Boss Lady

The 3 Key tips to launch a business this year


The year is in full swing, and while resolutions made at the start of the year may have come and gone, setting goals should be a top priority as the year unfolds. Goal setting is key to personal and professional growth regardless of job type or industry. For business owners, goals might be increasing sales or customer engagement by a certain percentage. For others, it might be taking their interest or passion and turning it into a business initiative.

If you’re a first-time or aspiring entrepreneur looking to launch and grow your business in 2020, know that although starting a business can be an intimidating and confusing process, there are plenty of resources available—and tips to keep in mind—that will help you get started on the right foot. 

Partner with experts

My first overarching tip is to work with a partner company that can guide strategic decision-making and help streamline business processes. Leveraging a professional service can help you not only start your business, but also manage and grow it. Engaging a partner—not just any partner, but the right partner for your company and business needs— can take the guesswork out of starting a business and help with everything from developing a business plan to creating an online presence and even collecting payments. Consider these examples:

  • Strategic business plan development: Work with your partner company to create a strong business plan. This must be the first step for every aspiring small business owner, as a business will not be successful long term without a strategic plan. This is your “north star” and will help you organize ideas, set priorities and keep your decisions focused on achieving goals. Overall, a comprehensive plan makes it easier to manage your business. Working with a partner company that offers a business planning tool will help ensure you include all the necessary considerations to write an effective plan.
  • Establish an online presence: If you’re not tech savvy—which most of us aren’t at the start—work with your partner to create a website. One of the first things small businesses should do is create a professional website, as having a digital presence is non-negotiable for small businesses today. Having a well-designed and maintained website gives small business owners an opportunity to attract new customers, showcase their products and services to a wide audience and garner credibility online. After that, small businesses should establish a social media presence, starting with, and specifically focusing on the channels where their customers and potential customers are most active—it’s key to post on a regular, consistent basis. 

Learn what to outsource

While you can (and should) work with a partner at every stage of your business journey, learn your areas of expertise and outsource tasks that are outside your purview. As you likely know, running a business requires more than just having a specific skillset or passion. Small business owners often wear many different hats – from accountant to marketer – and all too often are held back because of a lack of time, resources or knowledge. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Small business owners shouldn’t be afraid to outsource tasks to experts or bring in specialist expertise, especially in the early stages. Identify any weaknesses and find a partner that can fill those gaps. In the long-run, this could have a significant impact on the bottom line by allowing you to focus on where you thrive.

Identifying—and capitalizing on—your competitive advantage

In addition to working with a partner and strategic outsourcing, it’s important to embrace your small size. Leverage your small business status as a key differentiator to gain a leg up on your competition. Small businesses can move faster, make decisions quicker and get to know their customers on a more personal level than big-box retailers. Customers still value the personal connection they have with businesses. When starting a business, look for opportunities to create a more personalized experience and you’ll build a loyal customer base for years to come.

Making this year count

If “start a business” is on your year’s goal list—or if it’s been on your list of goals for years and has seemed unachievable—make this your year. Turning your interests into business operations does not have to be a daunting or confusing process. Working closely with a partner company can make a significant difference. Rather than viewing your status as a small business (or future small business) as a disadvantage over larger retailers, capitalize on your small size and do what big corporations can’t—establish personal, meaningful relationships with your customers. 2020 is the perfect time to turn your passion into a business initiative, and following a few core best practices can help achieve this goal.

About Maria Melo

As a senior business advisor at Yahoo Small Business, Maria Melo has been working with new and established eCommerce merchants for over 20 years to help them grow their businesses. Maria has also spent over 14 years working with her family in their brick and mortar retail store and is part owner of her own retail wine shop with her brother and sister.

Recommended for you