6 Steps to Launching a Business Post-Pandemic
Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic caused you to rethink your career path, and you’re wondering if it’s time to leave the office and become an entrepreneur instead. Launching a business after the pandemic might seem like a daunting task, but you can pull it off! From securing funding to marketing your business, these tips will help you nail down your idea and put your plans into motion.
Come Up With a Business Idea
What if you’ve been toying with a few different business ideas? Perhaps someday you’ll be able to expand with lots of products or services, but for now, just choose one idea to focus on! Side Hustle Nation recommends selling a line of one highly specific product in different colors or patterns, launching a product to serve other businesses in a booming sector, or honing in on an idea that sits at the intersection of your skills, interests, and network.
Create a Plan and Choose a Business Structure
You don’t have to dive into entrepreneurship without a clear direction - instead, you should create a business plan to guide your journey! A business plan can include everything from a summary of your proposed products and services to your initial marketing strategy.
You’ll also need to select a business structure. Many new business owners favor LLCs because they protect their personal assets while also offering flexibility and tax advantages. Forming a Colorado LLC requires five steps, including appointing a registered agent and filing your Articles of Organization
If you have a business plan, put together, you can seek outside funding to cover some or all of your startup costs. Seeking funding doesn’t have to be intimidating - just be sure to have your elevator pitch prepared for banks, potential investors, or family and friends who may want to contribute!
Hire Your Team
As a new business owner, you might be nervous about delegating tasks to other people. After all, your business is like your baby, and you want to make sure that everything your company offers measures up to a high standard. When it comes to hiring your first employees, Nearside recommends creating a specific job description, running background checks, asking targeted interview questions, and hiring with soft skills in mind - you can always train them on hard skills!
What if you don’t necessarily need full-time employees just yet, but having a few contractors on board would be a big help, especially in areas like sales or marketing? You can hire freelance professionals with specialized skill sets to assist with certain business functions. If you’re hiring freelancers, you’ll need to provide the right legal paperwork for independent contractors - this differs from the sign-on paperwork for full-time employees.
Use Accounting Software
The right accounting software can help you manage your finances, payroll, and invoicing process. Your company's accounting software should allow you to invoice your customers electronically which can speed up how soon you’ll receive payment. Look for software that has real-time balance sheets so you can stay informed about your business’s cash flow.
Keep New Expectations in Mind
In the aftermath of the pandemic, customers’ expectations have changed. Chain Store Age states that customers now are looking for easy online ordering and return systems as well as personalized service. Keep these principles at the forefront as you establish your business model so that you can meet their needs in our changing circumstances.
Running a business will always bring challenges your way. But with these tips, you’ll be able to build a solid foundation and get off to a strong start. You can choose a business idea you love, structure your business properly, find funding, hire a capable team, lock down your first clients, and surpass your customers’ expectations.
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