Five Start-Up Business Issues

Start-up businesses often find themselves facing issues that they really should have addressed right at the start. From financing to marketing, there are many different start up business issues that can pop up during your home business journey.

To help keep surprises to a minimum, iHubbub contributor Philip J Reed talks us through the top five issues that should be addressed from day one. 

start your business with ihubbubs easy start up business advice steps

1. The Start-Up Business Plan 

If you didn’t go to business school, the idea of writing a business plan when starting a new business might seem initially overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you include? Some people decide not to write one due to the sheer scope of the project, feeling they can just wing it as they go. But writing a business plan is necessary for obtaining your financing such as start up business grants, as well as visualizing the long-term viability of the company.  

According to forbes.com, every business plan should answer 10 questions. Some of these include: 

“How does your company differentiate itself?” 

“Who are you targeting as customers?” 

“What needs to happen to break even?”

“What will be your most effective marketing and promotional strategies?” 

Answering these questions at the beginning will help make the other steps needed to progress your start-up business just a little bit easier. 

The Small Business Administration also has a lot of information on their website about how to write a business plan and avoid start up business issues. Additionally, some communities have programmes to help budding business owners write a professional plan. Check your local Chamber of Commerce for a similar programme, and make sure you read iHubbub's own guide to writing one!

2. Start Up Business Funding

Many small businesses are stopped in their tracks when it comes to getting financial backers. It’s important to know exactly how much money you need to get the company started before starting a new business, because banks, venture capitalists and even family members will want to know this number before they will agree to lend money.

Again, this is why Issue 1 needs to be addressed first. Individuals with a business plan will immediately know this number, and some can even seek funding with the help of the Small Business Administration (SBA). They don’t give out loans, but they do help start-ups find banks that will lend money to them and locate start up business grants. It's a perfect place for budding business owners to begin the process of funding their new businesses. 

3. Marketing Your Start Up

Once you have created your business plan and secured financing, it is time to focus on marketing your business. If this portion was not discussed in your business plan, now is the time to add it. 

The first step involves identifying who will use your company’s product or service. Your marketing strategy will vary widely depending on your key demographic, so think long and hard about whom this person is. Is your target market stay-at-home mums or is it college students? Write down the key characteristics of this person; it will help you discover how you can reach them best.

A few ways to properly research your demographic is to check out Google Analytics, which is free, and read reports on your industry and market. This will give you a better understanding of your future client and where you should advertise. 

Once you have identified your customers, invest some time in social media. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are free and an easy way to market your product. But an issue that you need to be aware of from day one is that you can’t just open an account and forget about it. 

People use social networking to read about and share information about the products they like with their friends and family. But many also use it to ask questions and vent about bad products and services. Manage your social media platform to increase customers, not lose them. If a customer has a gripe about your product, don’t just ignore it. That one comment can spiral out of control if you don’t manage it. Answer the person’s comment and assure them you are taking care of the issue. If your product broke, fix it for them or send them a free replacement. People on social media platforms want to be heard – so hear them.&nbsp. Creating And Managing A Website

Do not think you can start a new business and get away with only participating in social media. Today’s companies need a website so customers can easily find them. It’s the first place most people look for information about any given business. There are over 10 billion searches through Internet search engines each day. Many of these searches are conducted through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This is why it’s necessary to build a responsive website before you open. 

Again, you should not build a website and forget about it. Getting to the top of a search engine list using search engine optimization (SEO) methods will involve first-class website management. This includes using fresh content on the website regularly. Create a blog, post new information about your company and include behind-the-scenes videos of your company. If the thought of creating and maintaining a website concerns you, this task can be accomplished by hiring a company to make and maintain a superb website for you. 

5. Legal Issues

As a small business owner, you may be subject to the same laws and regulations as large corporations, so how do you keep track of it all? What if you say something wrong in an interview? How do you properly let go of an employee? What happens if you file your taxes incorrectly? What laws should you be aware of?

All of these questions can get you in serious trouble if you don’t know the answer to them before you open your business. Consulting or even hiring a lawyer can help keep you out of legal messes and a range of start up legal issues that could have been avoided.   

By following the above five steps, you should be well on your way to to setting out on your home business journey. Just remember to keep your eyes open to any bumps in the road and consult with professionals about starting a business and acquiring start up business grants. They can help make your life easier.

About The Author

Philip J Reed on behalf of DexOne who provides small business marketing solutions for your business. Philip lives in Colorado with his dog and spends his time keeping up to date on issues that affect small businesses all over the world.  

The iHubbub shop has loads of products to help a start-up business - why not take a look?

Why And How To Start Your Own Business

Why And How To Start Your Own Business

£6.99

Earn up to 14pts

Business Essentials

Business Essentials

£69.99

Earn up to 140pts

View Product

 
Marketing - An Introduction

Marketing - An Introduction

£33.43

Earn up to 72pts

View Product

Our Readers Also Liked