“Starting a business is simple – you just create a product or service and then make money off of people that want what you’re offering” That’s a sentence that no one in the history of business has ever said. Ask any CEO, entrepreneur or small business owner and they’ll tell you that the success they’ve achieved is a product of hard work, copious amounts of planning and forethought, the fortitude to weather some rough patches, and a little bit of luck thrown in for good measure. The first year is always the rockiest, but with these three considerations you’ll be able to adequately prepare for them, ensuring a clear path to success in the future.
A Business Plan
Absolutely every business, from the biggest multinational corporation all the way down to the lemonade stand on the corner of the street needs a viable business plan. This is your roadmap for the future, and should be based on solid market research outlining realistic goals and realistic steps to achieve those goals. If you don’t have your masters in business, no problem – there is a wealth of resources out there, from books to online guides, that detail how to put together a successful business plan. Oftentimes, this is the edge you need in a competitive space. If you understand your current resources and upcoming growth opportunities, as well as how to capitalize on them, you’ll be close to set.
But a business plan is only part of the battle, and without solid legal advice, you could find your new business mired in costly legal trouble before you’ve even properly got off the ground. Whether it’s for contract drafting and negotiation, mergers and acquisitions (something you likely won’t have to worry about in the first year) or intellectual property, general counsel is absolutely indispensable. The trouble is figuring out how to get good legal services on a budget. You can look into LexLocom legal outsourcing services here in Canada for short-term legal counsel to help you get your business off the ground – there’s no rule that says you need legal counsel all the time, and being selective with when and how you choose your counsel can save you a lot of money.
It’s not enough to have a viable business with an ironclad legal setup: you need to have an aggressive, directed marketing strategy to go along with it. Depending on your budget, you’ll either want to hire a marketing team, complete with a marketing director, or you’ll want to do it yourself. If you go the DIY route, do your research and choose a method of marketing that fits with your brand image and demographic – for instance, for an online store, social media ads make sense, but they make less sense for a hearing aid company (for example). Understanding how best to reach your key demographic, and expand without sacrificing your brand, is a fine line you’ll learn to walk in the first few years of business.
That first little while can be tough on a business, but it doesn’t need to be impossible. Follow these considerations as a start, and be well on your way to helming the business you’ve always imagined.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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