19 February 2024

Starting a Small Business from Scratch: 10 Helpful Tips!

By Ronald Smith

So, you want to start your very own small business? That’s awesome! I’ve been there too, and let me tell you, it can be quite the adventure. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you out.

1. Follow your passion. Find something you love doing and turn it into a business. When you’re passionate about what you do, it won’t feel like work – it’ll be fun!

2. Do your research. Take the time to understand your industry and your target market. Know your competition and find a way to stand out. Knowledge is power!

3. Create a solid business plan. This will be your roadmap to success. It should outline your goals, strategies, and financial projections. Think of it as a blueprint for your business.

4. Gather your resources. Figure out what you need to start your business. It could be equipment, supplies, or even a physical location. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek out loans or grants.

5. Build a support network. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your business. This could be mentors, friends, or fellow entrepreneurs. Having a support system can make all the difference.

6. Develop a strong brand. Your brand is how people perceive your business. Think about your logo, your colors, and your overall image. You want to create a brand that people will remember.

7. Get the word out. Marketing is key to getting customers. Use social media, word of mouth, and advertising to spread the word about your business. Show the world what you have to offer.

8. Provide excellent customer service. Treat your customers like gold. Respond to their needs, go above and beyond, and make them feel special. Happy customers will become loyal customers.

9. Stay focused and persistent. Starting a business is not always easy. There will be challenges along the way, but don’t give up. Stay focused on your goals and keep pushing forward.

10. Stay flexible and open to change. The business world is constantly evolving, so be willing to adapt and change your strategies when needed. Embrace new ideas and always be open to learning.

So there you have it, my friend – 10 tips to help you start your small business from nothing. Remember, starting a business takes hard work and dedication, but with the right mindset and the right tips, you can turn your dreams into reality. Good luck!

Starting a Small Business from Scratch: 10 Helpful Tips!

I’ve got some awesome news for you. Hiscox, the small business insurer, just dropped a cool new digital series called Courageous Leaders. And get this – they teamed up with Vox Media to make it happen!

This series is all about successful entrepreneurs who spill the beans on how they found the guts to make it big in business. It’s like getting an inside scoop from the pros!

We’re talking big names here. Think Dennis Crowley, the Co-founder/CEO of Foursquare. Or how about Ben Lerer, the Co-founder/CEO of Thrillist? And let’s not forget Ross Cassidy, the trendy Interior Designer/TV personality.

What’s really cool is that a lot of these entrepreneurs started from scratch. I’m talking about nothing but a dream. It’s pretty inspiring stuff, if you ask me. That’s why I had a chat with Hunter Hoffmann, the head of communications at Hiscox, to get some tips on starting a small business when you don’t have much to work with.

Take Your Time before Taking the Plunge

One way I found to start a small business and get it off the ground without taking too much financial risk is by keeping my day job until my business becomes stable and successful.

Now, there’s definitely something exciting about hearing the story of a brave entrepreneur who takes the leap and goes it alone. But let me tell you, there’s also a lot to be said about still receiving a regular paycheck, especially when you have a family to support. It may mean working long hours, but with good time management, it’s totally doable.

Here’s an example: if you have a 9 to 5 job, you’ll need to set aside specific time every day for your business. Maybe from 8 to 10 p.m. works best for you. Or, if you’re a morning person like me, you can wake up at dawn and work for a few hours before starting your day job. The key is to manage your time effectively and not let stress overwhelm you.

Spend Less Money

When you’re starting a small business, it’s important to find ways to save money wherever you can. I know firsthand that running a business can become a big part of your life, so it’s natural to try and cut corners when it comes to both personal and business expenses. However, there are some innovative solutions available that can help you save money without sacrificing quality.

One option is to utilize online DIY platforms like Wix.com. These platforms offer affordable tools and resources that allow you to create and manage your own website without needing to hire a professional web developer. This can save you a significant amount of money, especially in the early stages of your business.

Additionally, websites like Crowdsource and Elance provide a way for you to find talented individuals who can assist you with various tasks on a freelance basis. This allows you to access the skills and expertise you need without incurring the costs of hiring full-time employees. You can review the profiles and portfolios of these freelancers to ensure they have the skills necessary to meet your specific business needs.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything on your own. By focusing on what you excel at and delegating other tasks to capable individuals, you can save time and money while still ensuring that all aspects of your business receive the attention they deserve.

Discover Angels

Praying and believing in a higher power won’t harm your efforts to launch your business. But in this case, we’re not talking about heavenly creatures with wings. Instead, we’re referring to individuals who are eager to invest in promising projects. Use your connections to secure funding from angel investors – affluent people who specifically aim to support startups. These investors may have once been in your position and can offer both financing and valuable advice.

Similar to many other things in life, finding success here is a numbers game. The more people you reach out to, the greater your chances of finding someone who can lend a hand or connect you with someone who can provide assistance.

Listen to the People

A lot of people are using crowdfunding these days. It’s a really good option for entrepreneurs who need money to make their dreams come true.

Usually, the weirder ideas do the best. (Just think about that time someone raised a lot of money for a recipe to make the perfect egg salad sandwich!)

If your business has a new and different product or an online service, you should definitely check out crowdfunding.

But here’s something important to remember: if you decide to crowdfund for your small business, you have to be careful not to make any mistakes that would make you give the money back.

Go to the Bank When You Don’t Need To

When you don’t have any money, going to the bank can make you feel vulnerable. It’s better to take care of the paperwork early so you can start building important relationships well before you need to rely on them.

Also, don’t take unnecessary financial risks. You’ll always have to make monthly payments, and they won’t change based on how much money your business makes or doesn’t make in a given month.

Treat Your Business Like Your Own Child

You are the one who is ultimately responsible for taking care of everything related to your business. No one else can do it for you. Just like new parents quickly realize that their newborn baby is in charge of the household, new business owners should understand that their business is just as important.

I trust you wouldn’t let someone else take care of and nourish your baby – well, think of your business the same way. If there’s an issue, don’t waste time complaining because no one else truly cares. Just focus on finding a solution.

Make Time for Breaks to Avoid Exhaustion

When you start a small business, it becomes your whole world. You won’t have a set time to clock out like those in corporate jobs. Instead, you’ll find yourself working around the clock. Suddenly, spare time becomes a luxury.

Cover Your Bases

Seeing your idea become a real business is super exciting. But there are some important things you need to take care of too.

First things first, it’s essential that you withhold the right amount of taxes for both yourself and your employees. And don’t forget to get the necessary insurance. For small businesses, it’s a good idea to have both professional liability and general liability insurance. If you have employees, you’ll also need workers comp, except if you’re in Texas.

Make It Official

When you start a small business, it’s really important to protect yourself by making your business an official registered legal entity.

When it comes to running a business, it’s important to create some distance between yourself and your company. This helps protect you in case anything goes wrong. If there are any issues, it’s a good idea to talk to your accountant or lawyer for advice on the best type of business entity for your specific situation.

Follow the Money

Every business begins with a great idea for a product or service that the owner believes people will love. But the market quickly reveals what works and what doesn’t. It’s crucial to be able to adapt and change course quickly to go where the money is, instead of waiting for it to come to you. Keep in mind that many of the world’s biggest companies have evolved in unexpected ways. Take Twitter, for instance, which originally started as a podcasting service but became something completely different.