Starting a new business is a big decision! Small and medium-sized business (SMB) expert Ramon Ray teamed up with Beautiful.AI to create a comprehensive how-to guide to get your business up and running. If you’re short on time, we picked out the highlights to give you a quick rundown of the 5 essentials to starting a new business:
Write a Business Plan
One of the biggest things you can do to set yourself up for success when starting a new business is starting with a business plan. Sure, you can get started without one, but in most cases, you’re going to need a business plan for one reason or another. A business plan is an excellent tool to help you stay focused on what you really want your business to achieve and will prove absolutely necessary if you aim to obtain funding from outside investors.
A business plan, even a simple one, should help you define things such as:
- Your company goals
- Your annual to-do list
- How to organize your budget and financials
- What a rockstar team looks like for your biz and how to hire that talent
- Who your target customer is
- The demand for your product–about which Ramon says,
“That’s the trap a lot of new business owners fall into — not knowing if there’s a true demand…you need to make sure people actually want to buy what your company is selling.”
You can make a custom, visually striking business plan that will make you, and your investors, feel like you have it all together with Beautiful.AI.
Create a Company Overview
Another important step when starting a new business is to craft a company overview. Beautiful.AI believes that the company overview is “the single most powerful way of recruiting top talent.” It’s the face of your company to the public and showcases your company’s Vision, Mission, and Value Proposition. It can also include details about your product, team, and timeline which can convey that you’ve thought about the future of your business.
Assemble Your Tech Toolkit
One of a new business’s biggest assets is technology. So many tasks are automated, making it easier than ever to succeed as a startup. The ability to offload some of the mundane tasks can save a new business owner time and money with an overall increase in productivity. There are tech resources out there for just about every area including Project Management, Human Resources, Marketing, and Sales. Just remember that there are a lot of options out there and what works for one business may not work for another. It make take some trial and error to figure out which tools are the best fit for your company.
Formalize a Marketing Strategy
In order for customers to buy what you’re offering, they have to know it exists. This is where an Annual Marketing Plan comes into play. You’ll first need to define your “big goal” for the year. Your goal should be clear, specific, and measurable such as a certain number of email signups, sales qualified leads, or subscription renewals. Once you’ve outlined your goal, you can develop a marketing plan to help get you there.
To start, you’ll need to figure out where your audience spends their time (i.e. social media, digital publications…etc.). You need to get to know your audience. This is referred to as user research and it’s critically important to the success of your marketing campaigns, and ultimately, the success of your business. Ramon’s advice, “the more targeted you are at the start, the more successful you’ll be.” A thoughtful, and well-researched, and flexible marketing plan will ensure your business continues to grow.
Outline a Sample Sales Proposal
Finally, we come to the Sample Sales Proposal. First, you’ll need to establish your pricing. Ramon emphasizes that proper pricing is essential and that “Price is so much more than a number — it’s a positioning statement” and it will determine your place in the market. Once you’ve settled on pricing, you can start to put together your first sales proposal. Key components include:
- An overview of the potential partnership and what value you bring to the table
- The advantages of choosing you over your competitors
- An overview of your products
- Your new potential client’s partner benefits
- The “nuts and bolts” of pricing and ordering
Once you’ve hit all of the big points, make the proposal: “What product is right for them, what that will cost them, and the minimum investment required.” Thank them and always follow up with a request for feedback!
In all of these areas, Beautiful.AI has customizable templates that will make communicating the ins and outs of your new business easy and make you look put together and professional in your presentation. Beautiful.AI has a template for each of the following topics covered: