Congratulations!  You’ve made the commitment to be your own boss and create your own business! Now that it’s time to get to work, you might be wondering – how do I get started and how can I set myself up for success? Don’t worry.  We’ve got you covered.

Your future company’s growth and profits begin the moment you say yes to this venture. So, that’s why we put together these tips to help you in the early years of your entrepreneurial journey.

Start Small, Then Scale
When you’re just starting out, you have big goals and even bigger dreams. But try not to go in all at once, there are some major benefits to starting small. Test your ideas on a small scale, then you can build on what works well, tweak what looks promising, and discard any disasters that happen along the way. This keeps you and your business flexible, so you can really focus on what your audience wants and not be too invested in what they don’t want.

Figure Out The Work Flow
In these early stages, you will most likely be on your own, but it’s essential for you to decide if you want it to stay that way. There is a big difference between working for yourself and building a business. If your goal is to work for you, then you are doing it! And if want to create an ongoing business, you need to develop systems and methods that allow you to hire other people to do the work of the company while you plan and grow it.

Embrace Expansion
Don’t be afraid to bring on other workers—your potential for growth can skyrocket when you begin to think beyond yourself. Even plan for the silly little things – like how you will celebrate birthdays. Sure, a cake for each person makes sense if you have 10 or 20 employees, but what if you grow to 1,000, 5,000, or more? Make these decisions now so when you scale up, every detail is in place and you’re ready for growth.

Click with Your Consumers
Digital marketing has become essential, even if you’re running a local business. While you may get many customers by word of mouth, referrals, or networking, you still need a strong digital presence. Prospective clients are likely going to search for your business on the web to decide whether or not to contact you, and ultimately hire you or buy from you. So, create a professional-looking website, an email list of customers and prospects, and establish yourself on social channels that your customers frequently visit. Connecting with your customers will give you valuable insight into their buying habits and mindset.

Ditch the Doubt
Know that with every new experience, there are bound to be a few bumps. Try not to fixate on mistakes you’ve made. Every error is a discovery and making mistakes is how we learn. So, instead of dwelling on a failure, calling it bad luck, blaming the economy, other people, or yourself, make the conscious decision to move forward. If the path to your goal becomes blocked, simply look for an alternate route—and don’t stop until you find it.

Be In the Know
Continue to challenge yourself and try new things. What’s profitable now may not be in five or ten years. So, keep learning and keep your eye out for newer and better ways of doing things. What’s trending now for your customers? What new marketing tools are available or what’s coming out soon? Is there a new client base that might need your product or service? Stay in the know by following others in your industry and listening to your customers.

If you’re looking for more information about starting your own business, click here to get insight and advice from experts to help you build your brand right now. ESSENCE® + Pine-Sol™ have partnered to celebrate Black women who continue to raise the bar, set high standards and build a legacy for themselves and their communities.