How to start a small business in the 21st century

Starting a new business
Starting a new business

Are you ready to take on the world with your product or idea? Slow down. First, there are a few steps you need to go through to move from concept to a success story.

Remember, there is no such thing as an overnight success; hard work, dedication, and details are what make the difference.

Let’s see what it takes to start a modern business.

Know your employees

Do you know what a pre-adverse action letter is? Well, you better get studying if you do not want to get sued while building your team. If you find something in a background check that negatively reflects a candidate, you must tell them before discontinuing their hiring process.

These are the nitty-gritty details you cannot afford to mess up in the early stages of your startup. Hiring is key, and there are online tools to make background checks simpler and smoother. Don’t miss out on great team members, but don’t bring any more headaches than you have to.

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Listen to the customer

Your idea will only take you as far as the customer will let you. A few decades ago, you would have to make an entire working prototype and get users to test it before receiving any real-world feedback, but that method is the Stone Age now!

Use the internet! There are millions of people online — blogs, Twitter, wikis, forums, and more are full of people champing at the bit to voice their (loud!) opinions. Use this unprecedented access to test the waters for the need and application of your product.

Make quick wireframes and skeleton designs and start showing them to your online circle now (make sure you copyright, so no one steals your ideas).

Get financing, fast

There was a time not so long ago when the only way to get startup capital was to apply for a bank loan or hope your rich uncle would cut you a check. But that is all quickly changing.

Don’t risk losing out on a loan when the power of crowdfunding is at your fingertips. Sites like Go Fund Me and Kickstarter are made for the Internet age and will help you cast a wide net for support. Instead of repaying a loan, you can offer your backers early access to your product or even list them as a producer.

Crowdfunding also demonstrates trust in your product before launch. Curious customers will be more willing to take a chance if they know that thousands of people have already signed on.

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Host a launch event

Hosting a launch event for your business can prove to be invaluable when it comes to finding your place within your chosen industry. This is because you can use the event to generate “hype” around upcoming product launches while also using this as an opportunity to get to know your customers or target audience. 

However, in the same way, a great event could make your business – a bad event could break your business – before you’ve even started. As such, you should make sure that you work hard to plan an event that is as flawless as possible. For example, it should be entertaining and engaging, and attendees should come away feeling as though they’ve learned something of value.

You should also work on the finer details that keep attendees happy, such as ensuring they can access event WiFi. After all, we live in a world where it’s rare to go even a few minutes without using our phones, and a lack of wifi could discourage attendees from sticking around. Beyond this, ensuring they have wifi connection makes it easier for you to encourage them to follow your brand on social media or sign up for your mailing list.

Make a website

This should be a no-brainer but still gets left to the last minute or executed poorly. Some people still think they will have to pay thousands of dollars for professionals to come and make a high-end website.

Thanks to Wix, Squarespace, and other DIY website hosting platforms, it only costs a few dollars a year to make a sleek and modern website that is easy to navigate.

How else are people going to discover everything you have to offer if you don’t have a central location you control?  Add reviews, references, specs, buyers’ info, and more all in one place. Your loyal customers will turn to your website repeatedly, driving up traffic and getting it in front of new leads.

This is not your parent’s brick-and-mortar small business. There are new hoops to jump through but infinite ways to squeeze through, thanks to the internet.

Be tech-savvy, and you can conquer every step of getting your startup off the ground from the comfort of your laptop.

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