New Year, New Business:  Essentials for Starting a Business in 2021

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to start a business in 2021? If so, congratulations! Although the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause uncertainty in the global economic outlook, now is an excellent time to start a new venture. In fact, recessions are great times to launch a business.  

Of course, before you dive head first into the deep end, there are a few things every early-stage business needs to do in order to set themselves up for success. Here are a few things that are essential to starting a business in 2021, or just about any time really.  

A Business Plan 

The old adage about failing to plan is planning to fail is just as true for starting a business as it is for anything else in life. It’s not like you’re just putting up a table and selling lemonade in front of your house on a hot summer day. A business plan can help you refine your vision for your business, understand your potential customers, and develop a roadmap for how you will reach and convert customers.  

But what goes into a business plan? There are a few items that are extremely important, including: 

  • A basic business description 
  • A mission and/or vision statement 
  • Persona profiles of each of your target customers 
  • A market analysis and/or a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) 
  • A description of your business model, along with financial projections; i.e. how you will make money and how much you expect to make 
  • An outline of your marketing plan 
  • A timeline of milestones and goals 

Of course, there are other items you might want to include in your plan, but these are the main items you’ll want to include. 

A Strong Brand Identity 

Clients don’t buy products or services. They buy benefits. And what benefits them must be reflected in your brand identity.  

Your brand identity is far more than just a logo. It’s the entire look and feel of your business, but also what emotions and feelings your brand inspires. A brand identity should include and reflect your company values, your brand personality (i.e. what your brand would be like if it was a person), and your brand voice (i.e. how your brand sounds). Most importantly, your brand identity needs to clearly communicate what makes your company unique. Pulling all these things together into a single document will dramatically improve how you talk to your customers, how you talk about yourself, and how well you win new customers.  

All the Licenses and Permits 

In almost every country around the world, businesses require a license to operate. Running your business without one can get you into trouble with the tax authorities in your country later on, particularly if you’re successful.  

What’s more, depending on your industry, you may need to obtain an additional permit to operate. This is common in highly regulated industries, such as those dealing with health and safety issues or the environment.  

The bottom line is that you must research—and obtain—all the pertinent licenses and permits before officially launching your business. This will help prevent a lot of administrative headaches as your business grows.  

A Website and Other Marketing Collateral 

These days, it’s nearly impossible to have a business without a website or any marketing collateral. After all, the internet is an essential part of our everyday lives now, and most people turn to it as a first step to finding any services or products they need.  

Additionally, you’ll need to develop marketing collateral, such as product or service descriptions and brochures (digital only these days), catalogues (if you sell products), whitepapers, case studies (if applicable), and other items that you can share with prospective clients in an effort to convince them to do business with you.  

Lastly, it’s essential to have a strong, branded social media presence these days. Setting these up at the start is important even if you’re not ready to use them as a sales and marketing channel. This will allow you to claim your online space with your company name before someone else comes along and snatches it up.  

If you’re starting a new business in 2021, Thankz can help! We have all the freelancers and remote workers resources you need to get any of the above items completed. Sign up now for an employer account, or try our Concierge Service and we’ll find the talent for you!