Small Business
Jun 7, 2024

How To Run A Business [Tools, Processes & More]

From working on something you’re passionate about to being your own boss, running a business can be a rewarding experience.

However, launching your first business venture can feel intimidating and overwhelming.

Here’s what you need to know about how to run a business. You’ll learn about the most viable business niches, the business launching process, and the best resources to use.

Can One Person Run a Business?

A majority (81.7%) of small businesses don’t have employees.

However, it’s realistic to plan on running your small business by yourself, as long as you have the right skills and experience to manage multiple processes.

Not having employees doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. For 90% of small businesses, outsourcing is a cost-effective alternative to hiring.

Why Should You Run a Business?

Did you know there were over 5 million applications for new businesses in 2022?

Entrepreneurship is growing at a steady pace. Here’s why people choose to launch businesses instead of following a more traditional career path.

Control Over Your Work

Running a business means you can set your own goals and focus on the things that matter to you.

Your career doesn’t depend on decisions made by a team of executives, and you don’t have to conform to values and practices you might not agree with.

It Can Really Pay Off

From a financial point of view, entrepreneurship can be a lucrative career move.

Many small businesses struggle at first, but the profits from a successful business venture can exceed the salary an employer would pay you.

You Can Challenge Yourself

Beyond financial considerations, it’s crucial to find a job that feels meaningful and engaging.

For many Americans, entrepreneurship is a way of challenging themselves and becoming the best version of themselves.

To Follow Your Passion

Launching a business in a niche you’re passionate about can be life changing.

However, the truth is that your dream job might not exist, so why not create it yourself?

To Help the World

You can have a significant impact as a small business owner. For example, you can launch a product or service that makes a positive difference for a community or choose to give away a portion of your profits to support a cause you care about.

For the Tax Benefits

There are some tax benefits associated with launching a business. You can deduct varied expenses, including operational costs, business travel, health insurance, or retirement plan contributions. The IRS also allows you to deduct up to $5,000 in business startup costs.

Can Running a Business Make You Rich?

There are success stories of entrepreneurs who came up with the next big thing and revolutionized their industry.

But, unfortunately, some business owners also strike gold by selling their startups or patents to major corporations.

Launching a business can be profitable, but it’s important to remember that 20% of small businesses fail during their first year.

How Hard Is It to Actually Start a Business?

From a legal point of view, launching a business is easy. You can create an LLC by filling out a few forms and becoming a business owner in weeks.

However, there are some obstacles to consider when starting a business.

You’ll have to invest time and effort into this project, find a way to connect with an audience that isn’t familiar with your business yet, and generate a profit.

The level of difficulty varies depending on your project. For instance, entering a saturated market with limited resources will be more challenging than launching a business with a value proposition that addresses an unmet need.

Which Business Is Best for Beginners?

The internet and digital transformation have made entrepreneurship more accessible than ever.

If you’re looking for simple business ideas that you can launch by yourself on a small budget, these digital business models are worth considering.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping consists of selling products without maintaining an inventory. As you generate sales, you’ll send orders to a shipping supplier.

You can launch a dropshipping business with few upfront costs since you won’t have to acquire inventory.

As more businesses adopt this model, the dropshipping market could grow to $476 billion by 2026.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another viable business model that doesn’t require you to maintain an inventory.

With this model, you’re sharing affiliate links from brands and retailers and earning a commission for each sale.

Selling Digital or Physical Products

Retail is a strong sector, with $262 billion in sales during Q4 2022.

However, as a small business owner, you can stand out by offering unique products or curating a selection of products with a specific niche in mind.

Software

Becoming a software reseller is a smart move if you have a background in IT.

You can add value thanks to your unique expertise, and delivering digital products means you don’t have any costs linked to managing an inventory or shipping products.

Which Is the Easiest Business?

These easy business ideas are ideal if you have limited work experience or want an activity you can start as a part-time occupation while you keep your job.

Selling on eBay

With 3 billion monthly visits, eBay is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms.

Many successful entrepreneurs sell their products on eBay since the platform makes it easy to connect with your target audience via the search feature.

Dog Walking

Pet ownership went up during the pandemic. Now that most pet owners are back to work, they tend to spend more on their animals.

There is a need for services like dog walking, and it’s a business venture that doesn’t require any specific work experience. Working with animals can also make this business model enjoyable.

House Painting

House painting is a service you can offer with some inexpensive equipment and limited experience. If you enjoy working outdoors, it could be an excellent business idea for you.

Online Coaching

Are you ready for a career change? You can leverage your professional background and become an online coach or consultant.

It’s a business model you can also explore if you have unique personal experiences and a passion for helping people solve their problems and grow.

How to Start a Business

Launching a business is a journey. Here are some things every small business needs before you can start offering your products or services.

Come Up With an Idea

There are no successful businesses without original ideas. So your first step should be to identify a value proposition you can offer.

Once you have an idea of the kind of products or services you want to offer, you can start thinking about your business model.

Ask yourself how you will deliver the product or service, what sets you apart from other businesses in the niche, and who your target audience is.

Do Some Market Research

Now that you have an idea, it’s time to find out more about your market. Market research is crucial because it will help you determine if your idea is viable.

You should identify your main competitors, think about future growth for your market, and ask yourself whether the market is saturated.

Get Funding

Launching a business costs money.

Of course, you can cut costs by starting on a small scale and doing things yourself instead of hiring employees, but you’ll still need funding to acquire inventory, market your business, and more.

Different funding options exist, such as using your savings, applying for a small business loan, paying for expenses with a credit card, or borrowing from friends and relatives.

Get Other People to Help

Don’t hesitate to ask others for help. Friends and family can help by telling people they know about your business or by performing some simple tasks.

You can also get help from business mentors and industry experts. Find out more about your local Chamber of Commerce and consider attending events so you can meet other entrepreneurs in your area.

Register Your Business

The next step is to register your business. This process varies from one state to another.

You’ll have to figure out which business structure makes the most sense for you and fill out a few forms to officially create your business.

You should also apply for an EIN with the IRS.

Get All the Necessary Licenses

Depending on your industry, you might need some licenses to operate. For instance, you’ll need a state tax license if you sell goods or a contractor license if you offer home repairs.

In addition, you’ll typically need a license to handle food, work with dangerous substances, provide medical or legal services, and more.

Create a Website

Creating a website is one of the best ways to market a small business. The good news is that you can easily launch a website by using a site-building tool with templates and other user-friendly features.

Pick a URL that is easy to remember and that reflects your business’ name. Make your site engaging, easy to use, and mobile-friendly.

The content on your site should tell users everything they need to know about your business and include your contact information.

Get the Word Out

Now that you’ve registered your business and created a website, you can start thinking about marketing. You can use many strategies, from creating social media pages to investing in pay-per-click ads.

However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to digital marketing campaigns. Traditional methods like newspaper ads or radio ads can be an excellent way of increasing awareness for your new business at the local level.

How to Run a Business

The first year is often challenging for new entrepreneurs. These tips will help you stay on the right track.

Focus on Human Resources

As your business grows, you’ll start hiring employees. You won’t have an HR department yet, but it’s a process you should prioritize.

Learn more about HR and familiarize yourself with hiring and interviewing strategies. Then, communicate with employees and do your best to create a positive workplace.

Make Sure You Have a Cash Flow

Even if your business is successful, it can struggle due to a lack of cash flow. Cash flow refers to the money your business receives. You can improve your cash flow by taking steps to ensure customers pay you on time.

Keep Evaluating and Adjusting

Flexibility is a crucial quality. You must keep measuring results and taking action if you’re not on track to meet your goals.

During the first year of your business, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your marketing efforts to assess which channels work best.

Put Energy Into Marketing

Marketing should be a top priority for your new business. You need to increase awareness and attract new customers.

Your marketing budget might be limited, but there are many marketing tasks you can perform yourself.

For example, learn more about creating blog posts, being active on social media, and taking part in local events.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Repeat sales and word-of-mouth marketing are two things that will help your business grow.

However, the best way to get customers to come back and tell their friends about their experience is to offer outstanding customer service.

Learn How to Adapt

Things will not always go according to plan. As an entrepreneur, you need to adapt quickly. It can mean making changes to a product or service package, changing your distribution model, or pivoting to connect with a new niche.

Get Your Problem-Solving Skills Down

You’ll run into unforeseen issues when launching your business. Approach each new problem with a positive mindset and look for a creative solution.

Build Your Network

A strong network can be an asset for your business. Attend professional events, reconnect with old colleagues, and engage with your customers. You never know who will be able to help you.

How to Run a Business From Home

You can cut costs by launching a home business. Here is what you need to know about this popular business model.

Create and Follow Your Business Plan

Starting a business plan should be your first step. First, identify a business idea and outline how you will offer your products or services.

Keep Your Costs Low

You need a detailed budget for your home business. Then, you can reduce costs by doing things yourself, leveraging technology, or outsourcing instead of hiring.

Find Other People for Your Team

Bring in some helpers. You can first ask friends and family for help, but hiring an assistant is a key step to help your business grow.

Use Helpful Communication Tools

Identify the best way to connect with your audience. It can be social media, videos, a podcast, or a local channel.

How to Run a Small Business

These tips will help your small business grow regardless of your business model.

Use the Right Tools

With so many business apps and products to choose from, choosing the right tools can be overwhelming. Instead, take the time to assess your needs and budget to invest in solutions supporting your business goals.

Employ Great People

You can’t grow without a team of great employees. Ask yourself which core values employees should share and look for motivated people who believe in your mission.

Focus on Customer Service

Customer service should be a priority. Communicate with your audience, offer to make things right, and focus on offering quality products and services.

Your customers will make repeat purchases and tell their friends about your business if you offer memorable experiences.

Stay Ahead of the Competition

Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and find ways to differentiate yourself. For instance, you can stand out with a unique product, excellent online reviews, or personalized experiences.

Choose Pricing Wisely

Many customers comparison shop before buying something. Keep track of the pricing strategies used by your competitors and look for ways to offer attractive prices.

If you can’t beat a competitor’s price point, focus on something unique you can offer.

Keep an Eye on Your Long-Term Goals

What is your long-term plan for your business? Do you want to extend your product offering, open a second location, or win more market shares?

Set some concrete long-term goals and take weekly or monthly steps to achieve them.

Best Resources to Learn How to Run a Business

There are plenty of paid resources and freebies to take advantage of when launching a business.

The following resources will help you learn more about entrepreneurship and prepare you to launch a business.

How to Run a Business Books

These books will teach you some valuable business strategies.

The Industries of the Future

Not sure what kind of business you should launch? The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross takes a look at emerging technologies and new business models.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

This compelling book looks at how things become popular. It’s a great read for generating word-of-mouth marketing.

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point is an intriguing read that looks at how trends become social phenomena. The three rules of epidemics could help you find a winning business model.

The Entrepreneur Mind

Learn how to think like an entrepreneur. This engaging book from K. Johnson explores what sets successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg or Kevin Plank apart from the rest.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a must-read. It’s a classic self-help book filled with great financial advice. It will help you get your personal finances in order, but it’s also a great introduction to managing a business budget.

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek will change the way you think about work. This self-help book from T. Ferriss explains how you can prioritize tasks and outsource to reduce your workload.

The Personal MBA

Not everyone has a college degree. So you can think of the Personal MBA as a crash course covering business strategy basics.

Lean Business Planning: Get What You Want From Your Business

With Lean Business Planning, T. Berry teaches you about business planning. You’ll learn about setting realistic goals, tracking results, and developing a long-term business plan.

How to Run a Business Course

Online classes are another great way to learn about business launching and running.

They’re more comprehensive than books, and some courses include projects that will help you practice the different aspects of running a business.

Udemy Business

Udemy offers thousands of business courses. A subscription will give you access to various courses covering everything from sales to tech. Plus, you can give your employees access to these courses to help them grow.

Stanford Online Entrepreneurship Course

Stanford’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program is a comprehensive course with over 90 hours of material. It’s a great fit if you’re looking to launch a disruptive business.

Harvard Business School Business Analytics

Analytics is a valuable tool for measuring results, identifying trends, and making data-driven decisions.

This Business Analytics Program from Harvard is one of the best online courses for learning about analytics.

Google Skillshop Advance Your Business

Google products like Google Ads, Google My Business, or the Google Marketing Platform can help you connect with your audience online.

Became an expert and get the most out of these different tools with the courses offered by Google.

Business Strategy from Wharton

Wharton’s Business Strategy course will teach you how to make sound business decisions and identify unique opportunities. You’ll acquire the skills you need to create a strategic business plan for success.

Coursera Foundations of Business Strategy

This Foundations of Business Strategy course offered on Coursera is a popular option among entrepreneurs.

You’ll learn about SWOT analysis, strategy maps, market research, and much more. It takes around nine hours to complete, and it’s great for beginners.

Wrap Up

Entrepreneurship is a journey. As you prepare to launch a business, you’ll have to go through different stages, including educating yourself about entrepreneurship and business strategy, creating your business plan, securing funding, and more.

After reading this article, you should have a better idea of what launching a business entails. Let us know what you think in the comments or tell us if you have any questions!

We wish you the best on your entrepreneurship journey and hope you’ll apply this advice to create a successful business model.