There are many reasons someone might want to start a small business; ranging from the desire to be autonomous and free from the normal cycle of turning up at the office each day and answering to a wide variety of bosses and supervisors, to wanting more flexibility of time and location, in order to spend more time around the kids.
Of course, getting a small business off the ground takes its share of work, and isn’t likely to be the kind of thing that you can turn into a dramatic success overnight.
That being said, there are absolutely things that you can do in order to get your small business off the ground as quickly as possible, so that you minimise the time between the creation of the business, and the point at which it becomes — hopefully — profitable.
Here are a few quick tips for getting a small business off the ground.
Setup your “base of operations” and logistics first and foremost
First things first; you need to make sure that your business has sturdy foundations, which in practice means that your physical “base of operations” is set up as well as possible, and also that all necessary logistics are taken care of.
This might, for example, mean turning a room in your house into a personal office, where you can take calls in peace, put up whiteboards and cork-boards for tracking your plans, and so on, not to mention, of course, having a place where you can work without the normal distractions of the home interfering.
Setting up your base of operations can also, however, mean acquiring the right tools and signing up the right services, to enable you to do your work most effectively. For example, I might decide that signing up to service that helps me to process credit cards at my small business is an essential step to address on day one.
Get your central message, target audience, and service specifics clearly defined
A lot of small businesses, in particular, struggle with mixed-messaging. That is, they might have some idea of the kind of thing they want to do with their business, but they never take the time required to refine that idea and distill it into an easily communicable one-sentence style message.
Getting your central message, target audience, and service specifics clearly defined is essential. It will set you up immediately to focus your energies and resources as effectively as possible, and to meaningfully advertise your services to the public.
Dedicate the bulk of your attention to marketing, until momentum picks up
During the early days of just about any small business that hopes to be broadly successful, marketing is of the utmost importance.
You need to dedicate a lot of your time — maybe nearly all of it, for a while — to conveying the benefits of your business to the people who might be interested in using your services. This can involve paid marketing campaigns such as PPC, cold emailing, flyering, and more.
The bottom line is that you have to make people aware that you exist, and give them a good reason to use your services.