Steps To Build My Own Business

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Building your own business is a stressful endeavor. Not only are you responsible for the creative output of the business, but you’re responsible for the practical side of things as well. This includes signage, retail space, web hosting, etc., and can pretty overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

It’s best to consider building a business in a series of steps rather than as one monumental task. Breaking things down into steps makes them easier to get your head around and lessens the chance of you feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do. Once you have the creative and legal sides of the business nailed down, it’s time to start figuring out the physical logistics.

There are a lot of things that go into making a business’s physical location into a well-functioning establishment. From the exterior signs to the design of the floor plan, every detail really should be accounted for as much as possible. How do you want the space to flow? Where should customers gather? Where should you place certain kinds of merchandise? All of these questions factor into the big picture.

There are also a lot of things that have to go on behind the scenes in order for a business to run effectively, and many of these come down to prior planning and clarity of vision. If you’re not really sure where you’re going with your business or what your long-term goals are, you’re more likely to make short-term mistakes that can lead to long-term consequences.

Here are a few practical things to consider when building your own business.

Goals

Starting out with clear goals can make the entire process of building your own business much easier. If you struggle to answer questions like ‘Where do you see yourself or your business in five years?’, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start making notes until you have a clear, concise answer.

That’s not to say that you have to do it all overnight. In fact, it’s better if you pace yourself and work on your plans a bit each day until you have something that’s concrete, practical, and well-thought-out. Fits of inspiration happen, and can even be very helpful to your overall vision, but it’s important not to let them take the wheel for too long. Take notes on anything that catches your eye and seems like a great idea, and come back to it a little later. If it still looks like a good idea, then start making plans to bring it to life or set it in motion.

There are many resources online that walk you through some of the best ways to build up a business plan and start zeroing in on your long-term goals. Start doing research and look into several until you find one that works for you, or take different parts of several approaches to build your own unique one.

Audience

Building up an audience is a large part of building your own business. Without an audience, you have no one to teach and no one to sell to. But how do you go about finding your audience in an age when there’s so much mental and environmental clutter in the form of ads and the like? The answer may be as simple as the phone you’re reading this on.

Social media is a powerful tool, and we’ve seen how it can be used for good in the form of non-profit organizations and big-time influencers helping small businesses grow. An important step of building your own business is to establish yourself on social media. You don’t need to be on every platform to make this work, either! Rather, choose the two or three largest platforms that you’d be likely to find your ideal customer on. Are you targeting older people? The younger crowd? Women? All of these data points give you clues toward where you should be focusing your efforts.

Signs, Logos, and Icons

Signs can, and often do, tell you a lot about a business. You wouldn’t expect a modern coffee shop to have a heavy, rustic looking sign out front, just like you wouldn’t expect a steakhouse to advertise in a sleek, almost futuristic way. Signs are an extension of the business and condense what customers are likely to experience into a simple, easily readable format. If your business is going to have a physical location, a sign may as well be your welcome mat.

A sign is your business’s first impression, and it’s well worth spending some extra time to make sure it’s a good one. Once you have your business name and logo dialed in, it’s time to contact a well-reviewed business sign service to help make your vision a reality. You can also go the hand-created route if you’re artistic enough and the style would suit your business.

In the end, a sign is only one component of the overall package and having a less-than-perfect temporary sign is better than no sign at all, especially if your business can be easily missed otherwise. Whether you’re tucked in between other shops or off the beaten path a bit, a directional sign can be a life-saver when it comes to potential sales and getting more eyes on your products.

When designing a sign, directional or otherwise, readability is king. Go with an easily legible font in a large enough size that you won’t have to be right on top of the sign in order to read it. Also, consider your color choices. Contrasting colors such as white and black make for an easily readable sign, but can feel very static. If you’re looking for more energy in your sign, consider different color options. Just don’t sacrifice clarity for aesthetics.

Logos and social media icons play by many of the same rules. A design should be easily readable and understandable, any text should be clear, and it should give the viewer a general, overall idea of what the business is about.

Physical Security

One of the simplest ways to ensure the safety of both your staff and your stock is investing in good commercial door hardware at your physical location. Commercial hardware is built for public use and the locks are designed to keep commercial buildings secure during off-hours.

If you’re looking to re-key the existing locks, a professional locksmith service should be able to help you. Re-keying existing locks will allow you to use the existing hardware for security instead of having to replace it all. Check with your legal team or advisor before scheduling this though, as there may be laws or ordinances against it in your area. If this is the case, then you will have to replace the hardware, including the locksets, before you can use the building commercially.

You may also want to invest in a commercial security system once your business is up and running. The average cost of having a professional security system installed at a small to mid-sized business can usually be broken down into three factors: the hardware, the installation and activation, and the continued monitoring. For many businesses, the prices will break down as follows:

  • Hardware: from one thousand dollars to two thousand five hundred dollars
  • Installation/activation: from three hundred dollars to five hundred dollars
  • Continued monitoring: from forty dollars to one hundred twenty dollars

The upfront cost followed by the cost of continued monitoring means that this is the sort of thing your business will have to save and budget for if it wants to be successful. That said, there are definite upsides to having professional monitoring, so this is a decision you’ll want to make carefully.

The Building Itself

The building itself can be a great asset to your new business, but it can also be quite a liability if it isn’t in good condition. Before you sign a lease on a building to house your business, take the time to make sure that the roof is free of moss and that no shingles or tiles are missing or broken, and that the siding isn’t cracked or rotting. These aren’t all of the potential building issues you should be aware of, but these issues, while serious enough on their own, are also often indications of more systemic problems.

Even if everything looks to be in good condition, it’s important to consider the building’s location as well and whether it will be a good fit for your business. Look into what other businesses are operating in the same area. Is there a lot of competition in your niche or are you the only game in town? While your first location might not be ideal, you can always make it work with some creative signage and good social media marketing.

Depending on your business needs and the design of the building, you may also need a commercial elevator or freight elevator. These sorts of elevators are designed to carry large and heavy equipment and are perfect for businesses like furniture stores that have to move large pieces frequently.

Certain kinds of businesses require certain equipment on-site in order to function. Appliance installation can usually be managed by the company through which you purchased the appliances, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about installation and setup.

If you need real estate help, it’s usually best to contact a professional real estate agent to answer your questions and help you negotiate. This way you’ll avoid ending up in a bind due to advice taken from non-professional sources.

Your Website

If you haven’t done so already, then set up an official business website. Having a solid site will do wonders for your reach and branding. A good, well-designed website and strong social media presence tell potential customers how serious you are about what you do and help build the initial confidence that so often drives sales.

Website hosting is one of those expenses that many business owners don’t take into account. There can be a lot of back-end expenses depending on the kind of site you’re running, so be sure to keep track of the cost as you grow. This will help you determine when it makes sense to upgrade and when you should hang back and wait where you are for a little while longer. If you’re in need of a bit more power and bandwidth, there are a variety of IT companies out there who specifically help small to mid-sized businesses.

When it comes right down to it, building your own business is about doing the next right thing. It’s always best to have a plan before you jump in head-first. Building up a logical, practical plan early on will save you from a lot of guesswork and potential trouble in the future. Start from square one and build outward from there. You don’t need a five-year plan as soon as you sit down to research, but you will need one before you can call your business plan ‘done’.

A large part of building your own business is getting that business known by the people you’re targeting as potential customers. That means building an audience. Taking the time to actively engage with your social media friends and followers will help them remember you positively. People like to feel seen and heard, especially by those they like, and that includes businesses.

When you do make the move to a physical location, make sure that the building you’re considering is in good condition and located in an area that will be good for your business. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to work for you. A sub-par location can be overcome, but it’s best not to set yourself back any as long as you can avoid it.

There’s a lot that goes into building up a new business, but with a solid plan and a good understanding of what makes a business successful, you can be well-prepared for the long road ahead.

Building your own business is a stressful endeavor. Not only are you responsible for the creative output of the business, but you’re responsible for the practical side of things as well. This includes signage, retail space, web hosting, etc., and can pretty overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

It’s best to consider building a business in a series of steps rather than as one monumental task. Breaking things down into steps makes them easier to get your head around and lessens the chance of you feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do. Once you have the creative and legal sides of the business nailed down, it’s time to start figuring out the physical logistics.

There are a lot of things that go into making a business’s physical location into a well-functioning establishment. From the exterior signs to the design of the floor plan, every detail really should be accounted for as much as possible. How do you want the space to flow? Where should customers gather? Where should you place certain kinds of merchandise? All of these questions factor into the big picture.

There are also a lot of things that have to go on behind the scenes in order for a business to run effectively, and many of these come down to prior planning and clarity of vision. If you’re not really sure where you’re going with your business or what your long-term goals are, you’re more likely to make short-term mistakes that can lead to long-term consequences.

Here are a few practical things to consider when building your own business.

Goals

Starting out with clear goals can make the entire process of building your own business much easier. If you struggle to answer questions like ‘Where do you see yourself or your business in five years?’, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and start making notes until you have a clear, concise answer.

That’s not to say that you have to do it all overnight. In fact, it’s better if you pace yourself and work on your plans a bit each day until you have something that’s concrete, practical, and well-thought-out. Fits of inspiration happen, and can even be very helpful to your overall vision, but it’s important not to let them take the wheel for too long. Take notes on anything that catches your eye and seems like a great idea, and come back to it a little later. If it still looks like a good idea, then start making plans to bring it to life or set it in motion.

There are many resources online that walk you through some of the best ways to build up a business plan and start zeroing in on your long-term goals. Start doing research and look into several until you find one that works for you, or take different parts of several approaches to build your own unique one.

Audience

Building up an audience is a large part of building your own business. Without an audience, you have no one to teach and no one to sell to. But how do you go about finding your audience in an age when there’s so much mental and environmental clutter in the form of ads and the like? The answer may be as simple as the phone you’re reading this on.

Social media is a powerful tool, and we’ve seen how it can be used for good in the form of non-profit organizations and big-time influencers helping small businesses grow. An important step of building your own business is to establish yourself on social media. You don’t need to be on every platform to make this work, either! Rather, choose the two or three largest platforms that you’d be likely to find your ideal customer on. Are you targeting older people? The younger crowd? Women? All of these data points give you clues toward where you should be focusing your efforts.

Signs, Logos, and Icons

Signs can, and often do, tell you a lot about a business. You wouldn’t expect a modern coffee shop to have a heavy, rustic looking sign out front, just like you wouldn’t expect a steakhouse to advertise in a sleek, almost futuristic way. Signs are an extension of the business and condense what customers are likely to experience into a simple, easily readable format. If your business is going to have a physical location, a sign may as well be your welcome mat.

A sign is your business’s first impression, and it’s well worth spending some extra time to make sure it’s a good one. Once you have your business name and logo dialed in, it’s time to contact a well-reviewed business sign service to help make your vision a reality. You can also go the hand-created route if you’re artistic enough and the style would suit your business.

In the end, a sign is only one component of the overall package and having a less-than-perfect temporary sign is better than no sign at all, especially if your business can be easily missed otherwise. Whether you’re tucked in between other shops or off the beaten path a bit, a directional sign can be a life-saver when it comes to potential sales and getting more eyes on your products.

When designing a sign, directional or otherwise, readability is king. Go with an easily legible font in a large enough size that you won’t have to be right on top of the sign in order to read it. Also, consider your color choices. Contrasting colors such as white and black make for an easily readable sign, but can feel very static. If you’re looking for more energy in your sign, consider different color options. Just don’t sacrifice clarity for aesthetics.

Logos and social media icons play by many of the same rules. A design should be easily readable and understandable, any text should be clear, and it should give the viewer a general, overall idea of what the business is about.

Physical Security

One of the simplest ways to ensure the safety of both your staff and your stock is investing in good commercial door hardware at your physical location. Commercial hardware is built for public use and the locks are designed to keep commercial buildings secure during off-hours.

If you’re looking to re-key the existing locks, a professional locksmith service should be able to help you. Re-keying existing locks will allow you to use the existing hardware for security instead of having to replace it all. Check with your legal team or advisor before scheduling this though, as there may be laws or ordinances against it in your area. If this is the case, then you will have to replace the hardware, including the locksets, before you can use the building commercially.

You may also want to invest in a commercial security system once your business is up and running. The average cost of having a professional security system installed at a small to mid-sized business can usually be broken down into three factors: the hardware, the installation and activation, and the continued monitoring. For many businesses, the prices will break down as follows:

  • Hardware: from one thousand dollars to two thousand five hundred dollars
  • Installation/activation: from three hundred dollars to five hundred dollars
  • Continued monitoring: from forty dollars to one hundred twenty dollars

The upfront cost followed by the cost of continued monitoring means that this is the sort of thing your business will have to save and budget for if it wants to be successful. That said, there are definite upsides to having professional monitoring, so this is a decision you’ll want to make carefully.

The Building Itself

The building itself can be a great asset to your new business, but it can also be quite a liability if it isn’t in good condition. Before you sign a lease on a building to house your business, take the time to make sure that the roof is free of moss and that no shingles or tiles are missing or broken, and that the siding isn’t cracked or rotting. These aren’t all of the potential building issues you should be aware of, but these issues, while serious enough on their own, are also often indications of more systemic problems.

Even if everything looks to be in good condition, it’s important to consider the building’s location as well and whether it will be a good fit for your business. Look into what other businesses are operating in the same area. Is there a lot of competition in your niche or are you the only game in town? While your first location might not be ideal, you can always make it work with some creative signage and good social media marketing.

Depending on your business needs and the design of the building, you may also need a commercial elevator or freight elevator. These sorts of elevators are designed to carry large and heavy equipment and are perfect for businesses like furniture stores that have to move large pieces frequently.

Certain kinds of businesses require certain equipment on-site in order to function. Appliance installation can usually be managed by the company through which you purchased the appliances, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about installation and setup.

If you need real estate help, it’s usually best to contact a professional real estate agent to answer your questions and help you negotiate. This way you’ll avoid ending up in a bind due to advice taken from non-professional sources.

Your Website

If you haven’t done so already, then set up an official business website. Having a solid site will do wonders for your reach and branding. A good, well-designed website and strong social media presence tell potential customers how serious you are about what you do and help build the initial confidence that so often drives sales.

Website hosting is one of those expenses that many business owners don’t take into account. There can be a lot of back-end expenses depending on the kind of site you’re running, so be sure to keep track of the cost as you grow. This will help you determine when it makes sense to upgrade and when you should hang back and wait where you are for a little while longer. If you’re in need of a bit more power and bandwidth, there are a variety of IT companies out there who specifically help small to mid-sized businesses.

When it comes right down to it, building your own business is about doing the next right thing. It’s always best to have a plan before you jump in head-first. Building up a logical, practical plan early on will save you from a lot of guesswork and potential trouble in the future. Start from square one and build outward from there. You don’t need a five-year plan as soon as you sit down to research, but you will need one before you can call your business plan ‘done’.

A large part of building your own business is getting that business known by the people you’re targeting as potential customers. That means building an audience. Taking the time to actively engage with your social media friends and followers will help them remember you positively. People like to feel seen and heard, especially by those they like, and that includes businesses.

When you do make the move to a physical location, make sure that the building you’re considering is in good condition and located in an area that will be good for your business. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to work for you. A sub-par location can be overcome, but it’s best not to set yourself back any as long as you can avoid it.

There’s a lot that goes into building up a new business, but with a solid plan and a good understanding of what makes a business successful, you can be well-prepared for the long road ahead.

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