How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business

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1 MINDBODY WHITE PAPER How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 1

2 If you re thinking of opening a business, the numbers are in your favor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 75% of small businesses make it through their first year, and 69% survive the first two years. 1 How can you set yourself up for similar success? Follow these initial steps and you ll be well on your way to celebrating your first anniversary. MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 2

3 Make a plan Entrepreneurs who prepare a business plan are twice as likely to be successful, attract investors and qualify for loans. 2 But your success is only as good as your research. When writing a business plan, you ll want to include realistic goals over a given period of time and establish a solid method for tracking progress. Create an itemized budget of your anticipated expenses and leave room for unforeseen costs. The more detail you include, the more prepared you ll be. You ll also want to research your competition. Drive around their neighborhood, peruse their online sites and, if possible, visit their physical location. It s important to learn what your competition is already doing (the services they offer, amenities they provide, etc.) so you can make informed decisions about how to position your business and what products and services to offer. Uneasy about writing a business plan? Hire a company. I used an online consulting company to write a business plan, said Chezaray Wade, owner of Evolve Dance & Fitness. It really helped me set a budget, determine operating costs and set realistic goals for my business. I used an online consulting company to write a business plan. It really helped me set a budget, determine operating costs and set realistic goals for my business. Chezary Wade, Owner of Evolve Dance & Fitness MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 3

4 Secure funding If you re like most aspiring business owners, you don t have the cash needed to cover the cost of starting a business, and borrowing money can be intimidating. Fortunately, credit conditions are constantly improving, and once you ve prepared a business plan, you ll have all the financial information needed to apply for a loan. For a detailed checklist of what you ll need during the loan process, read the U.S. Small Business Administration s 6-Step Guide on How to Get a Business Loan. Not ready to take out a loan? There are plenty of ways to finance a startup. Studies show that the majority of entrepreneurs fund themselves. 3 John and Lynn Wilbur, owners of Chi Ling Pai Academy, continued working their primary jobs to finance their martial arts school. Lynn worked full-time as a nurse for two years to help fund our business. To save money on equipment, we would frequent yard sales and thrift stores and look on Craigslist. The second-largest funding source for startups is friends and family who invest over $60 billion annually, followed by venture capitalists and angel investors. 4 A newer method of finding investment money, crowdfunding, is growing in popularity with websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe. These sites help entrepreneurs target a large number of investors online to raise money for their venture. John and Lynn have found crowdfunding helpful in raising money for their business. We are using GoFundMe to help raise money for kids who would like to train, but whose parents can t afford to send them to our academy. Lynn worked full-time as a nurse for two years to help fund our business. To save money on equipment we would frequent yard sales and thrift stores and look on Craigslist. John Wilbur, Co-owner of Chi Ling Pai Academy MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 4

5 Build a supportive network Surrounding yourself with mentors and peers is crucial to helping you objectively evaluate how well your business is doing. This group is also a great sounding board as you navigate the typical trials and errors as a new business owner. An effective network includes supportive people who can help in operational, personal and strategic ways. If you have staff, make time for them. They know a lot about what goes on in your business. Be sure to also make time for your friends, and be open to making new ones who share your interests. Everyone needs people they can trust when it comes to sharing frustrations. It s also important to decompress, and friends are great for that. The first step in building strategic relationships is making yourself available. For extroverts this won t be very difficult, but for those of you who don t gravitate toward social settings, this may be a bit of a challenge. The reality is the more you give, the more people are willing to give back. So be proactive and get involved in your community (e.g., local schools, athletic programs, community celebrations, etc.). Also introduce yourself to neighboring businesses, as they can become your greatest advocates. Being part of a community allows for great opportunities to make friends with neighboring businesses run by remarkable people. That has been a great source of knowledge and support over the years, said Becky Stone, owner of Pranava Yoga. I also utilized a business consultant to help me create effective marketing and business strategies geared specifically for yoga studios. Being part of a community allows for great opportunities to make friends with neighboring businesses run by remarkable people. That has been a great source of knowledge and support over the years. Becky Stone, Owner of Pravana Yoga MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 5

6 Invest in business management software Running a business takes a lot of work and time, but it doesn t have to overrun your life. With today s technology, there s business management software available to help you do everything from managing schedules and online booking to tracking business operations on the go to handling recurring revenue, all in one place. Good business management software will also include marketing tools to help you get the exposure you need to bring new clients your way. Here are a few ways MINDBODY business management software helps our clients: I love how easy it is for clients to see class schedules in real time. Rachel Roberts, owner of The Yoga Bar, can easily add new classes, cancel existing classes and reassign instructors on MINDBODY in a matter of seconds. Every change she makes is automatically updated and viewable by both her staff and her students. And with automated s, all her students are immediately updated when any changes are made to a class they re enrolled in. Booking online saves me and my clients so much time. With MINDBODY s gym management software, Jessica Storch no longer has to spend time managing her calendar and attendance. Once a class is booked, the schedule is updated in real time, preventing any booking conflicts. Because of real-time updates and the ability to set class sizes, all she has to do is show up and teach. MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 6

7 I love that I can do everything right from my phone. Kalysa Loren, owner of Kayos Studio, uses the MINDBODY Express app, where she can conveniently schedule appointments, send confirmations and take payments. Having the capability to now manage her business while out of the office allows her to focus on what she loves doing most: hair. It s nice to be steadily making money instead of losing it. Glenn Murphy, owner of NC Systema, experiences lower attendance during winter months, but is able to steady his income with MINDBODY s AutoPay feature that brings in recurring revenue. He s learned that a few slow months doesn t have to mean lower overall revenue. I m getting more clients because I have an app that s easy and convenient to use. Because of the MINDBODY Connect app, Nanci Newton, owner of Healing Zone Therepeutic, is no longer losing clients due to playing phone tag. New and existing clients can easily book a massage that works with their schedule, wherever they are, without the hassle of waiting for a return phone call. And new clients are regularly discovering her business because she s listed on MINDBODY Connect. MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 7

8 Research shows that more small businesses succeed than don t in their first year. To ensure your business s survival, take the time to write a detailed business plan, determine your source of funding, surround yourself with a supportive network and implement business management software that allows you to manage the day-to-day, all in one place. Discover how MINDBODY can work for your business and request a demo today at mindbodyonline.com/talk-to-a-sales-specialist ,4. MINDBODY White Paper How to Survive and Thrive When Opening a New Business Copyright 2014 MINDBODY 8

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