DIY Business Launch
Just looking at the to-do list for launching a new business is exhausting. You have to determine a business structure and register, come up with a company name, logo and slogan, put an accounting system in place, develop a social media presence, create sales and marketing plans—and this is just a high-level list of what needs to be done.
With the average cost of starting a new business estimated at $30,000, according to the Small Business Administration, many prospective business owners are tackling these startup tasks themselves. Fortunately, there are plenty of free and low-cost resources, tools and technologies available to help. DIY business startup? You can do it.
The Business Plan
No matter how small an operation you’re planning, you need a business plan. Define clear business standards and have someone with business experience review the plan. This makes startup tasks easier to identify and will save time and effort from the outset. Entrepreneur has step-by-step business plan templates you can use for free.
Startup Tasks & Resources
Some startup tasks are easier to do than others, but they all need to be done. Dive right in:
Every business needs a name; read this Business Insider article for some great naming tips.
You also need to choose and set up a legal business structure. The SBA has a comprehensive guide to this important task.
Your logo is your new business’s visual representation to the world; you can design one for free at Logo Garden.
You can set up your social media profiles yourself, but unless you have Web design experience, you may wish to farm out your website design. You can hire a freelance website designer on Guru.
You have lots of choice when it comes to free small business accounting software. Two to try: Outright or FreshBooks.
The proliferation of apps on the market also extends to new business operations. These business apps can help you reduce and automate many important tasks and routine operations. Social presence management apps such as Producteev, collaborative tools like HipChat and customer service apps like Zendesk help small business owners operate their businesses efficiently and cost-effectively.
The Power of Business Mentors
Don’t underestimate the value and benefit of business mentors. The free mentoring programs from Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) provide education, experienced mentors, business counseling and business tips, along with workshops and webinars to help fill in the blanks for those who are either new to business or on a tight budget.
You can also find a mentor at local networking events, with a local service organization like the Rotary Club or via social media like LinkedIn.
Advances in technology have expanded the resources that are readily available to business owners, making launching a new business easier than ever. However, lots of time, thought and attention to detail are still required to make a business successful. Take advantage of the many tools available at your fingertips to assist with turning your business vision into a reality.
This article was written by James Kirk and published on Creative Social.
Creative Social is a collective of the world’s most pioneering, interactive creative directors and business owners (the Socials) – a group of people who recognise that collaborating in this digital landscape is how we’ll advance the industry and enjoy the journey.