Develop a Business Plan
Business owners commonly wait until their businesses have begun operations before they develop business plans. However, a carefully considered business plan can provide a blueprint that will guide your business through the start-up phase and beyond. A business plan provides direction for key management and employees, and is essential for obtaining start-up funding from lenders and investors.
Conduct Market Research
Your management staff and employees may view your business idea as viable; however, successful start-ups are built on extensive market research. Conduct consumer surveys, study competitors and obtain demographic data to determine whether there is a consumer need for the products and services your business provides, and whether your target consumers are willing to pay for your services and products.
Address Legal and Regulatory Issues
Contact your city's small-business office to determine how to register your business with state and local authorities to legally conduct business before you ever open your doors to consumers. Failing to consider regulatory issues can cost your business in the form of fines and lost productivity if a regulatory agency issues a "cease and desist" order against your company. Also, consider legal issues surrounding the advertisement of your products and services, trademarks and warehousing of products.
Obtain Startup Funding
Securing start-up funding before you launch your business can provide a strong foundation for success. It allows you to obtain the tangible resources you need, such as office space, computer equipment and inventory. Start-up funding helps ensure that you can pay talented employees to carry out start-up tasks. It also covers unexpected expenses that may arise as you develop and launch your business.
Attract Talented Staff
Launching a successful start-up without talented, experienced management, administrative staff, sales professionals and production workers can be a difficult prospect. Take the time to carefully choose experienced, motivated staff members to turn your start-up business plan into a reality. If you do not have the resources to attract high-quality staff members, consider using recruiters to streamline the hiring process.
Limiting your office space, office equipment, vehicles and other assets to only what you need to manage start-up operations can help conserve capital for unforeseen expenses and ongoing operational costs until your business becomes profitable. As your business grows, you can obtain additional assets and resources to handle growth.
As your business launch date nears, advertise aggressively using efficient means. Advertising through online social media, newspaper inserts and bulletin board fliers can help spread the word about your start-up business while minimizing your advertising budget. You can also build awareness for your start-up by asking local business owners to display fliers or offer your coupons to their customers. Avoid national radio and television advertising, high-profile billboards and other expensive advertising methods until your business becomes profitable