Running a small business means looking at ways to continue to grow. However, before that, you’ll need to wear a lot of different hats in order to properly tackle everything related to launching your business. Launching a company sounds easy on paper, but there are a number of things you’ll need to address before welcoming your first customer of clients, such as researching different business structures and hiring your first employee. Feeling stuck? Here are a few tips from World of Start-ups on things you can put in the place now that will help you expand your business when you’re ready.
Research business structures.
There are many different types of business structures in the United States. Oracle explains that these dictate everything from your personal responsibility to how you raise capital and pay taxes. A sole proprietorship is one option that puts you in complete control but also rests the burden of liability upon your shoulders. You might also choose a partnership, LLC, or corporation. LLC is most common for small businesses, and you can form this on your own with an online formation service. After learning how to start an LLC, do a quick search of local rules and regulations before you begin operations.
Enhance your knowledge.
Maybe you’re already thinking about going back to school or your business requires a level of understanding in areas that you don’t yet possess. Whatever the reason, now is also a great time to go back and earn your degree. Earning your MBA, for example, will give you a stronger foundation in management, business strategy, and how to be a great leader. Look for a program that caters to your schedule – many schools now offer the option to earn your degree online.
Plan your marketing strategy.
Marketing is crucial, especially in an age where people have access to information 100% of the time. While you should certainly prioritize your online, digital presence, don’t forget about time-tested marketing mediums, such as brochures and business cards. Business cards are a great example of a tangible piece of you that you can leave behind, and you can even use online templates to DIY the card of your dreams. Using your personality, you can cater your card and other marketing material with text, colors, and even imagery that showcases the best of what you do.
Research your competition.
According to The Business Plan Shop, a market analysis not only helps you understand your competitors but also identifies barriers to entry as well as your demographic. This is all-important information to know as you look forward. It will put you in the best position to make decisions that help you maintain a sustainable forward trajectory. Keep in mind here, however, that it’s not enough to simply look at your current competition and the active state of your respective market. You must keep your eyes forward to spot trends, which you can do by paying attention to industry influencers and digital analytic tools.
Define your ideal employee.
As you grow, you will have to learn to delegate and let go of some of your responsibilities. This can be tough, but you have to do it so that you have enough hands to hold up your business foundation. Start your hiring efforts by knowing where you need a helping hand. Then, look for someone who is ambitious and confident but also humble, reliable, and passionate.
There are many ways to grow your business, and those you choose should be based on your knowledge and willingness to learn. Remember, your most important tasks involve research and planning. When you know what you have to do, you’ll be in a better position to do it and be stationed for sustainable growth.