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Entrepreneur Insight

The essential guide to starting and running a small business

May 8, 2017
A group of business colleagues meeting in the boardroom
Small business roundup. (Photo credit):

Business tips to successfully get your own company off the ground.

You’ve got a unique business idea, you worked hard on your business plan, and now you’re motivated and ready to conquer the market—but how do you actually ensure long-term success? Starting a business is not an easy task, and it requires monumental effort, patience and, not to mention, knowledge. Whether you are someone who is just starting out, or you are an already-established small business owner looking to expand, here are some business tips and Reach Further stories to help your business thrive.

  1. How to find the right financing for your business

    If you’re planning to start a business or expand an existing one, finding the right financing is crucial. While there are several financing options available for entrepreneurs, a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan may be the right one for you. Some benefits include less down payment than most conventional loan programs and greater support of higher-risk businesses such as startups. Learn more about business financing, and how to jumpstart your business with an SBA loan at SBA Lending: the Loans that Could Launch Your Business.

  2. Smiling female business owner holding an open sign at a restaraunt
    The down payment required for an SBA loan could be as low as 10 to 15 percent. (Photo credit): RF
  3. How to choose your business structure

    The type of business structure you choose for your business will have legal and tax implications, so picking the right legal entity can save you a lot of money in the long run. Sole proprietorship, C and S corporations, LLC/PLLC—there are many entities to choose from. Each business form has its own advantages and disadvantages, so entrepreneurs need to do their research, and consider their individual needs and intended purpose for the business before deciding on a particular entity. Learn more about the pros and cons of each legal entity, and find out which one best suits your business at What Kind of Company Should You Start?

  4. Group of young entrepreneurs talking
    Choosing the right legal entity for your business is important. (Photo credit): RF
  5. How to improve operational efficiency

    Organizations that use project management waste 13 times less money than organizations that don’t—but what is project management exactly? Project management helps increase profitability and client satisfaction by eliminating waste and inefficiencies in the project implementation. Initially adopted by construction and general contractors, more and more small businesses are embracing project management as a way to set themselves apart from the competition. Learn more about how project management can improve your business at Using Project Management to Supercharge Your Business.

  6. Group of people sitting in a semi-circle watching a man present something
    Project management creates a system for eliminating waste and inefficiencies in the execution of a project. (Photo credit): Image
  7. How to manage your finances

    As a small business owner, you probably want to save money and stay profitable, but how do you achieve that? Many business owners are not aware of how they should prepare, organize and strategize businesses operations to effectively manage their finances and stay on top of their game. For example, did you know that having enough capital to survive the first six months is crucial for a company’s success? But whatever you do, don’t mix personal funds with business funds. Read more about what you should focus on, where you shouldn’t cut costs, and how much money you need to survive at 7 Smart Financial Management Tips for Small Businesses.

  8. A small business owner standing in his auto shop
    The way you organize and strategize your business is vital to success. (Photo credit:) Productions
  9. How to differentiate your business and stand out

    One of the hardest challenges that small business owners face is figuring out what makes their business unique and presenting it in a way that attracts customers. For many companies, superior customer service is what makes their business stand out. Studies suggest that, by the year 2020, customer experience will surpass price and product to be the key brand differentiator for businesses—so businesses that focus on customers are geared for success. Learn from Sunset Nursery’s flourishing example at Sunset Nursery: Tips to Improve Customer Service.

  10. Sunset Nursery employee talking to a customer in the nursery garden
    Sunset Nursery has been around since the 1950s. The key to the longevity of their business is good old customer service.
  11. How to effectively pivot your business

    Sometimes, when your business model isn’t working or the original vision begins to fade, a business pivot is in order. Think of pivoting as more of a business realignment to get back in to the game: it could range from making a simple product tweak, to overhauling the entire business idea. A business pivot can make or break a startup, but there are a few tips to withstand the change and thrive. Find out more about how companies can make a successful transition at Launching An Idea and Knowing When to “Pivot”.

  12. Hand playing with spinning top - knowing how to pivot in business is the key to a successful realignment
    Companies can and do succeed during a business pivot if they posses certain important key traits.(Photo credit:)

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