Path to Starting Your New Windshield Repair Business
Starting a new business can seem like a daunting task, so here are 7 steps that will put you well on your way to a successful start-up. Take your time and work through each step:
Step 1: Do your Research
Once you’ve come up with you business idea, you will need to do some initial research before moving forward. Think of this as a validation process for your idea. GT Tools® has already performed some of the market validation for the Windshield Repair Market for you, but you will need to know:
Are there other companies offering similar products/services now?
What is the competition like?
How will your specific business idea fit into your local (or global) market?
Step 2: Write a One-Page Business Plan
This document will serve as a blueprint, guiding you from start-up to profitability. Before launching into developing an extremely robust plan that accounts for every single contingency that you could think of, take a step back and consider these questions:
Vision Statement – What are your hopes and dreams for the business? What are you building, how large do you see the business becoming, will you sell the business for a profit down the road?
Business Overview/Mission – How do you intend to achieve your vision? This includes the specific service(s) you will provide, your target market, you unique selling proposition and how you will provide your services.
Pricing Strategy – How will your business be profitable? Determine how much you will charge and how this pricing structure will be competitive enough to attract potential customers, but high enough to generate a profit after subtracting expenses.
Promotion – How are you going to get the word out to customers about your services? Marketing channels, marketing materials
Objectives – What will you accomplish by a specific date and how will you measure your success? E.g. Gain 50 repeat customers in the first 6 months of operation, etc.
Action Plans – What smaller tasks do you need to complete to accomplish your objectives? Break down each of your objectives into the smaller steps needed to accomplish them, and assign dates you will complete them by.
Step 3: Decide on a Budget and Get Funding
Starting a business doesn’t always require a huge amount of up-front money, but you will need some sort of initial investment. Try to think of one-time startup costs as well as other expenses you may need to keep your business running for the first year.
Some startup costs may include: Licenses and Permits, Equipment, Legal Fees, Insurance, Branding (logos, business cards, etc), and Inventory.
Some initial expenses in your first year may include: monthly rent, utilities, production costs, marketing, travel expenses, and employee/your salaries.
This exercise will give you a basic idea of how much money you will need initially. There are many ways to fund your business such as financing, small business loans/grants, angel investors, crowdfunding, or a combination of any of the above.
Step 4: Choose a Business Structure
Your business can be set up as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation. GT Tools® recommends you consult a CPA or your local state secretary’s office to determine which structure would work best for your business.
Step 5: Register your Business Name & Domain Name
Your business name is going to play a role in almost every facet of your future. Check to see if it is trademarked or already in use, and then register it with the state or county clerk (if a sole proprietor). Corporations, LLCs, or limited partnerships will register their names when the business formation paperwork is filed.
Once you pick your business name, find a website domain name that works best for your business and register it as well.
Step 6: Choose your accounting and customer management systems
Systems are key to running an effective business and this starts with an accounting system to manage your budget, sell your products or services, and file your taxes. In many cases, your accounting system will also contain a module to help you manage your customer base.
Step 7: Start marketing and growing your business! Read our next article to learn how to market your New Business.
Get your first 50 Customers
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