Getting started as an entrepreneur can be a complicated, scary process. This is even more true for those who just quit their steady jobs to branch out into their dream career, and now find themselves facing a number of challenges.
For one, it can be tough to get the money in the first place. A number of financial services offer unique tools for small businesses, and these resources shouldn't be taken for granted. However, the best way to bolster the company's finances is to start bringing in customers and clients. This can be easier said than done, though, so here are a few simple tips and tricks to get that process underway.
Figure out a way to last
The unfortunate reality of small business ownership is that many fail, and even more struggle because they don't land that first client right away. If that is the case, it is vitally important that there are enough resources available to keep a company afloat during those tough, fledgling months.
Joshua Steimle, CEO of online marketing firm MWI, wrote in an article for Entrepreneur magazine that the more funds a small business owner brings in up front, the better chance they have to succeed. In most cases, this means at least six months of operating expenses. For a new company, it is important to remember that new clients may not appear right away, so without the funds and a stable financial plan in place, success may be hard to come by.
In addition, Steimle explained that entrepreneurs should get involved in the community to find that first client. Most people are more willing to work with someone they know and trust, and many deals can be brokered at public locations, events or sporting events. All a small business owner needs to do is get motivated enough to head out there and start talking. The same goes for the business community, and there are plenty of networking events that could lead to positive working relationships in the future.
Meet as many people as possible
Having a successful small business includes a number of steps, such as creating an effective financial plan and finding enough capital to get the process started. However, these tasks can't be accomplished alone, and require a quality team of professionals to make it all work.
Sona Tatiyants, a Los Angeles-based lawyer and contributor to Forbes, wrote that great contacts can help, even before launching a new venture. For example, it is wise to stay in touch with friends and teachers from college or graduate school, because these people may know someone in the correct field. Then, small business owners should tell as many people as possible about the company, and make sure that it is known that the doors are open and clients are welcome.
Moreover, entrepreneurs should always use proper etiquette when communicating, both in the real world and online. Anyone who offers advice or a referral should be thanked promptly, and the Internet should be used as a tool, not as a spam machine. That means keeping emails to a minimum, not soliciting anyone who didn't give permission and using social media in a professional manner. Overall, it is vital to remain open to new possibilities and opportunities. Potential clients could come from anywhere, so it is worth looking for them.
At the end of the day, a successful small business owner will be viewed as an expert within their community. By using Internet tools, networking and other financial tips to get started, this goal will be relatively easy to achieve. Then, the first of many clients will start pouring in.