You’re tired of working “for the man.” You want to get out of the rat race and start making your own money, your own way. Good news. Starting a business in the U.S. isn’t all that difficult. But, you do need to know a few things before you get going.
Think About Your Audience
Before you can sell anything, you need to have something to sell. And, before you can get something to sell, you need to know what people want. In the universe of consumers, selling something to a group of people isn’t all that hard, if that group of people wants what you’re selling.
If they don’t, then selling becomes virtually impossible. So, find your audience, first. Figure out what they want to know, what problems they want to solve. Then, solve them. That’s as easy as it gets.
Get The Legal Stuff Out Of The Way, First
Before you actually start selling stuff, you should work out the legal structure for your business. According to law firms, like Sansone & Lauber in St Louis, liability is a big issue — especially for small business owners. Make sure you’re not caught up in a personal liability case. Get liability insurance to cover your assets.
Also, consider forming a corporation when you have a little money under your belt. It will protect you from most lawsuits. Finally, invest some time, and money, in creating a trademarked name and logo. Businesses who are established have them, and they fight hard to protect them from other businesses. And, violating a trademark is a nasty legal headache.
You don’t want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit involving intellectual property theft.
Set Up Your Marketing Department
Set up your marketing department early, and make sure it’s well-funded. This will be the engine that drives growth. Without a marketing department, you don’t have a way to grow your operation.
Your marketing department should consist of at least one person, even if it’s just you right now. Focus on simple marketing strategies, like advertisements based on classic direct marketing principles. You should also consider doing some PR if you’re a local business, or start writing and get published in a local paper or national magazine.
Make The Product or Service
Last is the product or service. You can create an advertisement first, and then figure out how to fulfill the promises of that ad (before you publish it, of course).
What this does is create a “market forward” approach to your advertising. So many businesses try to do it the other way around, and they fail miserably or they don’t generate the sales they expected to.
By making the product or service fit the advertisement, you’re focusing on the customer first, solving their problem, and then figuring out how you will deliver. This puts you in the perfect position.
Customers won’t be hemming and hawing over whether they want what you’re selling. You’ll always know that they want it. All you have to do is keep putting the offer in front of the people that represent your target audience. And, if that audience changes or the demand shifts, you can shift with it — offering a new service or product to the correct audience.
Sean Crawford had been toying with the idea of starting his own business for years, 2016 was the year he finally committed to this, and other lifestyle changes to create a better family life. He shares his journey online.