Select a Product or Service
Decide what you want to sell. If you have expertise in marketing consulting, for example, start offering your services to businesses. It’s also advisable to sell something in which you have expertise or a keen interest. Convert a hobby into an avocation if there’s a market for it. Another option is to create a product that solves a problem.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is like a blue print for what you’ll be doing. It consists of a number of elements, including your company structure, analysis of the market in which you plan to service and how you plan to promote your products, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. It’s also imperative that you complete a five-year forecast for your business, which can better help you get financing.
Select a Target Audience
In most cases, you won’t be marketing a product for everyone. It’s not advisable. Select a target market that would most likely purchase your product, such as women 35 and older, for example, with incomes over $75,000. You can then conduct market research (i.e. focus groups, phone surveys) in advance to see how much interest this particular segment has in your product.
Decide How to Finance Your Company
One of the most important mantras for business owners is to not run out of money, according to Inc. That’s why many entrepreneurs start businesses part time and only quit when they’re making enough to support themselves. You can also take on a partner or get financing through your local bank.
Register Your Business
At the very least, you’ll probably need to register your DBA or “Doing Business As” with your city or state. This is the name in which you will be conducting business. If you’re starting a business from home, you will need to check zoning laws in your area. For more information about registering your business and the laws, contact your local administration office.
Create a Great Marketing Campaign
To succeed in business, you need to choose the right vehicles to sell your products. If you run a local retail store, you should consider doing some co-op advertising with the local shopper papers or coupon distributors. And since social media is free, except for the paid services, promote your products on Facebook, Twitter and other top social media sites.
If you’re selling a product, you’ll also need to choose a supplier — one that can give you the best service and profit margins. Besides that, never pass up an opportunity to market yourself. Stick to these steps and you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding as an entrepreneur.