May is National Small Business Month, and there’s no better time to make your dreams of opening a business a reality. Whether you’re tackling entrepreneurship for the first time or seeking to expand your small online store, we know there are many factors that go into opening up shop. That’s why we’re sharing some tips you might not have thought of yet to help start up a business.

Before you dive in, create a business plan

A business plan is more than just a document, it’s an organized road map to achieving your goals. When you’re writing your plan, include as much detail as possible. A description of your business’ mission, the products and services you’ll be offering and how you will operate are all important points to cover. And it’s not concrete either – a business plan can change and grow alongside your business.

Learn from other businesses like yours

You could view the existing businesses that operate in the same space as yours as competition – or you could see them as models for success. Pay attention to the products they’re offering, how they run their website and social media accounts and what customers seem to love about them (online reviews and comments are great resources for this). While you don’t want to copy their business model, gaining insight on what they do well will help you better understand how to run your own business.

Build a brand to remember

From a beautifully designed logo to a thoughtfully built website, having an established brand identity will make your business more memorable and help to amass potential customers. Properly utilizing social media and email marketing will allow you to showcase your brand while reaching new customers. Creating a marketing campaign that includes a combination of these elements will help you achieve success upon opening – so don’t be afraid to enlist the help of professionals.

Get to know your target audience

The truth is, your business won’t be for everyone. But that’s okay, because there’s certain to be a segment of people your business is perfect for. Knowing the traits of the customers most likely to buy your product will enable you to better communicate to these people, and eventually advertise. When you envision potential customers, think about their age, location and interests – you might even include this information in your business plan. This way, when you plan things like social media content, you’ll have a better idea of the exact type of person you’ll be talking to.

Enlist a team that you can count on

You won’t need a team of workers as you first get started, but as your business grows, you’ll likely want to have a strong support system behind you. When you interview potential employees, customize your questions to fit the role you’re hiring for and your business’ unique identity. Being meticulous in your hiring process can help you find people who genuinely care about your business’ success and want the opportunity to make a positive difference in your day-to-day operations.

Small business ownership can seem daunting, but the more you prepare for the process, the more successful you’ll be. When you feel you’re ready to take the dive, we’re here to help you too – our business banking solutions team can help you reach your goals as a business owner.

The content of this page is for informational purposes only. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. Please consult with the professionals of your choice to discuss your situation.