5 Easy Tips for New Virginia Small Businesses
Owning your own business is not an easy task. There is so much to do, so much to learn, and so little time; with that in mind, I put together a few simple tips and resources to help you get started with building your dream!
1) Develop a Strategy & Plan of Attack
Define your objectives and goals; then develop a strategy and plan of attack to achieve them by creating a business plan. A well-defined, business plan can help you to remain focused on your goals and keep you heading in the direction toward achieving them. Think of your business plan as a road map. It’s also important because many lenders and investors may utilize it to determine whether or not to provide financial support to your business; so make it professional, and thorough.
2) Educate Yourself
Knowledge is power so you must educate yourself, in order to be a successful business owner. There are tons of resources available online and in the community, that offer free or low cost training to business owners. It’s worth the investment and you and your business will reap the rewards.
Check out your local chamber of commerce. Many offer free or low-cost workshops for members. You can also connect with, Virginia Small Business Development Centers in your area; they offer classes for business owners. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance also provides a wealth of information and resources to business owners. You can access all three websites by clicking on the following link, http://tnglegal.com/resources/.
3) Monitor Your Spending
Before making large purchases or even small ones for that matter, ask yourself a few questions such as: Can I justify the cost for this item at this particular moment? Is this a need or a want? Is it something the business can use and might even be nice to have, but do I have the customer base to support the additional expense? Is this item cost effective? Am I incurring additional cost for customers that have not yet walked through the door?
In all of your spending, whether it is for your business or in your personal life, you have to use wisdom. Even when the money is pouring in, it does not mean it is time to start making large expenditures. It truly is a balancing act. Seek out the counsel of your accountant or financial advisor. Your business’ longevity may depend on it.
4) Low Cost Marketing
For many new business owners, the starting budget is not the best. You need to market your business so you can get business, right? It cost money to make money; so what do you do when you are on tight budget? Here are some low cost marketing tools to get you started:
- Free Website for One Year – Well one thing you can do is get a free website, through Virginia One – Stop, http://www.gybo.com/virginia/get-online. With this free Startlogic website, you get a custom domain, free hosting for one year, three web pages, 25MB of disk space, and 5GB of bandwidth. It may not be all the bells and whistles you would like, but it’s a start and if you are in business, you need a web presence. This is definitely, a cost-effective way to get one.
- Social Media Marketing – Consider using free social media tools for marketing such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Linkedin. You can use Hootsuite, a social media management tool, to schedule deliveries of your social media post to all of your selected social media accounts. The free version of Hootsuite allows you to manage three (3) social media accounts, at one time. Not bad to get you started.
5) Get Help
Keep your focus on what you do best. Try to find professionals or experts, to do the things that are out of your area of expertise; for an example, unless you already have a degree in Human Resource Management, when you start your business, you probably, are not an expert at hiring and/or firing employees; and what if any legal ramifications follow those types of actions. Additionally, you probably didn’t plan on creating or developing contracts either. Getting help from professionals such as an attorney, financial advisor, accountant, and/or tax advisor, can save you time, money, and more than likely, a lot of heartache in the long run.
Locate your “trusted advisors,” early on in the process. Don’t wait till you have a problem and scramble around trying to find the right person with the right solution. You should already have a list of trusted professionals handy.
Practical tips for the day, to help your business be its best! Here’s to your SUCCESS!