By John Lee

Starting your own business is no small feat. The beginning is without a doubt one of the hardest phases you’ll go through as you venture into the business sphere. One crucial point that neophyte entrepreneurs need to understand is that business constantly evolves. The key to keeping your brand solvent is adapting a discipline that can cope with all these changes. Whether we’re talking about advancements in technology or a switch in customer behavior patterns, smart business people know how to play their cards to their advantage.

Here are six key tips for starting your own small business.

1. Research and choose the right business opportunity.

There are just too many opportunities to choose from. Whether you decide to go for something you really like doing or a service that’s currently in demand, you need to play to your strengths. If you want to try something new, make sure you embrace the idea that you’ll be doing that business long term.

2. Make a business plan.

It doesn’t have to be large-scale or ambitious. What it needs is precision and carefully thought detail. Start low-key and simple. Write all essential facts and figures and go through it again and again ‘til you get satisfied. An average business plan should not omit any of the following:

  • Your action plan
  • Business strategies
  • Main objectives
  • Vision & mission

A good business plan can also have contingency measures in case problems arise.

3. Get the money ready.

The next step to do after getting your business blueprint ready is to prepare your funding. By fund we’re not just talking about capital and costs; this covers everything including emergency expenses. Again, keep costs low, especially when you’re on a tight budget or if you’re self-funding. If in case you have ample funding, do not go on a shopping spree for store décor or equipment that you won’t really use. Concentrate your cash on spendings that are absolutely necessary. You can make a list of important expenses based on hierarchy to help you decide which to buy and which to not.

4. Find the right location.

There’s such a thing as strategic location. While still considering your budget, pick a place that’s accessible and populated. Especially if your products are for pick up, you need to make sure that your customers won’t get lost for hours trying to find your store. A spot that people are familiar with is also a good option. Invest in Google Maps as well.

5. Secure permits and licenses.

Never entertain the idea that you can get away with an unregistered business. Go to all concerned government agencies like the Tax Bureau and the local office that releases business permits in your area. Be thorough. Make sure you don’t miss any detail to avoid having trouble with the authorities.

6. Advertise. 

Narrow down your list of marketing options to those that really work. Social media is a no brainer. Set up a Facebook or Instagram account and tell your friends about your new business. You can also use traditional materials like brochures and tarpaulins.