Starting a business is always a daunting task but it can be even more difficult to face when you are also busy with other things. Here are seven tips for getting your business off and running while still enjoying your life!
1. Getting involved in your industry is a great way to get started.
After you’ve written a business plan and set your long-term goals, you may not know where to start. Finding publications and associations that specialize in your industry is the perfect way to make contacts and find tips and tricks to running a successful business in your chosen market. Speaking with people just like you who have already navigated the road to starting a business can provide you with insight into those first steps of running your business.
2. Finding partners to run your company with you helps your company be successful.
Those contacts you made when you got involved in your industry will also benefit you in other ways. First, having a business partner provides you with someone to talk out problems and brainstorm. A partner may have more experience than you in some areas and will take some of the work of off your shoulders. In addition, start-up companies with partners are viewed as less risky by people looking to invest.
3. Financing your business is easier than you think.
Personal financing may be the most obvious choice for raising money for your company but it is definitely not the only way. Banks are available with small business loans, and there are always associations and groups looking to invest in start-ups. Many bank loans, grants, and investment groups are specifically designed for women entrepreneurs, so be sure to spend some time looking for these opportunities. You never know who is looking to invest in someone just like you.
4. Using online filing services will save you money and time.
Using an online filing service (disclosure: my company offers these services) to make your company official saves you both time and money in the beginning of the start-up process when you are busy with other things. Lawyers can charge $200 or more an hour but online filing services will typically charge less for filing your entire business, a task that may take a lawyer more than four hours. Using an online filing service streamlines the process for you and ensures that you get your business filed right the first time.
5. Establishing business credit bolsters your business reputation.
Business credit allows you to get financing under your business entity’s name and is based on an assessment of your business by a business credit bureau. Getting business credit is important to starting a new company because it enables you to receive more financing than a personal loan. Using your business credit also protects your personal credit and assets from business debts, including credit cards.
6. Using technology to grow your business expands your customer base.
One of the best ways to market your company is to use online resources like Facebook, Twitter, and your own website. Customers are becoming increasingly technologically savvy and providing customers with an opportunity to view your company through a website and place any orders online (if applicable) will only benefit your business. Additionally, this will allow you to expand your business beyond your neighborhood and create a national presence, increasing your customer base.
7. Registering your trademarks protects your business for years to come.
After spending so much time to start and grow you business, registering trademarks is important to protect your business from imposters. Without a registered trademark, other companies can use your company or product name, design, or logo as their own. This creates customer confusion and can take customers away from your business. Registering your company name and/or product allows you to claim those titles and provides you with legal recourse for anyone who tries to steal your trademarked ideas.
Don’t let the idea of starting a business overwhelm you. Use these tips to help you get started or grow your business. It’s never too late to realize your dream!