Being a mother is a tiring, expensive job. Any mother will tell you this. At the same time, being a mother is one of the most fulfilling and satisfying things you can do with your life. There are many mothers, including me, who still want to stay active in the job market even after having kids – this is difficult considering our schedules, but it’s not impossible. For many, starting a small business is a great way to get back into the job market – for others, it’s a great way to put a wonderful idea they’ve had for a while into motion, even if they’ve never owned a business before. Here are the 10 essential things you’ll need for starting a small business.
- A Winning Idea:
Starting a small business begins with having excellent small business ideas – ones that would work as a business in practice. This is what defines entrepreneurship. Ideas can come from anywhere – but the best ideas always fill a consumer gap in the market, and give people something they want or present something they didn’t even know they needed. If you don’t have a winning idea right away, don’t worry about it: Give it time, mull it over and do your research.
- The Right Attitude:
A winning idea is the core of starting a small business, but it’s not enough to make your business work. You need the right attitude to be a successful entrepreneur. There will be good days and bad days – and it’s vital that you don’t allow the bad days to get to you. The best entrepreneur is an excellent leader; the best entrepreneur does their research; the best entrepreneur puts their ideas into motion and takes action. Do you have the right attitude to start a business – and the determination to make it work?
- Market Research:
Another element at the core of every successful business is market research. Every single successful business small or big that you could name right now does their market research to see what’s in demand and how people are responding to their products – when you’re starting a business, you should look at gaps in the market and how people could respond to your products. Some ways to do market research is to look at your competitors, look at the market in general, and to ask real people.
- Business Details:
When starting a small business, a lot of people skip over the fact that their business will need some official details to be in operation. It’s best that you settle these things early on, rather than when you’re six months or more into your business. The details of your business will include things like your phone number, your tax details, your name and your e-mail address. Choose a postbox or secondary address rather than listing your home as your address for safety reasons.
- An Effective Software System:
One of the first and most important things any business will need is an effective software system to make operation and admin effortless – yet it’s one of the things that most people forget about.
- Online Representation:
The world’s most well-known brands all have a strong online representation. This is true even for businesses that don’t operate online. If your business doesn’t have a website, people will think twice about doing business with you: Your website represents you online, and it’s where people find you online.
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- Financial Partnership:
Every emerging business needs money to start. Many businesses do this through a financial partnership – and this can be a huge help when you’re first starting out. It also allows you to rely on the expertise of a more experienced business partner if you’ve never started a business venture by yourself before. A financial partnership can also come in other forms, including through crowdfunding or small business loans. Some businesses need a very minimal starting investment to become a business – and most businesses that are huge today started with small production first.
Promote the heck out of your business right from the start. Make use of social media, and make use of everything in-between. Make phone calls, print out pamphlets, place online ads, turn your product into a meme, give out free samples – do whatever it is that you can do to get your name and product as much exposure as possible. Even simple and inexpensive ideas like custom sticker printing and distributing them to clients can get some notice. All small business ideas require the right promotion to turn into great products.
Can you run your small business alone, or will you need someone who can work alongside you? Most mothers can benefit from hiring staff right from the start, sometimes another mom who shares their businesses’ vision. Ensure that your terms are clearly set and everyone knows who does what – and if you’re not making money straight away, set up an earnings-based agreement that kicks in once you start earning. Mothers are naturally busy, and it helps when you have someone who can share the workload – and well-trained staff can give your business a huge boost when you’re first starting out.
Innovation is essential for starting a small business, but many people forget that innovation isn’t just for the beginning of your business – it’s just as essential for the operation of your business. A business is always created with a great starting idea, but it’s constant great ideas that keep them in motion and make sure the business is able to survive through the most crucial two years of business where most new businesses fail. How do you innovate? You continue doing market research and asking both customers and employees what they think; you keep a finger on the pulse of your own business and your own product, and you put yourself in the shoes of your client – what would you like to see your business do to make it rise above the rest?
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