An early retirement gives you an excellent opportunity to pursue your passion by starting your own business. Now that you are no longer bogged down by the daily grind. You can afford to take risks, set your own terms, and do something that excites you.
The profits from your business can supplement your retirement savings and — if you make it big — could build generational wealth.
In this short guide we take a look at the most important factors you should take into account if you are planning to launch your own business.
The ‘what’ and the ‘who’ of your business
Here are two vital questions you need to ask yourself before you start a business:
First, what are you selling?
Are you planning to sell a product or provide a service? Is there a genuine need for the product or service that you are planning to offer? Does your product or service address the needs of a group of people?
Do other people already offer products or services that are similar to yours? If so, how is your product or service better than what they offer?
These are questions you need to ask yourself to get a clear sense of what it is that you are planning to sell or market in the first place. It is the first and perhaps the most important step in launching a business. Once you are confident that you have an excellent product or service on which to base your venture, you can proceed with your plan.
Next, who are your customers?
This is an extension of the previous question. Who are the people who have a need for the product or service that you are planning to offer? In order to be able to answer this question, you need to define your product or service from the point of view of a customer.
Why would someone buy your product or use your service? What are the benefits they might obtain by doing so? Once you start thinking along these lines, you should be able to clearly identify your target customer base.
The costs of starting a business
It is essential to calculate the amount of capital you need to set up your business venture and to run it for at least six months.
You need to take the following costs into account:
- Furniture and supplies
- Incorporation fees
- Business website
- Advertising and marketing expenses
Remember, it is not a prudent idea to invest a substantial amount of money into your business right at the outset. Even if you are absolutely sure that you have got a profitable business idea, it’s always prudent to start small and expand your business in a gradual manner.
Marketing, marketing, marketing
Once you have set up a business venture you need to market it aggressively. Marketing is the process which allows you to connect with your customer base. It is one of the most important aspects of building a successful business venture.
Here are some of the steps that you can take to market your products and services effectively:
- Build a top-notch business website. It is your calling card in the virtual world. It should clearly explain who you are, what you offer, and how your products or services can benefit the customers.
- Start a blog. It is a fun way to connect with your customer base, share your thoughts with them, and keep them updated of the latest happenings in your field.
- Set up an account with Google My Business. Add a call to action (CTA) and a link to your business website in your personal and business email signatures.
- Make sure you have a solid social media presence. Your business should be on all the major social networking platforms — Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, and Medium.
- Promote your business through pay-per-click ads, email marketing, article marketing, and press releases.
- Request that everyone in your social circle spread the word about your business.
- Distribute fliers in and around your neighborhood to make sure everyone knows who you are and what you do. You can also turn your car or van into a mobile billboard with vehicle wraps.
- Offer your products or services free of cost to prominent bloggers and online influencers and request that they post a review on their social media accounts.
Add value to your products and services
Customers always appreciate businesses that go out of their way to add more value to the products and services they offer. Make sure you offer something that your competitors do not.
Here is how you can do it:
- Make sure your products or services are of exceptional quality. Never compromise on quality for the sake of increasing your profit margin.
- Make sure your products are delivered in a timely manner.
- Make it easier for your customers to contact you any time they want. Lack of reliable customer service can turn customers away, even if your products and services are of the highest quality.
- Respond to the queries and complaints from your customers and resolve them as quickly as possible.
- Offer special discounts and exclusive offers for your loyal customers and encourage them to refer people to your business.
Set goals and be committed to achieving them
Set a number of short-term and long-term goals and work towards them. The thrill of achieving a goal, no matter how minor it is, can motivate you to aim higher and shoot for the stars.
In case you are not able to achieve a goal, do not get disheartened. Instead, analyze the situation, find out why you were not able to achieve the goal, revise your strategy and try again.
Remember, as a retiree you have an advantage over young people who are starting a business for the first time. You already know what it is like to set an ambitious goal and achieve it.
You have the work ethic, determination and patience required to succeed at the highest level in a given field.
S, start working on building a successful business, embrace the challenges along the way, then you will inevitably achieve your goals.