Venturing out into the business world on your own can be incredibly scary but also liberating and exciting. Starting your own business gives your purpose a platform and an opportunity to leave your mark on the world. There are some clear advantages of being your our boss: setting your hours, dress code, the business’s location and type of people you work with.
But those luxuries will not come easily. This very magazine you are reading was an entrepreneurial endeavor for Joanne Gallinghouse. She had a vision and felt the Northshore lacked something in the publications market. Through hard work and integrity, Sophisticated Woman has served as a guide to the Northshore community since the 1990s.
If you are feeling inspired by Joanne’s legacy, here are some things to consider when starting your own entrepreneurial journey:
• Research your market: It’s important to have a strong and in-depth understanding of what your potential clients’ needs are. Find out what the market is lacking and how you can offer unique solutions to fill that gap. Take the time to truly learn what the roots of the problem are.
• Have a business plan: Once you’ve gained insight on the market, you should create a business plan regardless of your venture. A business plan will help keep your business on the right track to achieve the purpose you set out to do. It will serve as a road map for everyone involved and measure the growth the business is making or needs to make. Be sure to keep plan straight forward, realistic and conservative.
• Plan your finances: Like your business plan, you’ll want to have a firm grip on your finances. How much should you set aside for marketing? As a general rule, startups should allocate 7-8 percent of their actual or projected revenues to marketing. The marketing budget should be split between brand development costs (website, social media, sales collateral) and the costs of promoting your business (advertising campaigns, events). Knowing how much you have to spend on marketing is critical; even more critical is how you spend it.
When investing financially in your business be sure to spend your money wisely. It can be easy to spend on items that might not truly be a necessity to your business.