By Nick Williams
Some people claim that having a job is essential, and it is if you care to thrive in today’s society. Others, however, claim that the best way to work is to work for yourself.
Being your own boss is an attractive option, especially for those who have worked at a job for many years with little benefits, or those who’ve become tired of working for “the man.” But, you can’t just quit your day job and claim to be self-employed without having a plan or being educated on the art of owning your own business.
Developing a business takes time. And, there are several business essentials to consider for those looking to start their own venture.
Any business needs promotional materials, otherwise, you’ll be lucky to draw in any customers who don’t know you personally.
The amount and type of promotional material you decide you need largely depends on your personal tastes, and on the type of business you’re operating. The following is a short list of things you can use to help promote your business:
- Office Supplies (pens, paperweights, etc.)
No matter what avenue you decide to go, your promotional materials need to be cost-effective because you generally won’t be selling them. In this case, you can consider promotional materials as overhead or as a practical business expense, like giveaways, in order to gain more exposure.
Additionally, when it comes to your logo, which any respectable business should have, consider using personalized labels to help promote your logo and get even more exposure. For instance, if you’re giving away T-shirts with your brand’s slogan on them, you can invest in personalized labels with your company’s name and logo on them for additional promotion to stay top of mind to those wearing your T-shirts.
Like promotional materials, which is a form of marketing, your marketing expenses are a crucial part of your business.
Just ask those who have never made a marketing plan about their business success.
You’ll find that most of these individuals may share with you that even though they did make a profit, their profit could’ve been larger had they taken the time and money to market their business.
Marketing is a huge industry in today’s business world, and with an online economy, you simply must have a marketing strategy in place in order to ensure the success of your business venture.
Budget accordingly. As a general rule, companies should expect to spend at minimum 5 percent of their total gross revenue on marketing. You can feel free to spend more, of course, but this is the base amount that you’ll want to account for.
If you’ve ever heard someone say, “I feel married to my job,” then you will soon understand why.
Owning a business is like entering any relationship or partnership. You have to be present and accounted for each and every day. There is no off-time. Even though you may designate holidays to observe and allow your employees to have time off, you don’t always get this luxury, especially when just starting out.
It is said that the first five years that a business is in operation are the most critical, and it is within this time frame that a business either flourishes or fails. Correspondingly, it is also during this time that you have to work the hardest.
You essentially need to be prepared to “become” your business.
If you’ve ever been to an establishment such as a busy restaurant where the manager wasn’t present during the dinner rush, you may have noticed how chaotic the place operated. This is what happens when a business owner isn’t present. And, you don’t want this to blemish your reputation, especially when just starting out.
Make a schedule for yourself, but be prepared to adjust it frequently. Sometimes, movie night will have to wait, and when your business starts to thrive you’ll be thankful that you missed the latest installment of Star Wars.
Everyone wants to be successful. And, though entrepreneurship isn’t everyone’s main goal in life, those who want to succeed have to take their business seriously. This means educating yourself on business practices and essentials. The more you know, the greater your chances of success will be.