Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the American economy. According to the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, about 543,000 new businesses are started every month in the United States. After evaluating what it takes to start a business, maybe you’ve realized that now may be the time to start a business, so you’ve decided to kiss your boss goodbye and start your business in 2013! What are the next steps?
Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you start, run, market and grow your business. Here is a good list to get you started.
A New Business Toolkit
Check out our new business tool kit, which helps you understand how to find out what permits and licenses might be required for your business. According to the latest Statistics about Business Size (including Small Business) from the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 27.2 million businesses in the United States in 2008, 21.3 million of them had no employees. Since small business is such a vital part of the US Economy, there are many agencies dedicated to helping small business, including the Small Business Administration (SBA), which helps small business with loans and finances, and SCORE, which is a mentoring organization that pairs successful entrepreneurs and business leaders with those just starting out to create business plans and apply for funding.
Small Business Marketing and Advertising
Once you have the legal and financial requirements accounted for, it’s time to start getting your name out there and bringing customers in. Here is a compilation of articles that will help you get a good start.
- Free Advertising for Small Businesses – depending on what type of business you have, one of the first steps should be getting your business listed with all of the local directories and search engines.
- Network Your Business – while it may seem old-fashioned, person-to-person networking can help you get your business off the ground, especially if it is a location-based storefront or service business.
- Form and Improve Business Relationships - creating alliances with others in your industry, maintaining good relationships with employees, and gaining the trust of your customers are all important goals for small business owners.
- Is There ‘Free’ Advertising for Small Business – public relations is an important part of your local marketing plan.
- 10 Critical Things Every Small Business Owner Needs to Keep Track Of. On paper. - before you start working on your Internet Marketing, make sure you get a handle on all of the information that you need to keep track of.
- Make Sure YOU Control Your Website - you will need help creating your website, but follow these important tips to make sure that you can easily change providers if you’re not happy with the results.
- 6 Best Practices for Choosing a Domain Name – your domain name is the beginning of your online identity. Choose it wisely.
- Building a Website Your Customers Will Love – make sure this information is on your website, no matter what!
- Content Marketing Will Grow Your Business – the content on your website and/or blog is just as important as any other method of online marketing to drive sales.
- Want to Show Up Prominently in Google? Try Taking Their Advice - it’s no secret that most people find websites on Google. Don’t get confused with all of the SEO (search engine optimization) messages out there, just follow Google’s advice. To find out more about how to make sure your website is ready for Google and Bing, visit our SEO Help and Marketing Resources for Small Businesses.
- Don’t Be Scared of Social Media – social media can seem daunting, but it is an essential part of online marketing. If you want to find out about all of the different social media networks and how they apply to small business, check out the rest of social media articles and resources for small businesses.
- Why Small Businesses Should Worry About Mobile – mobile website usage continues to grow rapidly. You need to make sure that you are accounting for mobile in your overall online marketing strategy.
- How to Make Your Phone Ring with SEM – search engine marketing (SEM) is online paid advertising, which is another important component of creating leads. To explore how pay-per-click (PPC) and other search engine marketing campaigns can improve your bottom line, feel free to take a look at the rest of our SEM resources and articles for small businesses.
- 101 Tips to Improve Your Business with Analytics - analytics will help you evaluate the results of your marketing efforts and help you to improve them.
For more help and information with your new business, check out the Business Matters section of the Small Business Advisor blog or tell me what you think in the comments section.