Starting a small business is a dream for a lot of people, but many of them don’t know where to get started. As it’s always assumed this is an expensive, time-consuming venture, a lot of people throw in the towel before they even get started. However, if you’ve always wanted to start a small business, then there are a few things you should know on how to get started. Check them out below:

1. Get your foundational aspects in

If you’re going to be launching a small business, then one of the first things you need to do is get your foundational elements in position. While that might sound obvious, it’s also one of the more commonly overlooked steps in getting your business in place to thrive long-term. And if you haven’t considered what foundational aspects are important to you, then now’s the perfect time to get started.

Make a list of all the aspects your business is going to need, no matter how big or small. Additionally, it’s good to be honest about the price point of these without trying to skimp corners (despite how much you’re trying to save). For example, as noted by Deluxe, it’s going to cost at a bare minimum $200 for a logo, and a lot of businesses try to skimp. Not only does skipping a great logo design cheapen your brand, but it could potentially cost you, customers, before you even get started. Take your time in developing what’s important for the business to do well, as that’s what’s going to separate you from the pack.

2. Have a structure for contracts

Another important aspect of starting your first small business is the contracts you put into place to ensure that you and the other party are getting a fair shake. Although this might sound harsh to do (especially if you’ve been hiring your friends), it’s also an aspect that’s going to protect you for the long-term. Which, even if you’ve never dealt with contracts before, then this is one aspect of the industry that while it can be easy, needs to be addressed.

A big part of handling contracts as a small business owner is looking at not only what you’re looking to pay, but in what time frame. For example, as noted by Upwork, the average graphic designer is approximately $45 per hour, which if I’m looking to bring on for some contract, work then I’d most likely want a set of deliverables and a specific time frame to protect myself on the rate I’m paying. If you’re looking for someone to cover these needs for you, lawyer Aaron Kelly is one of the best in the startup community when it comes to writing contracts. While this might sound like overkill, it could also be an item you thank yourself for later.

3. Find some solid mentors

As any incredibly successful entrepreneur will tell you, finding a solid mentor is crucial to finding your stride. Not only is a mentor valuable in giving you key insights as to what’s happening in the industry, but you’ll additionally have someone there who’s able to introduce you to their network. And as noted by Entrepreneur, in a survey on the top global CEOs, 80 percent said they received mentorship throughout their career, which goes to show that it’s a necessary process, and one you should consider.

If you haven’t done so yet, it might not be a bad idea to attend some networking events in your area. Furthermore, reach through some of your old contacts and see if there’s anyone who might be of use for your business that could help guide the aspects you need to improve. Another piece to note is listening to those who are influencers or thought leaders in their industries, such as Brian Magierski. He’s a serial entrepreneur with insights into starting a business. The goal here is to pull from sources that you thoroughly enjoy, highlighting the aspects that will bring you the most success as you grow.

4. Get good with digital marketing

Finally, as a cornerstone for any small business, digital marketing is one aspect that will serve you well in getting a great ROI off your efforts. Not only is this a vast audience, but one that could potentially worth quite a bit if you know how to target it right. However, that comes with knowing your audience, as well as your plan of attack.

A big part of your approach to social media boils down to who your audience is, including what your general message will be to them. For example, according to Sprout Social, 60 percent of US adults are on Instagram, which goes to show how vast of an audience that is. However, to thrive off of it will require specifically looking in niche communities throughout the platform. See what type of research strategies are going to benefit you, as this is one method you don’t want to miss in scaling.