A Few Tips for a Good Start to your NEW business!
Let us first begin with a simple thought.
“Always make sure your vision and plan are very clear and never veer away from them.”
This first tip is tough and may not work for everyone but let go of the pride and control and…
GET A COACH or MENTOR! Begin by finding someone who can be unbiased and objective. It would also be best if they were outside of your business!!! A COACH or a MENTOR can guide you in your planning and operation. Think of them as a FRESH pair of eyes that can be painfully honest. This does not have to be a professional. It can be someone that you already know.
ADVERTISING- Before you go crazy placing ads in every magazine, shopping cart and diner menu make sure to truly investigate your market. Even if you have a surplus of money to throw at a huge marketing campaign, it might be better to make sure every dollar invested brings you a return! If you are opening a business, I would assume you know your target market and where they shop, eat and hangout. Advertise wisely!! When and if you advertise and sales don’t skyrocket, stop throwing money away on an ad campaign that costs so much money and is not bringing any new customers through the door. Understand that million-dollar companies put money into campaigns and even they screw up!!! IT HAPPENS! Just think things through!!
CASH, MONEY, DOLLAR BILL! Bottom-line is to survive you need money. (Unless you are off the grid) Best way to start that money rolling in is by taking deposits right away for jobs!! Sometimes because we are new, we tend to bend over backwards to get those first customers but we might have spent all our start up on START UP!! (tools, equipment, advertising) It worked for me. Need shirts or a Banner? How requesting for at least half down!!! See you already have money coming in and you have not even begun!!!
OVER HEAD should not be through the roof!!! Be professional! Look Professional!! But don’t go into the RED before you even have a chance to sell your first item! I know of businesses that have spent three times of their startup because they want the best of the best! There are ways of cutting corners! In 1993, I started a Record Store in Connecticut. It was just for shits and giggles. I was between jobs and I was approached to be a partner. So, I knew my target market was DJ’s and I was not going to be keeping any old stock. So like NYC that displays there vinyl up on the walls stacked 13 and 15 records high on the walls I did the same here! I rented a tiny 300 hundred square foot store with high walls and stacked vinyl up to the ceiling! I purchased the paint mistakes from HOME DEPOT and did all the work myself. By end of day, my partner and I invested $5,000 into the business. I cut every corner possible and my sales for the first weekend equaled more than six times our initial investment. Sadly, within a year my partner wanted out (for personal reasons) so I sold the business. Since I had NO DEBT, I walked away a much wealthier man.
START UP COST? You can have the best business idea, but you may not be rolling in money your first day. A new business should allow time to work out the bugs… and there will be many and it is OK! Learn from your mistakes! They are just LESSONS! It now depends if you are going to let this lesson take you down or build you up! So how much money do you need to start your type business? Most entrepreneurs start their businesses on a shoestring budget. According to Census data, more than 40 percent of all small businesses started up for under $5,000. Sixty-four percent of entrepreneurs in a recent Intuit survey started with less than $10,000. Obviously, the more cash you have to fund your startup, the easier your life will be during the difficult first months. Your first task is to research what it will cost to start your business in your area, in your industry. It is always best to have a cushion of money when you start. JUST IN CASE! Not sure what type of business you are thinking of but is it affected by the weather? Is it a fad? Are you opening somewhere where there may be competition? BE POSITIVE from day one but always BE REALISTIC!
ARE YOU SELLING WHAT YOU WANT OR WHAT THE CONSUMER WANTS? Too often new businesses spring up around a product or service they think will revolutionize the world!! DREAMS are wonderful but REALITY is key! Do research! This does not mean to use your family or friends to judge your business! Study trends. Visit a mall or meet with competition. Figure out what services are needed and see if you can fill that void! Will your product or service be a fly by night concept or do you plan on pushing this for the long haul!! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! Watch Shark Tank! Some ideas are marvelous and others are just stupid but the funny thing is that there have been people on the show with ideas that the SHARKS passed on that went on to sell millions! YOU JUST NEVER KNOW! Follow your GUT!
LAST! Know YOUR value!!! Do not sell yourself short! Just because you are new doesn’t mean you don’t have value! CHIN UP and BELIEVE in YOU…. BUT, you must be realistic. Everything pretty much has been done so simply go out and find people doing or selling what you do or something similar and keep your prices comparable!! Society is weird, everyone wants a bargain but if you are too inexpensive, they might assume it reflects on your product being cheap. So, know your value!!!
OOPS! One more thing friends and family can be the worst people to do business with. It is hard for them to see you as comparable to a well-known Plumber or a Clothing line. You are just my buddy that better give me a good price because we are friends or related. Honestly, that is messed up. You would assume they know you are starting up so they would help you instead of take advantage of you during your beginning stages!!
Well here I share what I know based on my experiences! I hope it helps you succeed or at least not make some of the mistakes I did!!!