Every successful business starts out with a great idea, but not all ideas are set for success. Starting a small business requires a lot of hard work, patience and diligence.
Here are some quick tips to start a business successfully, one step at a time.
- Craft a business plan to provide a high-level overview of what your business is. An essential tool for a successful business, the business plan must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.
- Identify your objectives, goals, and strategies, such as what you want to do and how you are going to accomplish it within a period of time.
- Determine what kind of business you will start. Evaluating your skills, expertise, budget and target market can help you figure it out.
- Create a SWOT analysis. Identifying the “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats” to your business can help you plot a strong business strategy that’s realistic and ready for anything.
- Invest properly. Starting a business does not require a huge amount of money, but expenses for equipment, property leases, licenses and permits, equipment and other legal fees should be covered by your starting capital.
- All businesses must be registered and licensed. Before registering, identify your business’ structure: it can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a cooperative or a corporation.
- Sole proprietorships should be registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to secure exclusive rights to use the business name. You may do this by visiting the regional or provincial offices of the DTI. A registration form may also be downloaded from the DTI website.
- Partnerships or corporations should register with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the business to be treated as a legal entity.
- Cooperatives, meanwhile, are required to register with the Cooperative Development Authority.
- Required permits should also be secured from the following government offices:
- City or Municipal Hall
- Bureau of Internal Revenue
- Bureau of Fire Protection
- A health and sanitary permit must be issued by the city or municipal health department if the business involves food and beverages.
- Register with the Social Security System since the business will employ or utilize the services of another person.
- Register with the Department of Labor and Employment if your business has five or more employees for the regular monitoring of compliance with labor regulations.
- Register with regulatory agencies in line with your business’ products such as the Food and Drug Administration, National Tobacco Administration, and the Philippine Coconut Authority, among others
- Learn to be a leader. Some entrepreneurs are former employees who leave their jobs to become full-time business owners. Adjusting can be a struggle, considering the amount of work and responsibilities they have to handle.
- Manage expectations, egos and abilities. A healthy relationship with your employees and clients will be good for you and your business.
- Delegate tasks. While entrepreneurs oversee every aspect of the business, you should not hog all the work. Assigning tasks will lead to an engaged team and enhanced performance.
- Create a systematic approach in running the business. Employees should be given clear directions while projects and tasks should be organized. Planning ahead is highly commendable.
- Expect mistakes to be made along the way. That, however, should not stop you from staying focused. Entrepreneurs can always seek advice from experts and consultants, or even their peers.
- Manage your employees right. Management is a challenge for many small business owners. To reach the full potential of a business, you should effectively manage your employees.
- Hire the right people.
- Keep up clear and open communication. Listen to your employees. Constantly communicate with them. This will ensure that all decisions and actions are aligned with the company’s goals and objectives.
- Monitor staff performance. Regularly check the output of your employees for quality assurance. If their performance is excellent, then they’re on the right track. If results are below expectations, you might have to provide feedback and training.
- Enhance employees’ skills. The success of a business relies on the performance of its staffers and executives. Conduct trainings and seminars to develop their skills and personalities.
- Motivate your employees. It’s not enough to hone skills. Reward high performers through recognition, bonuses, and promotions, among others. Motivated employees will take pride in their work and go the extra mile.
- When it’s time, branch out or expand your business. Once everything is in place, you can focus on growing and expanding your businesses. With an efficient team, exceeding product demand, enough revenue and strong customer retention, your business is ready to go beyond its present state.
- Innovate and diversify products and services. Rolling out new products and services can boost sales and generate more revenue. Tweaking products by adding new features will attract more customers.
- Offer loyalty programs. Customers can earn points and rewards by purchasing your products or services. With these perks, you’ll keep them coming back.
- Expand to new territories. Reach more customers by opening branches in new locations. Before doing so, justify the expansion by doing market research to determine customer demand in an area.
- Engage consumers. In a technology-driven world, social media has been proven to be an invaluable tool for businesses to reach customers. Publish new products, special offers and promotions on social media to entice new customers and bring back old ones.
- Franchise your small business. Let others duplicate your business’ success by offering it as a franchise. This can be an opportunity for expansion and creation of a network of locations.
Indeed, starting a business is no easy task. It takes an open mind, strong drive and a positive attitude. With all these in mind, you will soon find yourself turning a great idea into a successful business.
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