You Bought A Small Business. Now What?
Congratulations! You’ve just bought your first business. This is the beginning of an exciting entrepreneurial journey with many possibilities.
Now that the process of buying a business is complete, you may feel so overwhelmed with ideas, and you’re not sure which step to take first. Careful planning and strategic thinking will be the key to getting things started on the right foot. You’ll want to be fully aware of the successes and challenges the business has already seen and use your ideas to propel the business forward.
The following is an essential checklist of steps to make this newly acquired business your own and ensure its success for years to come.
Consider Additional Funding Options
You may find all of the goals you’ve outlined in your business plan exceed your allotted budget. Buying an existing business can be costly, even if it’s a small business. If you plan to make major changes to existing processes, you’ll need to secure enough funding to make these plans happen.
There are several funding options you can consider to get on track. The first is a business loan. The purpose of a business loan is to give yourself the funds you’ll need to execute your venture. Depending on the direction you want to take your business, a loan can give you more room to allocate resources. However, once you can get your business off the ground and are more established, another great funding option is a small business line of credit to help cover costs as you make adjustments. A line of credit is a great way to limit the amount of debt and interest you accrue as you purchase necessary tools and services for your business.
Additionally, a local grant can give your new business venture a few more resources to work with, without building up any debt!
Develop an Updated Business Plan
Now is your chance to create a structure you can rely on when making those decisions to grow your small business into something greater! You can base your new business plan on the already existing one that the previous owners were using to save yourself a little bit of trial and error; but if you’re looking to revamp your product or service offerings to entice new customers, you’ll want to create a business plan of your own. When developing a business plan, these elements are the most important:
Establishing a budget will help organize your income and expenses. Leaving room in your budget can allow for new opportunities and help you prioritize current projects. This is a great way to anticipate future business expenses and ensure you’re on track to achieving internal goals.
2. Sales Goals
Setting sales goals is a method to track your progress and be a motivator to continue to grow your business. They’re also a way to measure where you should reevaluate or adjust your tactics. You can look at customer retention rates, unit sales, and your operating model to give you an idea of where you want to set your goal.
3. Marketing Plan
A marketing and business plan go hand-in-hand. Once you can identify your target market, your marketing plan will fall into place. This plan will include your strategy to get your product or service to the right audience, implement strong campaigns, and establish competitor differentiation.
4. Tax Preparations
Each industry has its own set of tax requirements. It’s essential for you to have a plan in place for your business tax preparations. This is why you should write hiring an accountant into your business plan to help you manage your business finances and ensure that things run smoothly come tax season.
5. Product/Service Offerings
To understand what your small business has to offer, you’ll need to have a product or service lineup that provides a solution to your customers. They’re coming to you to buy your product or service because they have a problem they’re trying to solve. Providing your customers with practical options will keep them coming back for more!
Whether you’re an experienced business owner or new to the entrepreneurial world, having the manpower to carry out your vision is essential to day-to-day operations. If you determine that you need to hire new employees for your business to run effectively, you’ll need to prepare yourself for the process. Here are a few ways you can prepare yourself for the new crew:
1. Recruitment Software
To find and attract the best candidates for your business needs, you should go about the process strategically. Utilizing recruitment software will ensure you not only find the best people for the job but that you can keep these candidates organized throughout the entirety of the hiring and onboarding process.
2. Job Listings and Requirements
If you have a set list of positions to add to your team, it’ll be important to lay out the responsibilities within each role. This will give potential employees an idea of what they will be applying to and what will be expected of them. Not only does this help with expectation setting, but creating well-developed job descriptions and requirements will ensure that you have all your bases covered.
3. Providing Benefits
Benefits are essential to keeping your employees happy and healthy. These could include big benefits such as medical and dental insurance, too little things like employee wellness retreats, and appreciation incentives to keep employees happy and motivated. These types of benefits are what potential employees will look for when applying for a position.
4. Hiring and Onboarding Process
Developing a strong hiring and onboarding process is crucial to ensuring that new employees have the proper knowledge they’ll need to carry out their tasks to the best of their ability. Be sure to make the onboarding process as detailed and thorough as possible so you can set your employees up for success.
Finding the right people can take time, so don’t rush into the hiring stage until you feel you’ve built a passionate team.
Market Your Business
Once you’ve built your internal team, the next step is creating an external team to make your business plan shine. To do this, marketing is essential. By creating a thorough and well-researched marketing strategy, you’ll be able to hit your sales goals and be more attentive to where you’ll need to put your resources going forward.
Making a marketing strategy doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Hire a marketing agency to help you reach the marketing goals you set up in your business plan. An external marketing team will do the work of marketing your business for you, allowing you to take a step back and let the professionals create a strategy best suited to your business needs. This way, you’ll get new customers in the door quicker and existing customers excited to return to your business.
Market Your Business Build Value for Your Business
Buying a business is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. To start your new entrepreneurial journey on a good note, ensure you have all the necessities to build a thriving business over time.
If you are interested in learning how to grow the value of your business, we’re here to help. Schedule a time to speak with our growth advisors, and download our Value Building eBook today!