6 Steps to Business Success
At Alpha Dog Advertising we are proud to partner with some of the regions most influential entrepreneurs and help them strategically build their visions into a successful, thriving brand. Helping our clients realize their revenue potential is the reason we exist.
Alpha Dog Advertising was once just an idea, similar to the ideas that our entrepreneurial clients initially share with us. Our agency is the result of the “I believe there is a better way to…” attitude of our President, Craig Trout. After years of corporate marketing, he decided to open a strategic positioning firm that would create strong marketing positions for brands to build an identity that differentiates them from their competition.
Since 2009, we are still leading brands to better revenue with innovative strategies that empower our clients to build a successful business they take pride in.
Now that starting your own business sounds like a great new adventure, let’s discuss “looking before you leap.” Here are six key steps to take before you make the plunge…
1. Make time to plan
We all have great ideas, however that doesn’t mean we should all start our own grilled cheese food trucks or sky diving schools. A business plan with financial objectives will help you focus your dream into an obtainable project. Your business plan, like your idea, will evolve, so keep your plan up to date – adapting it as needed to help you realize your end goals.
2. Who needs it?
Define your audience. Is there actually a market to support your new business venture? For example, is it viable for yet another coffee shop to thrive in your downtown area when four are within walking distance of the college, transportation hub and shopping district? Take an in-depth look into the demographics of your target market – contact your local Chamber of Commerce to get a better sense of the businesses in your area and possible competition.
3. Show me the money
Figuring out how much it will cost to kick start your idea is one of the most important steps to success. As part of your business plan, account for living expenses and how you will survive through those beginning stages of your startup. Your business plan should also include a marketing budget and will be paramount when speaking to financial lenders and persuading investors to feel as confident about your project’s potential as you do. Financial institutions and investors want the reassurance that their money will yield a positive return on investment.
4. Support system
Invest time not only in making your dream a reality but in those who support your endeavor. Having a solid foundation of family and friends will help you through the many challenges you may encounter and will also encourage you to keep pressing forward with your idea.
5. Get your license
Depending on the industry, you will need one, if not multiple business licenses and permits to open your business. Each state has different requirements – you can contact SBA – Small Business Administration, www.sba.gov/licenses-and-permits to begin the process. You will also need an EIN – Employer Identification Number, www.irs.gov. This will allow you to separate yourself from your business, and help you avoid giving out your social security number.
6. Build your brand
You had an idea, developed a business plan with a marketing budget, acquired finances and got the government’s go ahead, now what? Now – develop your brand! This is our area of expertise. We will create a brand identity that will showcase and promote the unique strengths of your business to your target audience. You have come this far, now let us help you make your dream a success!