Millions of adults start their own businesses for a variety of reasons. Some just want the personal freedom that comes with working for themselves. Others hope to make a major impact on one or another aspect of the market while some people have specialized skills that are best suited to running their own companies.
Whatever the reason, every new business owner should keep an eye of four core components of success: having a written plan, employing a marketing strategy, acquiring the right technology, and getting an in-house or outsourced legal team.
Here’s more on each of the four ingredients of small business success.
1. A Business Plan
Anyone who has owned a business for a year or more fully understands the importance of having a crystal-clear mission statement. If you’re at a loss for words, search “business plan templates” online and you’ll see plenty of helpful wording to get started. Or, you can simply sit down and write out all the goals of your business. Be sure to include special milestones, like “Achieve gross sales of $1 within 3 years of startup,” for example.
With business plans, being more specific is better and will help guide you in day to day operations. It’s also wise to keep all your goals in measurable terms. Avoid writing things like, “Gain market share as soon as possible.” While that’s a laudable component of a business plan, in spirit, it’s not measurable. Stick to “facts and figures” when writing business plans.
2. A Selling Strategy
If you can’t sell your goods or services, all your other efforts will come to nothing. Marketing is the core element of any successful company and includes several sub-categories: deciding on the kind of advertising you’ll employ, figuring out how to reach your target demographic and knowing who your competitors are.
3. Appropriate Technology
Depending on your company’s size and your line of work, you’ll need to use a wide range of technological systems. Perhaps when you’re brand new you can get by with a simple accounting software package and a bare-bones customer relations management app.
Once you grow a bit and take on a work force, it will become essential to add technology to handle payroll accounting, tax planning and worker scheduling. Deputy’s employee scheduling tool is just one example of a tech solution that many small businesses use to manage varying hours, benefits and pay of a small or large work force.
4. Legal Help
During the early days of a new business you can likely outsource all your legal needs. Most entrepreneurs hire a lawyer to do corporate filings for business licenses and permits.
Later in your company’s growth phase, it might become necessary to bring one or more attorneys onto your staff to work full-time on the organization’s legal matters. But in-house legal can be pricey and is usually something you won’t need until you’ve been in business for five years or more.
Keep in mind that most medium-to-large metro areas have law firms that specialize in handling outsourced business matters for smaller and newer companies.