I wanted to go a little off the topics we usually covered. I wanted to talk about how to start a business for those that are just beginning. This will just be a general idea because I can not offer you a step by step guide. Each business can be very different and needs for each person are very different. For example, real estate has many surrounding opportunities that all are necessary and it is an amazing personal investment no matter what your focus and field is.
Starting a business can be intimidating and scary for many people. For young people you have not much experience outside of school it can be intimidating because you are not sure of how to make an impact and manage a business. For older and more experienced individuals it can be a great risk with their capital and time because they have a family or other obligations. Before starting a business you have to decide what you are going to do, your tolerance for risk, and you have to research as much as possible about the subject and about business itself. Before we ever advertised or opened for business we did 2 years of research. This was to try to understand all legal requirements we would need, services that we would need to offer, competition in the area, pricing, a network that could support us such as contractors, and that is just naming a few. But, you can’t get stuck in research. At one point you have to start practicing to learn. Cover your liabilities and then whenever you fail, learn from it and adapt.
When you finally understand the basics then you have to start advertising your services/products. There are many platforms that you need to choose from. You can build your own website, use other already established platforms, brick and mortar locations, newspaper ads, flyers, and direct mailers. There are many more but, just for a general example. One of our favorites is our website. The internet has a strong grip on the market and it can allow you to reach a lot of people if your website can attract attention. You have to make sure it looks professional, so if you do not have any ability to create one my suggestion is to hire a professional. Then you have to understand and increase your SEO (search engine optimization) ranking and advertise your website. Not going to go much into SEO, briefly, it is the score that search engines give your website for relevance and will determine where your website lands on the page. You hope that you can get on the top of the first page. Advertising your website can include getting sponsored sites to post your link, facebook ads, google adwords, etc. This means that you will pay for key words and advertisement space that will get traffic to your website. The more traffic of relevant people, the more people that contact you for services.
After advertising you have to sell yourself/products. People start shopping from necessity and most purchase for emotional reasons. This means that creating a relationship is more important than facts in most cases. So interacting with your customers is the best way to make sure that you create and lock in sales. We like to consistently build a relationship over the time period of time that we work with our clients. Consistently checking in to make sure they are updated and are aware of everything going on with their property.
Once sales start to close not only do you have to follow through with your offerings but, specially in the beginning we suggest to go the “extra mile.” Meaning that what you do to really make sure your customers are happy with their purchase. This will keep them coming back and even help you with advertising as word of mouth is positive and the strongest form of advertising. For example, when we started working with our first couple customers we would even go over after the plow to make sure everything was taken care of and even spread salt. This was our time that we gave to do something small that helped our customers and save them money and liability. If you have a product maybe add a thank you letter in your package. These little things will help you. If you can’t do the “extra mile,” make sure your services and products are strong and you provide exactly what you promised. Before beginning, make sure you understand what these actions of providing your product/service really are. Those who don’t can get overwhelmed very quickly.
Lastly, make sure that you keep track of your finances. There is software that is specifically meant for this or you can just use Excel. However you do it, it is extremely important to make sure your books are kept up to date and that all legal needs are taken care of. You never want to put yourself, your business, or customers in a negative legal situation. Hire a lawyer and do your research and protect your business by filing for LLC, Corporation, or whatever best fits the needs of your business.
Business can be difficult, but it can be extremely rewarding for the people that never quit and make it work. The thrill of building something with your own efforts is unbeatable for the people that like this kind of challenge. It can leave you feeling more fulfilled because you get to do something you enjoy and your future and earnings are in your own hands. My advice to anyone that is thinking of it is to learn what you can, find partners if you lack in areas, create a plan, and take the jump and work as hard as you can to make it happen. For those just starting, we encourage you to even ask us questions. Feel free to contact us at M.email@example.com or fill out a contact sheet on our contact page. We love hearing about these stories and we will answer any questions we can or help in anyway we can!