There’s a lot you need to know before taking the plunge. You’ve got the excitement and determination, that’s already a great start! But before you get your hands dirty, it’s important to have a plan and be prepared for the obstacles you’re about to face.
No reason to get discouraged though. Take notes and continue to mature your plan!
Do not abandon your current job just yet
Most people will want to quit their current job and jump into their new business immediately, assuming the kick-start will be enough to sustain it for the first few months.
That might be the case if you have a lot of money saved to invest in your new business – and we do mean A LOT. If you’re thinking about quitting your job, you should have enough money to sustain your new business for at least three months (and even that is taking a huge risk). Realistically, it should be six months.
We hope for the best, but we can’t expect our new business to boom immediately.
Write it all down
It’s extremely important to get organized during this stage. Write down everything you need to remember, consider and decide before starting your business and take it to heart.
While reading the following items, take note of everything you’re still organizing. A simple document or note is enough, as long as everything is there!
This will be of tremendous help when it’s time to budget and decide what you can invest in.
Choose your field
Research for home improvement businesses in your area will certainly help in making an informed decision – you will know which areas already have heavy competition, and which are free to take.
To help you out, here’s a list with the approximate initial investment for every home improvement business!
Make sure you have the necessary resources
If you’re thinking of renting a room, you’ll need a lot of office supplies. Take note of everything: printer, paper, pens, phone, etc.
Aside from that, you’ll also need a reliable internet connection and a phone number for work. In the case of an office, you’ll probably also want to design a logo for marketing purposes – add a designer to the list.
Finally, there’s licensing and insurance – extremely important for the contractor business.
Prepare yourself for a CEO position
A lot of people seem to forget this, but you are essentially taking the position of CEO for your own company. This comes with all the benefits and troubles of the job – you can decide the future of your own business, which is great, but that means you have a lot to worry about.
It’s likely that when you’re starting you’ll be the sole responsible for most positions until you can hire help. So be prepared to deal with a good level of accounting, writing your own contracts, and sending your own estimates.
Streamline your process
How will you deal with having to write your own contracts and estimates all the time? You streamline the process.
This means you should have ready at all times a simple “template” for these things. It will save you a huge amount of time to have it “half-baked” when you need it. Everything you notice yourself doing repeatedly, you can find a way to streamline, making it easier for yourself in the future.
We highly recommend Google Docs. It’s a fantastic free tool for managing documents that allows for custom templates!
Make sure you can pay for employees / subcontractors
Before hiring anyone, you need to make sure you can pay them. This might seem obvious, but many starting businesses end up hiring at the start of a job and end up not receiving as planned later, which in turn, delays the payment for everyone involved. That’s a really bad spot to be in.
Research competitors in your area
The absolute best way to measure your own plan is to watch what your closest competitors are doing. Try to figure out their price range, visit their website, profile on social media, and if possible, their reputation.
More often than not, this helps you discover where your competitors are lacking, and where you can shine.
Figure out how will you advertise your business
Budget for advertising will surely be limited at first, so you’ll have to make use of creative means. One way you can advertise yourself spending little is Facebook – they have a fantastic feature for paid promotions that is very easy to use and ramps up your profile likes quickly.
You can use this in the beginning to get some traction, and as your first customers start leaving reviews and interacting with your posts, you’re on your way.
Embrace the unexpected
If there’s one thing you can be sure of is that the process of starting a business won’t be perfect. That doesn’t mean planning is useless though, far from it – your plan will guide you through it. When the unexpected happens, you can still fit it into what you have planned.
The most important part is to not immediately get frustrated when things don’t work out exactly like you envisioned. It’s just part of the job!
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