Other ways that Mailchimp can help you market your business including with paid advertising, social media management, smart content optimization, and email marketing.
Step 10: Grow your business
Finally, you need to grow your business. As your business gets off the ground, keep an eye on who is visiting your website, who is ordering your product and services, and what people seem to like.
Encourage your customers and clients to leave reviews. You may want to incentivize them to do so by providing them with a small discount when they make a repeat purchase or when they leave a positive review. You can even use Mailchimp to offer discounts, promotions, and coupons to your customers.
If you find that your customers and clients tend to gravitate toward a specific product or service, you may want to expand that product line. You may even want to talk to your potential customers to see if they have any ideas about more products and services you can offer. You should keep an eye on your market to identify opportunities for expansion.
If there is a need that is not being met by the current market, that might be a good opportunity for your company.
Finally, do not forget to check in with your employees from time to time. Employee retention is very important, and you need to do everything you can to keep them around.
How to start a business: Frequently asked questions
Starting your own small business can bring you personal financial freedom. It can form the foundation of generational wealth.
We all have heard stories about fabulously successful small businesses that go on to become major corporations. And most of us know one or more entrepreneurs who "have it made" after years of success in their own small enterprise that provides jobs for their workers and security for their families. But all of these successful small businesses grew out of the right mindset.
How can I come up with a business idea?
What's the right mindset for starting a small business? Here are three basic principles.
- You are ready to start your small business when you have achieved consistency in your planning. It's OK to think big. You just need to be able to put a foundation under your castle in the sky.
- You are able to overcome analysis paralysis. You have a sense of acceptable risks that allows you to go ahead even if you aren't totally sure of your outcomes.
- You are building your business around something you love to do. The best small business ideas involve finding the resources to do something you have never been able to accomplish before.
Once you have cleared these hurdles, you are ready to dive into operationalizing your business plan. Chances are remote that you will be a billion-dollar business in a year, but even "small businesses" can be financially significant.
How do I register my business?
There is nothing to stop you from doing consulting or making sales as a sole proprietor.
You may need a business license before you offer goods or services to the public (you get a business license from your city, county, state, or province), but in most North American jurisdictions, you can get started right away.
Take the time to register your business name with your state. This gives you a unique presence in your market. You don't want to spend hours and dollars building your public presence only to have your business name usurped by a competitor. You also want to avoid presenting the appearance of a competitor and taking on legal liabilities when their customers are dissatisfied with them.
Even better, register your business as a limited liability company, better known as an LLC. The LLC protects your personal assets, for instance, your retirement bank account, your house, and your car, from legal judgments against your business. It also gives you access to significant federal income tax advantages if you earn income in the United States.
You can organize your small business as a corporation. Sometimes this makes financial sense. Ask your CPA for more details.
What is considered a "small business"?
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) uses the North American Industry Classification codes to label businesses as small, mid-size, or big.
The exact figures differ by the kind of industry you are in, but in general, a business is "small" if it has:
- Revenues of $1 million to $4o million, and
- 100 to 1,000 employees.
A software developer, for example, might be considered if it has 150 employees. A SaaS vendor might be considered small if it has $7 million in sales annually.
These guidelines establish the upper limits for certain kinds of financing. You won't get SBA financing if you exceed them, but you may get SBA financing if you have not achieved the definition of a small business yet.
How do I manage finances?
The cardinal rule for small business finances is easy to remember:
Keep your business accounts separate from your personal accounts.
There isn't actually a rule laid down by the IRS or state tax boards that you must keep business and personal accounts separate.
Problems come about when you commingle funds, and you can't document profits and losses to a lender or a tax auditor. Commingling your accounts may also jeopardize your LLC status, which protects your personal assets from legal claims against your business.
How do I start hiring employees?
If you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, one of the aspects of running a small business that is most likely to cause you serious problems is failure to collect, file, and pay your payroll taxes.
You must pay your employees' withholding to the IRS. You must pay your share of FICA. You cannot neglect worker compensation insurance and unemployment taxes.
Don't leave the accounting side of payroll management to chance. Get off on the right foot with your employees and with the tax authorities. Don't let a payroll scandal ruin all your hard work.
Set your business up for success with Mailchimp
These are a few of the most important steps you need to keep in mind if you are wondering how to start a business. There are a lot of challenges that come with starting a new business, and there are some hurdles you will need to overcome.
Fortunately, this is not something that you need to do on your own. There are plenty of tools you can use to help you put your business in a position to succeed.
For example, you can take advantage of Mailchimp, which makes it easier for you to orchestrate a successful marketing campaign. You can generate a marketing campaign that is customized to your strengths and also covers your weaknesses.
That way, you can convince your target market to take a chance on your product and services.
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