Tips to help you start a small business in NYC
Starting a small business can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time running one or you’re trying to succeed in a more competitive environment like The Big Apple.
Many entrepreneurs often underestimate how hard it is to actually run a business. Aside from making sure your business makes revenue, there are so many components you’ll need to keep an eye on when starting a business:
- Compiling business plans and strategies
- Managing team morale
- Innovating to meet changing consumer needs
- Complying with business requirements
- Maintaining the same level of passion and dedication even when things seem bleak
And a whole lot more!
Now, we aren’t trying to discourage you from pursuing your lifelong passion. It’s important, though, that you at least have a basic understanding of what it takes to run a successful business, especially if you’re starting one in New York.
The competition is intense. After all, who wouldn’t be tempted to set up shop in a bustling city filled with a diverse demographic of consumers and be at arm’s length from collaborating with some of the most established entrepreneurs in the country?
So, what is the secret formula to building a successful enterprise? While success is never guaranteed, it pays to have all the help you can get.
In this article, we’ll share some tips to help you start a small business in NYC.
1. Know your limitations
The goal of every business is to make a sustainable income. However, it’s also important that you, as a budding entrepreneur in a big-ticket city, don’t throw all your eggs in one basket.
Truth is, only a select number of people have the financial resources, business acumen, and business model to flourish from the jump.
Before you iron out the other nitty-gritty aspects of your business, you’ll need to be aware of how much you’re willing to risk to reach your business goals.
You should always have definitive answers to the following questions before moving forward:
- How much are you willing to spend for your business that avoids risking your family’s future?
- Will you have the courage to step outside your comfort zone?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- How many hours will you be prepared to work every day to reach your goal?
- Will your business model solve a need or scarcity in the current market?
- What is your business’s unique selling proposition (USP)?
By being aware of your limitations from the get-go, you give yourself and your business more time to grow and improve – you realize your strengths and weaknesses, know when to take risks, and become a better leader.
2. Know your competitors
You’ve already taken a huge risk leaving your regular paychecks in pursuit of a bigger dream.
While knowing your limitations is important, knowing who you’ll be going up against is another factor you shouldn’t keep on the back burner when starting up your small business.
In a high-income area like New York, consumers are always looking for a product that has the opportunity to make their lives more convenient, even if it means having to spend more.
To be successful in becoming the chosen brand in your niche, the plan is simple. You’ll need to outperform your competitors.
There are plenty of ways you can look into your competitors’ strategies. It can be through visiting their physical store or even online. There are plenty of SEO tools you can use that will help you uncover your competitors’ different marketing strategies.
Once you’ve gathered relevant information, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to remodel your entire business to mimic one of your competitors; keeping a watchful eye on the competition gives you a better opportunity to understand the strengths and gaps of your business, stay up-to-date on the latest needs of customers, and motivate you to put your best foot forward in order to innovate.
3. Seek help from others
While you may never find anyone that can match your passion to grow your business, you will eventually need some help along the way if you want your business to be successful.
Running a business will present different challenges… Trying to solve all of them yourself will take more time out of your day and potentially lead you to burnout.
There are different ways you can seek help from others – you can hire a team and delegate some of the tasks, have a support system, or apply for a loan from a bank to make it easier for you to grow your business.
You can also seek help from a mentor. While this is not a requirement for running a business, having an experienced business pro in your corner could help you save a lot of time and resources.
You may not notice it, but in all the different stages of our lives, we’ve always had a mentor. When we were young our mentors were our parents, as we grew older some of our mentors turned out to be teachers, coaches, or even friends.
A good mentor can make all the difference in the growth of your enterprise. They can share their past experiences, increase your number of connections, offer encouragement, and provide a different perspective on certain aspects of your business.
Although you have the power to choose your own mentor(s), you should also make sure you’re choosing the right one. You don’t need to go for broke and spend on a famous mentor in your niche.
Here are some questions to consider when choosing the right mentor:
- Is your mentor happy working in your niche or are they just interested in the income?
- Does he/she have the time to accommodate your queries?
- Is that mentor someone you look up to or respect?
- Can he/she guide you to reach your business goals?
- Will he/she challenge you?
As the famous investor and businessman Daymond John once said: “Mentors, by far, are the most important aspects of businesses.”
Stepping outside of your comfort zone will never be a seamless adjustment, especially when it comes to running any form of business.
It will take patience, research, and an undying passion to innovate your business to meet customer needs that will increase your chances of netting positive returns.
To help you on your journey to starting your own business in the state of New York, here’s what you need to do:
- Understand state licensing and permits
- Apply for an insurance fund
- Get support from NYS Small Business Development Center or the NYS Empire State Development