Antonio Castellano, from 50Pro shares 30 tips and a plus for all those youngpreneurs and oldpreneurs to start the adventure of their own business
Setting out to create your own business is exciting, but also stressful and in practice it will demand your time and attention “full time”. On the other hand, it is a great experience not only professional but also personal. Surely this idea has already been in your head and you have been in the comings and goings of fears, doubts and insecurities, or tips from others even if they are not your “brother-in-law”…
To somehow organize your ideas, we are going to try to follow a more or less chronological order to go through the different phases that you should consider.
- Value your skills. Not all of us have the basic requirements to start a business, that does not mean that the idea is not valid. But don’t be scared, you probably have the natural personality characteristics to create your business, although you may need to expand your business knowledge. Before investing your resources, make sure you have the basic elements to undertake. The experts can help you with this.
- Imagine the development of your idea. Don’t start the business just because it’s fashionable or because you’re sure you’ll make good money. You must be passionate about your idea first and if you have some knowledge or experience in the sector, the better.
- Check the feasibility. Write on paper how you are going to make it a reality. Is the product/service something people want or need? Is it attractive enough to generate profits? Is there real market potential? What competitors are you going to encounter? What USP (Unique Competitive Features) can you offer?
- Prepare your Business Plan. It will be your agenda. You will also need it to present your project to banks, partners or investors. Remember that the business plan is not just a financial balance sheet; It must include the vision and mission of the project, a summary of the business proposal, if possible, prototypes of the service or product and a specific description of the target and target market you are accessing, with financial projections and the necessary costs.
- Quantify the potential market. Although it may seem like an interesting business, make sure which market you are going to operate in, how it currently works, and make a realistic estimated sales forecast.
- Be realistic with the costs. Your research will have already given you an idea of the typical costs of this type of business, but initially there is an optimistic tendency to undervalue those of “our” idea. You will feel more confident handling real data and it will also help you to adequately inform investors.
- Make a provisional account. That is, a Budget. Once you establish what initial investment you need, calculate the current assets you will need based on your marketing plan.
- If you think you’ll need them, find the right investors. When you start you will need to use financing, either your own or someone else’s. We always insist that your investors share your passion for the project. Don’t just value the capital, but WHO contributes it.
- Listen to the experts. Whether you like it or not, some will have more accumulated experiences and take their advice and suggestions into account, although it does not mean that you have to do everything they tell you. The more information you have, the better decisions you will make.
- Decide the legal model. Consider what is best for you: being self-employed, having one or more partners, and the tax and legal structure you are going to create. Once again, experts can bring you up to speed on these important topics.
- Select a name. Perhaps your idea requires a differentiating commercial brand. It is not an easy task but once you find it you should check that it is available and register it as soon as possible in the area you decide. If your idea requires patenting, consider timing, as it can be expensive in some cases.
- Take advantage of free resources. These can be social networks, internet portals, or even a person or entity that offers you advice and experience to move your startup forward.
- Take out insurance. It is also a very wide world, but the variety of offerings will make your choice easier. Make sure you have the most appropriate insurance for your business, including theft or damage to your company’s assets as well as civil liability for your operations.
- Prepare your accounting. It is very likely that your business will soon require an administrative manager. However, as an imperative, you need to record in real time all the movements generated in your activity. If you do not have financial experience, when your turnover grows, you will need a tax/financial advisor who knows the possible official aid and helps you pay taxes. These errors with the Administration tend to be expensive.
- The right location. Depending on your idea, you may start at home, but it is important to dedicate a specific space to the activity and possibly the business requires a specific location to grow. Choose what is most convenient and accessible, especially if your clients have to visit you. Look at what kind of competition surrounds you when choosing a venue. It may include an office space, but initially you can carry out these tasks from home.
- Flexibility. Your original idea may have to be modified on the fly. Adaptation and rapid capacity for change to offer exactly what is in demand is today a determinant of success. Don’t cling to your individual beliefs always.
- Share. Your close environment can also honestly give you ideas. You will also find negative reviews. Before ignoring them, value their comments. Maybe they can help you adapt something. Once again, expert advice is a good option.
- Persevere. Success is not always achieved the first time. Analyze what and why it failed and try again. Every objection overcome is a step forward towards your success. Be patient, success is not going to happen overnight.
- Your time is money. But the Client’s is PLATINUM. Always respond immediately to your clients. Deliver as soon as possible and above all be punctual. That will create the positive “word of mouth” that your business needs. Immediacy is perhaps one of the most important aspects of your operations today. And that advertising among clients has much more credibility than any very expensive marketing campaign. That is why it is very serious if negative feedback jumps to the RRSS. You must control it and know how to respond if the case arises.
- Keep in touch. Use all means of communication (digital) to stay close to your Clients. Monitoring, surveys, promotions, infographics. Create a plan of non-invasive channels to facilitate contact with customers, both positive and complaints or suggestions.
- Promise less, give more. Both with loyal clients and new ones. Your creativity will suggest what to do or add to exceed your Clients’ expectations.
- Keep your RRSS active. Success is not “being” on the internet. Periodic activity is required so that there is always something new. It’s like your showcase. Well lit and attractive. Make sure your website works. Potential clients want to know as much as possible about your business, so access to it should be simple and fast. Control your keywords and your positioning on the portals. There are experts who will temporarily help if you don’t know it well. In principle you don’t need a Community Manager.
- Check your communication style. Unless you are a great copywriter and know the rules of digital marketing, share your communications with close people and experts before publishing them.
- Know your company. When you talk about your business, you should have prepared the right messages and always maintain a consistent line of communication. Repeat it whenever you have the chance. And consider your competitors positively. It is legal and it is good that they are there. And your image as a businessman will appreciate it.
- Sell experiences, not things. A satisfying experience is based on the senses. This means managing well sensations, colors, lights, aromas, positive memories of your business. Integrate all these sensations into your offer, in such a way that they conquer the senses of your consumers. Learn from Neuromarketing.
- Control, but don’t worry too much about the economy. Some of the best businesses were launched when the economic situation was not ideal, so don’t think about it too much and go for it!
- Network. Don’t be afraid to go out and show your face to the public, whether at a conference or hanging out with acquaintances on a weekend. Talk about your business.
- Plan payment systems well. Make sure you receive payments correctly. Facilitate all possible means to your customers, even on your website, through a shopping basket.
- Find the right collaborators. Hire the ideal profiles for the position. Even if it is your business, you will not be able to deal with everything, so over time you will need to delegate tasks to qualified people trained by you, to ensure that the treatment is exactly the same or better than what you would do. It asks for 49% technical skills and 51% social skills. Works. Don’t rule out people with skills and personalities opposite to yours. With the right attitude, they will challenge you and bring new things to your business.
- Accept that you will be the last to get paid. As CEO, you will be the last one to receive a check, and it will be that way until you have adequate benefits.
and 31. If that time comes, accept that you have to withdraw. Sometimes failure is inevitable. If things aren’t working out and you’ve done and re-done everything you can, put your pride aside and close down. Something like this is not easy to accept, but it is possibly for the best. You have invested a lot of time and resources in your new business adventure. Make sure your family agrees. They must be aware that this process will challenge them financially and emotionally. We wish you much success and good luck.