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The Essential Steps for Starting a Business

Updated: Apr 16

Your Ultimate Guide to Starting a Business:

Leveraging Assistum for Success

Starting a business is a journey filled with excitement, challenges, and the potential for significant rewards. Nikki Jones, the founder of Assistum LLC, shares her invaluable experience and insights on laying the groundwork for a successful enterprise. Whether you're venturing into personal assistance, tech, retail, or any other industry, these universal steps will guide you towards realizing your entrepreneurial dreams, with Assistum ready to support you at every stage.

Man working on laptop at a desk with ipad and a calculator

Discover Your Passion

The foundation of any successful business is passion. Identifying what you love to do and what you can do endlessly without tiring is crucial. This passion fuels the perseverance needed to overcome the inevitable challenges of entrepreneurship. Assistum can help here by offering support services that free up your time, allowing you to focus on your passions and innovate within your niche.

Solve Real Problems

Once you've pinpointed your passions, the next step is to identify problems you can solve within those areas. A business must address specific needs to be viable. If the niche has no specific problems that current people face, you may want to consider another industry. Otherwise, finding solutions to problems that aren't there will be difficult to resolve. A great way to see if questions are being asked in your industry is to go to Answer The Public and search the industry you're considering. See if any of the questions are relevant to the business you're looking to start.

Establish Clear Workflows and Processes

Developing efficient workflows and processes is essential for business operations. From onboarding clients to managing tasks, a systematic approach ensures consistency and quality. You'll want to go through each area of the business and create an outline of the workflow. Don't stress about the specifics, just get the general idea! Example:

  1. Prospect visits website

  2. Prospect schedules a call

  3. After the call, Assistum sends the proposal, agreement, and invoice

  4. Once agreement is signed and invoice is paid, Assistum calls prospect to schedule the onboarding call

  5. New client get weekly email to submit new tasks for the week.

This is an example of Assistum's Prospect to New Client workflow. As you can see, the details related to HOW you're going to implement this workflow is not include. Just start with the outline. Once you're set on that, you can work through the details!

Assistum's expertise in creating streamlined workflows can help your business operate smoothly, enhancing customer experience and operational efficiency.

Conduct Thorough Research

Understanding your competition and the market landscape is vital. Research helps you set competitive rates and define your unique value proposition. You'll want to research the industry you're considering and see what analytics you can grab from your competitors. Ask yourself these few questions:

  • What products/services are they currently offering?

  • What are their rates?

  • How do they charge? Per hour? Per service?

  • What areas are they servicing?

Grab as much detail as you can from competitors and this will give you an idea of different aspects your business. Life of an entrepreneur becomes easy when you finally let go of the idea that you have to figure everything out for yourself.

Set Competitive Rates

Determining your pricing is a delicate balance between being competitive and ensuring your business's financial health. You'll want to find the sweet spot for your pricing strategy that attracts clients while maintaining profitability. Steps to determine your rates:

  1. See what your competitors are charging

  2. Take into consideration what expenses you'll have (this will require more research.)

    1. What software will you need to pay for?

    2. What subscriptions will you pay?

    3. What is your marketing budget (to start)?

    4. How much does it cost you to create your product?

  3. Who do you have to pay (employees/contractors). Determine what you'll pay employees/contractors.

  4. How much would you like to take home yourself?

Keep in mind, there's always room for growth! Start competitive, go lower than your competitors, but be sure you leave room for profitability

Having competitive rates will get clients and customers in the door to test out those workflows that we discussed above.

TIP: Be sure you encourage these first few clients/customers to leave reviews as well. This will benefit once you're in the phase of growing your business.

Legal and Administrative Foundations

The final step is to solidify your business's legal and administrative structure, such as forming an LLC. You can typically do this online through your states Secretary of State government website. You'll also want to register with the Department of Revenue once you've opened your LLC and received your EIN. Once you're ready to hire employees, you will contact your local Employment Security Office and find a payroll software (Quickbooks, Onpay, etc.)

In conclusion

Starting a business requires a blend of passion, strategic planning, and a deep understanding of the market. Remember, the journey of entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Equip yourself with the right tools and support, like Assistum, to build a business that endures and thrives.

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