Starting a business can be challenging, no matter what industry you’ve chosen. Whether you’re going to work from home, or start a brick-and-mortar enterprise, there are many things to consider, both short term and long term.
Although companies like AJ Weller can provide your manufacturing business with much-needed materials and products, there are challenges that all businesses face during the early phases.
1. Creating your business plan
This is a working document that details all elements of your business, including financing, marketing, short and long term goals, expenses, income projections and more. If you are going to seek third party financing, your business plan will have to contain very detailed and precise information; if this is a small business and you don’t plan on hiring anyone in the short term, it doesn’t need to be as detailed.
Keep in mind that this is not something that you create and stuff away in a drawer; it is a document that you should keep on your desk and refer to on a regular basis. Your goals and projections may change periodically, so don’t be afraid to make changes as you see fit.
2. Getting the necessary funding
Whether you need a few hundred dollars or several thousand, you will need a solid business plan and experience behind you to entice investors and lenders. Be prepared to answer many tough questions about what your business will do and whom it will serve.
Think of companies like Nike, Coca-Cola and Starbucks. How did they build their brand? What strategies did they use to become household names? You can rest assured it didn’t happen overnight, and it took a few false starts before coming up with a winning strategy. You’re going to have to go through the same process, and perhaps deal with a few false starts before finding the strategy for you.
4. Building your customer base
Without customers, you have no business; it’s that simple. Building your customer base will take time, but eventually, you’ll be able to rely on referrals and word-of-mouth advertising to build your business.
5. Choosing your marketing strategy
The best marketing strategies incorporate a mix of offline and online methods. You may not have a large marketing budget at first, but plan to invest at least some of your profits back into your advertising and marketing budget so you can continue to build your customer base, build your brand, and increase your profits.
Manufacturing startups can be even more of a challenge, because there is much more involved in building these types of businesses. All of the above factors must be considered, plus a few more:
- The accounting process is more complicated, because you have to factor in depreciation, etc.
- It’s more difficult to keep healthy profit margins, especially in the first few years of operation
- Startup costs are considerably higher than other industries, due to the outlay in equipment, materials, supplies, building, etc.
The statistics on business startups are not encouraging. More than 50% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Your business can be in the 50% success rate category if you create a detailed business plan and learn to be flexible.
There are challenges and issues that are going to pop up; you must be able to rise above them and become an exceptional problem solver. There will be days that you’ll want to give up, or you’ll wonder whether it’s all worth it. The most successful entrepreneurs know how to weather the storm and keep moving forward.