According to, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a fifth of new businesses are likely to fail within the first two years of operation. Ultimately, only a quarter of new businesses will last for 15 or more years. These are very sobering statistics for anybody starting a new business but they need not discourage you. On the contrary, while starting a new business is hard, you can turn your new idea into a thriving business if you follow the right steps. Read on to learn the 10 starting steps for your new business idea.
1. Store Supplies
When starting a new business, it’s possible to think about the goods you’ll sell to customers and fail to think about store supplies. You might have the most unique business and could be marketing a product that customers have been looking for. However, you could fail to succeed if you haven’t given adequate thought to the importance of store supplies.
Store supplies play a critical role in helping you run a new business. If you have just opened a new store, for example, distinguishing between inventory and supplies is important. Supplies will be required by your employees and customers and, without them, the business cannot run smoothly.
For both employees and customers, you’ll need washroom supplies. When a customer makes a purchase, you’ll need to issue a receipt. Additional supplies needed for cash management include cash boxes, counterfeit note detectors, and cash deposit safes. Since you’re starting a new business, you might need to alert potential customers about it through outdoor signage.
Some supplies will have to be replenished regularly while others could last a long time. In the latter category are various hardware items such as display fixtures and warehouse doors. Supplies are critical to running a business and without them, you’ll frustrate your employees and customers.
2. Maintain Vehicles
One of the crucial starting steps to implementing a business idea is to think about vehicle maintenance. Whether you’re starting with a single car or a fleet, you must never ignore the importance of keeping these crucial assets in the best condition. While there are mandatory annual vehicle tests, you need to look after your automobiles more proactively. To this end, you need to ensure that your vehicles are roadworthy. When vehicles are maintained properly, they’re safer to operate and reduce the risk of hurting drivers or destroying goods through collisions. Moreover, cars in good condition are more fuel-efficient and will save you money in the long run.
To keep your fleet in great condition, you might consider contracting a trusted vehicle maintenance professional. Your maintenance pro will conduct checks on critical vehicle components such as the headlights, parking lights, air filters, and brakes among others. During a regular checkup, your brake mechanic could identify problems with your car’s braking system that could otherwise cost you dearly if it wasn’t diagnosed.
3. Keep Your Building Comfortable
Companies spare nothing to keep their buildings comfortable for very specific reasons. Business owners realize that the comfort in their workplaces will determine how easy it will be to retain employees. Even more importantly, a comfortable office will attract customers who will also likely spend plenty of time at the premises and eventually seal a deal.
While you could spend a fortune making your building physically appealing (by using artwork and flowers), one of the starting steps you can’t ignore is the necessity of comfort. When thinking about employee comfort, consider the desks and chairs they use. Does the furniture make the workers feel appreciated or is every day some kind of endurance test?
When you think about your waiting area or boardroom where you might host potential clients, have you equipped these places with ergonomic furniture? Think about the lighting too. You might be surprised to learn that fluorescent lighting is never welcoming and customers might wish to leave your premises as soon as possible. You should consider investing in relaxing LED lighting.
It’s also important to prepare your building for different seasons. During winter, ensure the office has adequate heating. In summer, don’t let your workers and customers suffer from the sweltering heat. By ventilating and air-conditioning your building, you’ll have happy employees and visitors. To make sure you’re ready for the busy summer season, ask your HVAC technician to do an AC install in the building.
4. Lawyer Up
The business world is murky and one of the starting steps you must make is to get a competent business lawyer to guide you through the process. All businesses, regardless of size, are required to operate according to the laws established by the government. When you’re just starting in business, you might not know what to do to avoid violating the established laws and regulations.
While attorneys are indispensable when you’re setting up a business, their necessity becomes critical as the business grows. The business environment is forever evolving and the laws that were applicable last year might be inapplicable today. As an entrepreneur, you want to concentrate on your core business and you can do so with peace of mind when you know that your lawyer will give you regular updates about what the authorities might require from your business.
Disputes are inevitable in business. Some clients might fail to pay for items sold on credit at the required time and matters might end in court. Your employees could breach company laws. Your vehicles might get involved in collisions forcing you to seek help from an accident attorney. The scenarios that might make you look for attorney help are diverse and you’re better off dealing with a trusted and competent lawyer who understands your business.
5. Find a Quality Contractor
One of the critical starting steps for a new business is deciding where to operate from. Will you construct a new building or renovate an existing one? Whether you’re constructing or renovating, the importance of a quality contractor can’t be overlooked.
When you work with a reputable contractor, you’re certain that your structure will be built in compliance with the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction. A competent contractor will also guarantee high-quality work. While good contractors are expensive, they use great expertise and only use high-quality materials.
When quality materials are used in building construction or renovation, you’re sure that you won’t start incurring repair costs soon. A good commercial builder will work within your budget and also ensure that all work is completed as scheduled. Such builders keep you updated on the progress of the project enabling you to plan the commencement of your business operations with precision.
6. Have Good Plumbing
A properly functioning plumbing system cannot be trivialized when starting a new business and should be included among the most critical starting steps. Given that you and your employees will spend most of your waking hours in the building, you must endeavor to make it as hygienic as possible. A good plumbing system will prevent diseases that could harm employees and customers.
The materials used in your building’s plumbing system have long-term implications. While all plumbing systems will require repairs at some point, low-quality materials make you incur such expenses sooner. Poor workmanship could also lead to leaks and broken pipes. The expenses that come with poor workmanship could be immense.
As a result of leaks, mold and mildew will thrive in your building exposing occupants and visitors to the risks of respiratory diseases. Moreover, broken pipes could waste too much water resulting in higher water bills. Getting forced to use the services of a drain cleaning plumber regularly is not only expensive but also inconvenient.
7. Provide Parking
Regardless of the business you wish to set up, providing parking for your customers is one of the greatest starting steps. Some businesses such as eateries and retail stores are highly competitive and one way to stay ahead of the competition is by ensuring that customers enjoy convenient parking. Even if your store has the most outstanding products in the market, a lot of customers might never venture in if they can’t find a parking spot quickly. Given the cut-throat nature of the retail business, you can bet that the customers who fail to obtain parking at your premises will go to the competition.
For parking to satisfy customers, you must implement measures to ensure that customers are safe. A good parking lot will have designated pedestrian walkways and the driveways will have clear signs, speed bumps, and adequate lighting. Since the parking lot is the first experience that motoring customers have with your business, you should make it as appealing as possible. If there are cracks, get them fixed. By consulting a paving company, you’ll learn what you need to do to increase your parking lot’s curb appeal.
8. Stay Up to Date
For your new business to survive and thrive, one of the most crucial starting steps you need to take is to stay up to date. You might have thought about your business model a long time ago. You could also have developed strategies unique to your business but the important question now is if your strategies and projections are valid today.
The business world changes daily and if you’ve not been keeping yourself up to date you might be exploring possibilities that have been overtaken by events. Even after you establish a business, you must stay updated to find out about new products and technologies. For the business person who desires to stay up to date, there are online and offline ways to achieve this. Offline, you could participate in workshops organized by the business organizations in your industry. Online, you should read blogs related to your industry and search the internet regularly. Your office also needs to adopt digital ways of doing business. If you’re conducting computer sales, devise ways to get orders and seal deals online.
9. Make a Good First Impression
When you enter the business world you might find your company competing with blue chips. Given that such affluent entities have years of experience and vast marketing budgets, you might have no chance to succeed unless you made a good first impression. Presenting yourself and your company professionally ranks among the critical starting steps for a new business.
Since you’re the face of your business you must conduct yourself professionally when meeting potential clients or investors. You must therefore carry professionally-made business cards and dress to impress. Business etiquette requires that you understand the culture, greetings, and appropriate gestures when meeting customers from a different country or culture. When you make a good first impression, you’re viewed as a professional who people would love to do business with.
When designing your office, the design features should also make a good first impression. From the reception to the windows and doors, have them crafted in designs that show your professionalism. If you opted for custom doors, for instance, you have a host of styles and materials that can be used to enhance your office’s design.
10. Have a Unique Business Idea
Whether a new business will fail or succeed is determined to a very substantial extent by the uniqueness of the business idea. One of the starting steps for establishing a thriving business is finding out how the product or service you intend to provide differs from what is already available in the market. To find out if your idea is unique, you should answer a few questions. First, if you decide to manufacture a product similar to others in the market, what distinguishing factors will your product have? Two, what kind of existing problem will the product or service solve? Three, what will make people willing to pay for the product or service? Finally, are you passionate about your idea? Answering these questions in the affirmative could indicate that you have a unique business idea that’s worth pursuing.
If you were venturing into the eatery business, you might have noticed that the enterprises in your area remain closed on weekends. To serve clients in the locality, you might decide to start a business to serve customers with brunch on weekends and public holidays. Before other businesses decide to replicate your business you could have established yourself as the market leader.
While starting a new business has its fair share of challenges, the starting steps we’ve highlighted should help you make the move with great confidence. In addition to giving you the freedom to work at convenient hours, a new business will allow you to follow your passion. A unique idea could come with exceptional financial gains. For some people, the ability of a new idea to solve problems could be more satisfying than the financial rewards.