Tucson supports and nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit with a rich sense of community that encourages small businesses to thrive. Launching a business is no small feat, and it’s important to lean on your community and resources to ensure a successful startup.
- Create a brand. Map out how you’d like your business to appear visually and keep it consistent across channels including on your website, in your marketing and on social media. Things like a mission statement, key messages, logo, and brand colors are important pieces to include in your brand guidelines.
- Utilize templates. When it comes to starting a business, there are many forms and templates available online so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Bplans offers many free business templates for proposals, investor pitches, branding, cash flow and more.
- Prioritize legal. Investing in an attorney early on is a smart move to protect yourself from legal issues in the future, such as copyright and contractual concerns. Skipping this step can lead to detrimental consequences down the line.
- Know your finances. Read up on how to track and manage your revenues, expenses, profits, etc., or hire someone who can do it for you.
- Hire to win. While staffing your startup, look for candidates who will share your passion for success. Open minded, action oriented and a positive attitude are three traits you’ll want to check off.
- Find your audience. A majority of start-ups need to focus heavily on marketing to get the word out about their new business. At Cox, we use our social media pages to engage with customers and to provide information on new products. Consider setting aside a separate fund to invest in social and traditional marketing.
- Perfect your pitch. You want to be ready for any opportunity to sell your idea. Put together a five-minute sales pitch that will spark interest and keep it handy while networking – you never know who will be moved by it.
- Test it out. Focus groups and surveys can be lifesavers when it comes to launching anything new. Test out your product ideas, branding and messaging on target audiences to see what resonates with them most, and where you can make improvements.
- Leverage resources. Several government programs offer free assistance with business funding, advice, training, mentoring and more. The Arizona Small Business Association, BusinessUSA and Tucson SCORE are a few great places to find small business support.
- Pick a home. When selecting an office or business space, keep in mind where your potential customers are located, zoning restrictions, parking situations and competition. Nowadays, many companies are opting to be fully remote as well.
Lisa Lovallo is the Southern Arizona market vice president for Cox Communications. Reach her at email@example.com.