10 steps to run your own business

Posted By PrintElf

  1. Define your goals.
    Why are you starting this business and what would you like to achieve? Exactly how are you going to proceed? All of these things should be stipulated in your business plan and you need to know exactly where the business should be at predetermined intervals.

Starting a business is exciting

  1. What is your talent?
    What are your strengths? Business success is not guaranteed. A lot of preparation is needed in order to make a success of any business. Therefore, you need to take stock of yourself and your particular set of talents and personal strengths. Will those things be sufficient to help you through the difficult growing phase of that new business?


  1. Find a niche market or improve upon an existing one
    Let’s look at a few scenarios, for instance a gardener where there is a lot of competition and many people competing for a slice of that market. You will have to provide customers with additional value if you want to distinguish your business from the competition. How about an eco-friendly service where you only use electrically powered equipment eliminating the noise levels associated with gas operated garden tools. You should also make full use of the marketing benefits provided by the internet and you should definitely consider a business website with a user friendly online payment option.  The more value you can provide to the customer, the more likely will they be to choose your business instead of the competition.
    You like to restore and trade cars? Once again, the secret to success is diversity and excellence, you should do things differently and better than the competition. For example, give your “corporate look” that retro flavor. Print giveaway t-shirts for your loyal clients. Print service and rate sheets on postcards. Most importantly, carry your theme throughout all marketing material. As always, as a car expert you need automotive business cards that convey professionalism and trust.

  2. What are your target clients?
    You need to identify your target area by doing effective market research such as, how valuable is your product or service to people in the target area? How likely it is that customers in that area will support your business? Will there be sufficient support to ensure that the business will be successful and profitable?


  1. Gather your resources
    Some businesses will require little or no funding while others may require a lot of startup capital. You will need to approach a financial institution or a private investor with a business plan.  Keep it short and sweet. Don’t just paint a rosy picture but also mention the potential pitfalls and how you would recuperate from them (in other words, present a plan B). With sufficient funding your business has room to grow and adjust. Also, make sure you have all the local requirements for insurance and business licenses in check.


  1. Define timelines and expectations.
    In order to accurately gauge the progress of your new business you should have a professionally drawn up business plan that stipulates exactly where the business should be in the next six months or twelve months. When those objectives are not realized the business, owner should determine as quickly as possible why the business does not perform as expected. Without predetermined timelines it will be very difficult to gauge the progress of that new business. As it is in live, the unforeseen will happen. It is up to you to quickly adjust your path before it’s too late.


  1. Marketing.
    Research has shown very clearly how important an effective marketing strategy is especially where a new business is concerned. It seems that as much as 50% of the business budget should be used on your marketing strategy. If people do not know about your business and its particular services or products they are unlikely to support that business.


  1. A lot of thought and careful consideration should go into the design of your corporate image. This encompasses look and feel, color pallets, style, logo and lettering. This image is going to be linked to your business for a long time and therefore it should make a memorable impact on your customers. Consider hiring a professional designer or find an online printing company with high end templates for your industry. For example, if you trade cars you check out these automotive business cards. Its your marketing advantage to have great online printing services at your fingertips.


  1. Your marketing efforts should include printed materials such as brochures, postcards and the old trusted companion, business cards.  Automotive business cards are unrivalled when it comes to personal interaction with your customer and therefore it is still one of the most effective marketing strategies available to the modern business owner.


  1. You need to be consistent, always deliver on your promises. Customers must come to rely on you in all circumstances and under all conditions.


  1. The modern business owner understands the tremendous benefits provided by the internet and therefore they carefully cultivate their web presence. Experts say that each business should have at least a one-page website that effectively shares all of the information relative to your business. WordPress is one of the most trusted webpage creation tools available today.  


  1. Find clients
    Some businesses have a strong online presence and therefore their webpage will mostly be their primary source of client acquisition. But, for businesses where that web presence is not so prominent they should consider strategies such as EDDM (every door direct mail). The advantage of this strategy is that you can target specific areas and inundate those areas with your promotional brochures.


  1. Many business owners benefit from social media profiles such as LinkedIn where they share relevant information about themselves and their businesses.


  1. Make full use of the benefits provided by trade shows in your area because this is an effective way to introduce your business to potential customers.


  1. Hire a young person to distribute your promotional postcards for you.


  1. Utilize the trusted strategy involving door hangers which is another proven way to market your business. In some regions it is unlawful to place marketing material into people’s mailbox, unless it is done by the mailman (a service that needs to be purchased). However, the trusted door hanger is admissible unless you see a do not solicit sign.


  1. Postcards can be printed in a slew of sizes. Use full color printing to your advantage. Anything from promotions to location finders and rates make a great sales tool.


  1. Reinvest
    Do not yield to the temptation to start spending big as soon as the business shows a profit. This could hamper healthy growth and therefore a large percentage of those profits have to be reinvested to ensure that your business will grow as quickly as possible. Those reinvestments could be used for several vital things, such as additional advertising, obtaining new equipment, investing in experienced personnel or on the job training.


  1. Enjoy life
    After patiently building up your new business you can now enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just take care to keep everything in healthy perspectives. Avoid burnout at all costs. Too many entrepreneurs are workaholics and this can have a negative impact on your new business.   


A few sample business cards for the startup:

Beauty salon business card

automotive business card

cleaning institute business card


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