If you’ve just started your business, you’re probably wondering what steps come next. And, although it can seem overwhelming, there are some clearly-defined steps you can take that we’ve outlined for you in this article. These steps will position you to move from the start of your business to the operation of your business and beyond; we consider them to be the pillars of success in creating and running a business. Why? Good question! Each pillar depends on the others and all of them are built and directed by you and other invested partners. Each pillar is essential. Each pillar builds on your long-term wealth, as well as supports your immediate goals. In the establishment of these pillars, you’ll find clear directives to follow right away and you’ll also discover ways to plan now for the years ahead. You’ve started your business: so, let’s get to work.
Pillar #1: Create Your Business Plan
Creating a business plan is an essential step when starting or building a business. Although many of us would prefer to avoid detailed work, a business plan remains a pillar of success, as noted in this business plan resource. A solid business plan helps to define the goals and objectives of the company, outlines strategies for achieving those goals, and provides a roadmap for success. A business plan puts everything into motion by defining the ways in which you’ll fund the company, engage with customers, effectively build your services or products, and develop your long-term plans. Familiarize yourself with a specific business plan to get a better idea of the details, like this online bookstore business plan.
Pillar #2: Obtain Funding Sources
Finding funding sources is essential after crafting a business plan because it is necessary to have the financial resources in place to achieve your goals. Your business plan outlined your goals; now, it’s time to fund them. Funding can come from investors, loans, grants, or other sources, but having access to these resources will ensure that the business can move forward with the funds available to fully start and operate the business. Finding funding sources is also essential for covering salaries and equipment purchases. With adequate funds, the business can next focus on implementation.
Pillar #3: Build an Advisory Board
What makes an advisory board essential to a successful business? The word, “advisory,” says it all. Although you may have extensive experience within your industry and carry a strong set of skills related to your new business, chances are you haven’t yet owned or run a successful business. An advisory board, constructed of associates who currently own or have owned a business, can make all the difference in the success of your business. An advisory board, with members who have depth of experience, can direct you toward best practices and well-thought-out decisions because they’ve already experienced them. You’ll receive invaluable advice, guidance, and support, as well as directions to track and avoid costly mistakes. Ultimately, having an advisory board will allow you to learn from those who are more experienced and benefit from the collective insights of multiple perspectives.
Pillar #4: Develop Your Team
After creating your business plan, obtaining funding and creating an advisory board, you’ll want to develop your team. This is crucial to the success of your business. Your goal will be to have the right people on board who are committed to their roles and the future of your company. Placing the right people in the places where they can succeed adds to the success factor of your business overall and supports your goals and objectives along the way.
Pillar #5: Define Your Marketing Strategy
If you are seeking short-term success and long-term growth, your effective marketing strategy is the supersonic jet that will take you there. An effective marketing strategy includes tactics, such as advertising, promotions, public relations, product packaging, customer service, and other elements. Additionally, a well-crafted marketing strategy can help create brand awareness and foster customer loyalty, while increasing sales revenue and profitability. An effective marketing strategy will reveal the behavior of your customers, which you can then utilize for further success. Ultimately, having a well-planned marketing strategy in place will be invaluable for the success of your business.
When placed into action, these five pillars form the foundation of a successful business, positioned for long-term growth. Each of the pillars is essential for the well-being of your business, your team members and your customers, as you provide services and products that meet needs and provide solutions. In the process of creating a business plan, finding funding, building an advisory board, developing your team, and defining your marketing strategy, you will create the pillars of success for your new business. You’ve just started your business? Build these pillars by taking action and implementing them today.