Building a Business in a Day:
An Hour-by-Hour Guide to Laying the Foundation for a Successful Business
Do you want to start a business but don't seem to have the time? Though any successful business venture requires a significant time investment, the truth is that you can lay the foundation for a successful business in as little as one business day. If you’re ready to take on this challenge, set aside eight hours and break it down into time increments of 30minutes or more to do the following.
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8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.: Consider Your Motivation
First things first: Determine why you want to start your own business. Is it because you crave more free time? Are you dissatisfied with the current status quo in your industry? Do you want more control over your success? Though there is no right or wrong answer, identify your motivation, as it will inform your decisions going forward.
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Come Up With a Profitable Business Idea
Once you know why you want to be your own boss, come up with a profitable business idea. The idea should require little capital and entail doing something you are both good at and for which you have a passion. Think event planning, photography, pet sitting, content creation, and graphic design. You may also consider starting a food truck, opening a café, or forming a daycare. Use these two hours to explore viable business ideas and land on one that you can easily bring to life and that aligns with your personal and professional goals.
10: 30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Choose a Business Name
Use the next half an hour to come up with a business name. The name you choose should be catchy, user-friendly, and available, and should leave room for growth into new markets. When coming up with a clever business name:
- Make it easy to spell
- Keep it simple
- Consider what you will offer now and what you want to offer in the future
- Reflect on what feelings you want to evoke
11:00 a.m. – Noon: Choose a Business Structure
Decide on and form an entity. The IRS explains your various options, including a limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship, and corporation. An LLC is the most popular option for startups, as its flexible structure offers limited liability and tax benefits.
Noon – 1:00 p.m.: Research Some Inexpensive Marketing Strategies
Marketing your startup on a shoestring budget can be a challenge, but there are a few strategies you can use to stretch your marketing dollars. One way to get exposure for your company is to submit press releases to online and local publications. Networking with other businesses in your industry can be a great way to generate leads and build relationships with potential partners. You can also use social media to reach a wider audience. For example, you can create targeted ads by using a free Facebook ads maker which allows you to adapt predesigned templates to quickly design ads. By getting creative with your marketing efforts, you can ensure that your startup gets the exposure it needs to succeed.
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Set Financial Goals
Use the two hours after lunch to set smart financial goals for your business. First-year goals should include creating budgeting, determining how you will manage cash flow, and identifying your target customers’ spending habits. Also, use this time to open a business bank account — preferably one that offers incentives.
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Look for Customers and Help
Use the last hour and a half of your day to start looking for new customers and potential hires. While networking online is easier now than ever, don’t discount the power of in-person networking opportunities, such as those your local chamber of commerce offers. Though you may not make strong connections in one day, it's never too early to start the networking process.
When you’re strategic with your schedule, building a business in a day is not impossible. Stop using time as an excuse, and make the most out of your next eight hours.
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