on firm footing.

Dritschler Media specializes in helping small businesses realize their potential. Services include social media management, search engine optimization, website design, and professional photography. Get in touch today for a consultation.

Setting Yourself Up For Success As A Small Business Owner

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