Start, Run and Grow Your Business
October is National Women’s Small Business Month! Impact is a certified, minority woman-owned business, and we support women everywhere who want to join the ranks of small business owners everywhere. Now is the time to start, run and grow your business!
Many people have great business ideas and can visualize the action needed to get started, but few are able to actualize the vision. Read on for a few firsthand tips on ways to start, run, and grow your business.
Start Your Business
Good news: getting started is the easiest part of owning a business. That’s not to say the beginning isn’t challenging – there’s serious legwork involved. Still, it’s the most straightforward part.
- Do your research. Learn more about your intended market. Find out if the business name you are thinking of already exists. Seek out and study your competitors. Imagine your ideal client, and learn about their habits. Attend webinars and seminars, and read books and articles that will help you learn what you don’t know or relearn what you think you know. Focus what you need or need to learn to start, run and grow your business.
- File the appropriate paperwork. Have you called or visited your local Small Business Development Center or SCORE office? They offer great advice that your tax dollars have already paid for. Representatives and counselors can tell you what paperwork you need to file, how to get a tax ID number and loads of other useful information that you need to start, run and grow your business.
- Create a business plan! Starting a business without a plan paves a path toward failure. Everything we do at Impact is part of one a plan or another. A strategic plan is based on research and includes measurable short-term and long-term goals and deadlines.
Run Your Business
Congratulations, you’re up and running! Be impeccable with your word and serve clients and customers with excellence. Dig for the resources and assistance you need, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. That is the only way to start, run and grow your business.
- Stay organized. Keep your files, receipts, and other important documents together in a safe and well-cataloged place. Anything you have applied for and received, or signed-up for, likely has an expiration or renewal date. Use apps, a calendar, or other helpful systems to stay on top of these deadlines.
- Streamline your life. Automate or outsource as much as possible! Write down of all your pesky but necessary tasks then go peruse your mobile app store – there’s probably an app for that. If you need business strategy, media or marketing support, consider hiring a pro to tell your story. Avoid getting lost in the bog of small tasks each day. Focus on your area of expertise and you will start, run and grow your business.
- Follow your business plan. Be open to possibility on your journey, but remember that you have a roadmap. When things get rough, your business plan will help you keep your eye on the prize and remind you what to do next.
Grow Your Business
- Network! No entrepreneur is an island. Tap into your existing support system, and also venture out to make new allies. Consider cross promotions or bartering services with other small businesses. Embed yourself wherever your prospective clients are
- Always evaluate. As you serve clients and connect with customers, remember to evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Continue learning – both through experience and through research.
- Get certified! Certifications make your business or brand more reputable than your competitors’ and grant access to amazing opportunities to collaborate, increase brand awareness, and make money. Research the certification that will help you start, run and grow your business. If you don’t need the certification, don’t waste time or money securing. Be strategic.
Small business ownership is as rewarding and thrilling as it is challenging. Arm yourself with information, a solid plan, and make the leap to start, run and grow your business.