We are entering an unprecedented world of entrepreneurship and small businesses.
More and more, the current generations of up and comers are wanting to go out and make it on their own, doing what they’re passionate about. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, capitalism is one of the things that make America what it is.
However, 30% of small businesses fail in their first year and only 25% will ever make it to 15 years.
With attrition rate so high, the question is, what can you do to ensure your success as a local small business owner?
Keep reading, because we’ve got answers.
The Top Tips for Starting a Successful Local Small Business
Before you enter into this path that will undoubtedly change your life forever, you need to know a few things.
First, understand that once you start a local small business, you’re in it for the long haul, whatever it takes. You may end up spending 15 hours a day getting your business onto solid ground for the first year or more.
Second, the life of a business owner isn’t all yachts and limos. In fact, it rarely is. For the first bit, you’ll be doing good if your business remains in the black.
Now, this isn’t to scare you away, because owning your own business is wildly fulfilling and you may become wildly successful and wealthy doing so. However, most local small business owners wish someone had told them what they were in for, and we’re doing just that.
If you’re ready, let’s take a look at some top tips to make your local small business a successful one!
1. Choose a Business You’re Passionate About
Generally, people who decide to go into business for themselves do so because they have an epiphany. They dislike their current job, they have skills, and they want to work for themselves.
What would be the point of all that just to go into an industry you’re not passionate about?
Pick a business that you’re both skilled at and passionate about. Your business should fulfill you and make you happy to go to work. Otherwise, when times get tough, there won’t be much left to motivate you.
2. Do Thorough Market Research
Many local small business owners make the mistake of knowing too little about the market they’re about to enter into. Regardless of how skilled and knowledgable you are, there’s a lot that goes on behind the closed curtains of all industries.
Thorough market research is required in order to be competitive enough to stand on your own two feet when you enter into a business. You need to know what your competition is like, how in demand your services or products are, and what the future looks like for your business.
3. Go All-Out on a Business Plan
Once you’ve done your market research, you’re ready to set up your local small business plan.
The business plan needs to include everything you’ve learned about your trade.
- How much money you need for your startup
- What services or products you’ll offer
- A breakdown analysis of all of your costs (monthly, yearly, total)
- How much you expect to make each month, year, etc.
- What type of growth you expect your company to experience
- Market analysis
- Marketing and sales
- Organization and management
- Financial projections for your first five years
This is a small, undetailed list of the basics your business plan should consist of. Your real business plan will be more like a packet. Make sure you put significant time and effort into, as it could mean the difference of being approved by a bank or not.
4. Get Adequate Financial Backing
Financial backing can come from a bank, assuming you have a killer business plan and a decent credit score, or an investor or investors. However, investors will likely want to see a business plan as well.
Try to get adequate funding for your business so you can start off strong. However, don’t go overboard and dive too deep into unnecessary debt. The key is finding the happy middle ground where your business will feel complete without over-spending.
5. Be Ready to Put in Everything You’ve Got
As we suggested before, being a local small business owner, you’re going to be putting in a lot of time and effort. There will be times where you are physically and emotionally exhausted but will have no choice but to keep pushing.
It’s worth it in the end, but you definitely need the constitution necessary to go the distance.
6. Get a Killer Website
There are few successful businesses, large or small, that don’t have an online presence. In today’s age of technology, having a formidable website is a necessity, not an option.
In fact, 88% of consumers research items online before buying. If you don’t have a website, it’s unlikely that this large selection of consumers will ever even know the name of your local small business.
7. Stay Active on Social Media
Just as important as your website is your social media account. Facebook and Instagram are quickly becoming the most popular marketing sources. Building a following on these platforms is vital to your business’s success.
Over time, you can use social media to interact with consumers and expand your reach and brand awareness. The more people who know your name, the more successful your local small business will be.
8. Learn How to Market Locally
Finally, since we’re on the topic of social media, you need to learn how to effectively market locally.
Marketing through social media platforms, such as Facebook, allows you to use targeting marketing. This lets you target specific people based on age, gender, location, and interests.
However, there’s so much more to local marketing and you can always learn more.
You Can Do This
We know that starting a local small business can be similar to walking through fire. However, we also have a unique perspective that allows us to confidently tell you: it’s worth it.
Not only is it worth it, but it’s completely in your hands. You can do this. Many have successfully come and gone before you and there’s nothing they had that you don’t.