By Nyasha Andrew Mataidza | Writer | Creative Entrepreneur
Most big enterprises and corporations came from small Business startups. It’s hard to imagine but possible for more scenarios as well that will include yours. It’s easy to take your small business for granted but what if it has a fair chance of growing big? Lets explore seven essentials for small business startups. These will help you with an even footing as your business grows.
You attract what you radiate as a small business startup. Meaning your degree of focus and effectiveness positions you to attract great opportunities. Never limit yourself in how much you can position yourself as a business startup. There are simple things you can do to increase your visibility and reach.
Let’s cut straight to the chase and call this, access to big opportunities. Let me give you this example first of somebody afraid to put up a great plan and foundation of a house. Their reason being fear about where to get all the building materials to fill up the big foundation. A small business startup needs more of strategies that can accommodate future success.
You need such strategies that will embrace future potential. Lets dive into 7 essentials for small business startups and their implementation. We want to explore something that you can apply to your business right away.
1. Registering your small business startup
Choose the right legal structure for your business. Research as well how other people in the same business are doing it. Familiarize with the tax advantages of that legal structure. Consider its ability to accommodate and sustain future growth.
There are legal structures that can be expensive for your small business startup. Choose the right one with advice from friends and business consultancies. Familiarize with the Tax obligations of your chosen business structure. Consider if it allows your business to expand.
You wouldn’t need legal structure that inhibits future growth and expansion. You need one that allows re-investment of your profits back again into the business. This legal structure allows businesses to grow and expand.
An entrepreneur may not have adequate money to register the suitable business structure. Here is how they get the money, in fact I mean landing some freelancing jobs or gigs. These could be online or physical. But first of all they need to look at themselves and consider that skill which can earn them a legitimate quick buck.
Now this skill may not be your main vision in life but it’s there to sustain when you are pursuing the bigger vision. Somebody may feel like they are abandoning their bigger vision. But you are raising much needed cash to register business.
The last thing you can do, is borrowing money before you have the mechanism of spinning it and returning it. I like how Robert Kiyosaki talks of good debt and bad debt. You can do the math what that would be for you.
These days it’s much easier to land more freelancing opportunities on the internet. Physical Freelancing jobs are available from people who know you already. You need to have a sharp skill to lend a freelancing job. There will be many competitors and you need to prove yourself. Familiarize with the terms and conditions of freelancing jobs to reduce your risk. If you Google on the internet for freelancing gigs, you will get so many of them. You may also Google for passive income ideas because you are going to need cash in the long run.
You may face challenges to land on some freelancing gigs because of your location. That can be disappointing when some service providers do not cover your area. In that case, you sit down and think about freelancing jobs you can do in your neighborhood to raise up the money.
This will depend on your level of confidence and if you want to achieve your goals. You do not need to mind even cutting people’s grass with your loan mower. Now this is an example of how far you can go to build the future. You can sell some cakes or some cookies. You know these things do not lower your standards as such. They reflect your humility and willingness to invest into the future.
Borrowing money to register your business can be a last resort but you need less of that. If push comes to shove, you may try some people with a genuine concern for your success. This can be an option when you do not yet have collateral to borrow money from the landing institutions. Your most import goal is to avoid bad debt that you are not yet able to return.
Company registration will also incorporate trademarking your business and logo designing as well. You know, a nice logo can seal the deal and somebody can imagine already the future picture of the business. How you present the company matters. You wouldn’t believe that some people like your business because of your nice logo design.
They would want to try the new kid on the block as a way to refresh their perspective and networking. Company registration involves opening a bank account for the company. You need a Bank that offers a great package for small business startups. You need one that accommodates and shielding new business startups. A bank that doesn’t care much about small business startups is not the best option. Their offer can be very expensive for you as the will be treating you as a big company.
On company registration, you also need a software that will do all your bookkeeping. Some use Quick Books and some use Pastel Software. You will need some extra help from an accountant as well. I have used Pastel Software before through a Pastel dealer in my area. He provides this service to many tertiary institutions and schools. All I did was to look for a second hand computer and touch screen as well. He installed the software for me and enabled the Point of Sale for day to day sales. Now Pastel can be expensive but it’s worth the investment.
I am yet to explore Quick Books and I hear many successful bloggers mentioning about it. I am sure there is a great reason behind. There are other soft wares I may not have mentioned. If they make your life easier as a small business startup, you need to consider them. What is important is for the business to grow and lessening costs.
Still on company registration, you need physical offices where you can meet up with a client. I want to admit as a startup entrepreneur, there is a time when you will be a moving office. In fact you will be the office in person. Businesses differ and there are some which do not need a physical office. In some countries, its a must to have a physical office.
On company registration options, you may consider e-residency in Estonia. Its offered by Estonia Police and Boarder Guard. Have you ever heard about it and its advantages? I saw it on the internet on apply.gov.ee This applies when you want to start a business in such a country. Remember you are not only confined to register your business in your locality alone.
Before you can consider options of e-residency, familiarize with the terms and conditions. It’s quite important. When you register your company as a startup, you need to find some legal services that you can subscribe to. Find such service providers who have flexible packages that accommodate small business startups. This idea scares more people and appear like an unnecessary expense.
Legal issues emerge the moment your small business startup begins to earn some money. There are some folks who would say they need a piece of the pie. Imagine all that hard earned success taken away based on technicalities not merit. I am going to cover on legal services as a separate numbered strategy.
2. Subscribing to legal services for startups
Starting small does not mean to remain small as a business. It’s more of preparing a big pot that can collect a lot of water in case of big rain. Subscribe to legal services that help you to honour your legal obligations from the start.
Opportunists arise when your business grows and everybody wanting a piece of pie. Yes that happens in the real world and that’s a common welcome to the real world. If you cant afford the whole package of legal services, you can opt for an affordable package. Look for one that gives you a sense of direction and honouring your legal obligations.
If needs be, you can sponsor this cost by taking one or two freelancing gigs so that your startup business can grow. Legal services help to prevent you from infringement of intellectual property rights. You will be on the safe side and not breaching the laws of your country.
If you are employing one or two people, you need to familiarize with labour issues so that you are not sued. In the real world, you can loose a case and your hard-work by failing to protect it. You have got to make sure you are operating within the range and confines of the law even though you are a startup. Remember we said big businesses came from small startup businesses as well.
Remember a germinating seed needs the space and opportunity to germinate. This is only possible if the ground and soil allows it to do so. The same as your legal obligations, they nature and allow your vision to grow and germinate. Legal advice helps you to negotiate a better contract. You will also have good terms and conditions and minimizing your risks.
You need less times of frequenting the courts and maximizing time and money to build up the business. Legal advice gives you confidence and an advantage over your competitors. You won’t hit the brick wall. Legal services help you to set up a fair agreement and terms of conditions for a partnership.
Before partnering with anybody, you need legal guidance and everything involved. You also need to know how to deal with them in case the business grows and becomes successful. This becomes your leverage in case of a dispute. Leverage is all you need as a small business startup.
3. Marketing Strategies for startups
Before we talk of any marketing strategies, you need a good brand and great logo. You need to find a good graphics designer. A great logo does wonders and you never know how captivate people to buy your brand. Make sure you have a good logo.
If you have a tight budget, you can opt to make one great logo for yourself on the internet. You can use Canva to make a good logo and you can also design your receipts, invoices and quotations there. These simple things will give your small business startup, a top notch feel.
You can have your logo printed on t-shirts, caps, banners, stationery and umbrellas. Printed logos capture people’a attention and they follow up to know more.
You also need to give away some printed staff to market your business. The is to increase your conversions and getting more engagements. That’s the end goal you should keep in mind. You can share some with parents, siblings or close relatives. They will distribute in their networks.
This is more of tapping into your social networks and lessening your costs. You can actually beat great companies with this strategy of market penetration? You will be closer to the target market and interacting with them at a close range. Sometimes people buy a service or product based on who recommended it.
We have explored physical methods of marketing your brand. These are not the only ways but rather a start that you can make use of. Nowadays there is digital marketing or internet marketing. Its an effective way to increase your visibility in various localities and places.
Internet marketing includes Email marketing, Video marketing (Vlogging) and Blogging as well. We are going to focus on blogging as the easiest way to market you brand as a small business startup. You need to start a blog and marketing your products and services. Blogging incorporates the whole package of internet marketing. You have to be a great story teller and telling a story about you product or service.
You have go to keep people inspired you know and that’s the deal. You have to relate with the people in as much as you can talk about your brand or service. Blogging is a great source of passive income besides the business you will be doing. You can monetize your blog and that is a separate topic on its own.
There is another simple strategy of internet marketing that I have used before. It is very cheap and won’t cost you a dime. First of all you need to find a phone with a good camera and good pixels as well. You will use it to take nice pictures of your products and services on a weekly basis. Then you open a Facebook page for your company or business. You brand your Facebook page and making it interesting. Canva can help you with that.
You can have captivating picture updates of your interesting products and services. You can have this on a weekly basis and saying something interesting about them. Be a natural in your marketing and make it inspiring and captivating the eye. If you are not creative enough, you can hire somebody to do a great job for you. Remember you can’t be all over as a small business owner. You need to focus your attention on priority aspects that demand your attention.
You can market your brand by using personal social media handles. Examples such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. This depends on how much you are comfortable to mix business and social life. As for myself, I have no problem about it as I will be living my brand and my dream. I actually post my articles on my my Facebook timeline because I do not hide who I am that is the writer in me. That is also what I enjoy doing in my life.
You can also market your products by joining groups on social media platforms. You need to identify the most effective platforms that increase your visibility. Make sure you market your products or services without having to be spammy. The way you introduce your business on social media, can strike a deal or break a deal, depending on how you do it. Make sure you do have some Png files of your business cards and fliers which you can share.
Online in case somebody wants to know about your business. Always store these in folder which is easy to retrieve. Be like instant whenever you meet a prospective client and do not take so loner to master your staff.
You can also search for Online Classifieds in your country. Some of them have free packages where you create an account and posting an ad. This helps you to have an Online Presence even if you are not Online twenty four seven. As a small business startup, make sure you are always connected on the internet so as read your emails in real time. Some clients are particular about your response time in case of an inquiry.
Above everything, be always ready with a simple summary about your business. Be able to define what you stand for any time of the day. Be ready to type it or to speak when inquired of. Let me give you an example of what I do in a simple summary. My name is Nyasha Andrew Mataidza, I am a writer and creative entrepreneur. I write on personal development, business and leadership. I draw my inspiration from practical everyday experiences.
This is my short summary and I know it by head. I can’t say it’s perfect but I connect more to it and I say it with zeal and excitement. In fact I own it and I am proud of it. The same you should do as you market your business as a startup.
You may link up with friends who have access to Radio personalities. Seek for an invitation or recommendation for participation on a radio show. Make sure you give them value in as much as you may be looking to market your brand. You need to strike balance so that they invite you next time. The same as TV shows and this will demand that you be very much presentable and carrying yourself well.
Much of the marketing strategies will depend on your willingness and forthcoming. People love to see that and it inspires them. You can come up with your own personalized marketing strategy.
4. If you can keep around a few loyal clients
As a small business startup, you need to keep around your best clients. Serve them well and giving them some extra offers. This is a way of expressing your genuine concern for their success. You will be providing great service beyond the business transaction. Your ability to keep them around, shows your potential to keep around even more clients. An engine requires some lubricant to function well and staying safe. The same as your business, you need such clients to keep the business afloat. This is not your benchmark where you plateau but rather the start of a great journey.
The very thought of knowing that you can keep around a few clients, will give you boost of confidence. You won’t doubt your capability as a startup. Business is all about repeating and improvising the process that works. Sometimes you get to learn more business ideas from the clients you can keep around. These business ideas are sort of their demands they hope you can meet and provide all in one plate.
People do not want to go everywhere looking for something when its nearer and up to task.. Keeping around some clients is possible with quality, timely and reliable service. Clients will remember you for that wherever they go. Loyal clients consider you first when they open up new businesses. They will find a way to appreciate what you have done for them.
Loyal clients can refer you as well to other prospective clients in their networks. This can grow your business to great levels. Having loyal clients should not make you relax as a startup. Its not guarantee that you are now there. You need to work the vision once more because clients can find alternative options. People are so serious when it comes to business no matter how much they can smile at you. Having loyal clients is a proof that your business can serve a purpose in the scheme of affairs.
Loyal clients will help you to define your niche and what you should focus on most. You will know what gives you the most money and this is where you need to invest more in. A business can start by doing everything but later on defining their niche. This is not like shedding the best part of the vision but its more of focus. You need a perfect aim and a target as the lion does on its pray according to the laws of nature.
In this case your prey is the problem you seek to define and solve. You look at it with laser beam focus and devising your strategy.
5. Purchasing your most important business tools
Business tools do vary and they can be physical or software. You need to identify your most critical business tools that gives your business a top notch feel. If you cannot afford them, consider freelancing options. They will help you to raise some money avoiding borrowing.
Your business tools can also be inform of subscriptions and consider affordable offers. Let me give an example of a Graphic Designing Company, there are certain business tools they need. These include and not limited to Adobe Creative Cloud. They can also have Corel Draw, Infinite Designer and Canva. This is an example and there are many options that one can consider.
Sometimes it may not be possible to have also the business tools you need. Some of them may be expensive but you can opt for cheaper options that help to kick-start the business. I will give an example of business tools I need as a writer. I need Grammarly, Pro-Writing Aid, Hemingway App and Canva Subscription. I also need good vlogging kit, Adobe Photoshop and not limited to these.
Sometimes your business tools may involve a set of equipment or machinery. You need to find a way to get one of them. We are saying your business needs that.
6. Taking some courses
Small business owners should take many courses as possible and broadening their scope. This will help them to lead their business in the right direction. It’s not only about pocketing the money but it’s also about re-investing the money to develop the skill set.
You need to identify the essential courses that are critical for the growth of your business. Also consider some free courses as well and they may tend out to be important. Attend business seminars in your area to network and linking up with people. You get to learn how they will be developing themselves.
Courses will make you sensitive to the needs of your business as it grows. Give yourself an opportunity to learn appreciating the trade you are in. Courses will help you as well to develop a higher level of professionalism. Sometimes it’s not about how big your business is or otherwise. It’s about how you go about your small business in a big and efficient way.
Professionalism is another different story and it puts you on top of your game. You will get more engagements, conversions and referrals. Your business startup becomes the talk of the town and leading to your breakthrough.
7. Getting support from friends and family
It’s good to share your business with people you care about the most. These can be your parents, siblings and relatives. This can be possible when all variables are constant. Sharing your dream will will help you with emotional support.
Sometimes they get to offer you some fresh perspective to help shape up your vision. They can also help to market your business like we mentioned on the marketing sub-heading. When you hit the brick wall, close people will be there for you. They will strengthen you when you can use some inspiration.
We managed to mention 7 essentials for startup entrepreneurs. We are not concluding these as the only things you need but rather things you wouldn’t miss. If you manufacture and sell your own shoes, you need to wear them if possible. You will be leading by example and connecting with the clients. This is living your brand. You also need to network with people and following up on Client Feedback. It’s never a done deal by closing a sale alone. You need to follow up on the sale and getting feedback.
By Nyasha Andrew Mataidza | Writer | Creative Entrepreneur
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
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