7 Questions When Starting a Small Business in 2022

You’ve decided to finally take the plunge and launch your own business. Congrats! Perhaps you’ve had a shift in priorities these past few years and want to work for yourself. Or maybe you’re determined to see your dreams actualized by opening your own company. No matter the reason, 2022 is an exciting time to build your business. 

Before you start trademarking your company name or curating the perfect Instagram profile, take some time to understand the current market. Looking at everything from supply and demand, to trending brand strategies will give you a solid foundation on how your organization will fit into this post-pandemic era. Here are few questions to help get you started:

What is my offer?

Okay, this is an easy one. You know what service or products you would like to provide to your clientele. So let’s take it a step further. Perhaps you’re wanting to open your own hair salon. While your service is offering haircuts, ask yourself who you envision sitting in your chair every day. This will help you to clarify your offer, understand how you might reach your ideal audience, and set yourself up for long term success.

Why do people need my business? 

Starting a business is equal parts passion and purpose. The passion comes from what you want to give people. The purpose is what those people really need. So you may have a passion for skiing, but if you live in Austin, Texas, it may be difficult to find your ideal customer in the Lone Star state. If that’s the case, you have two options. Adapt your business plan to fit your passion, like launching an online mountain gear shop. Or mold your passion to fit your community, by opening a local “ski-lodge” themed coffee shop. Understanding both your offer and your customers’ needs will help you bridge passion with purpose. The result? A fulfilling venture that meets the demands of your community.

How do I make it official? 

Once you’re crystal clear on your passion and purpose, it’s time to make it official. Before you jump into filing any paperwork, think about where you envision your business going in the next five years. Does an LLC make sense or should you opt for a C-corp? Thinking about the future will help you understand how to best register your business now. 

How will I get paid? 

The ways we exchange money have evolved over the past few years (particularly since adapting to the pandemic challenges). Many businesses – large and small – have gone paperless. So you’ll want to make sure you have a trusted card reader for all your credit and debit card transactions. However, Covid-19 also saw a rise in social-based payment platforms being used in professional settings. Through the era of social distancing, many people turned to apps like Venmo and CashApp to maintain their business while minimizing direct contact. While safety precautions have evolved since 2020, those platforms have stuck around. If you’re going to consider using social-payment apps for your organization, make sure to account for them in your financial and tax plan as well. 

How can I scale over time? 

Starting a business is all about taking calculated risks. Now that you’ve made the initial leap into entrepreneurship, take an honest look at what is working and what’s not. It’s all a learning process. When it comes to scaling, get clear on where you’re progressing, where you’d like to grow, and what roadblocks may come up along the way. The people you work with make all the difference when it comes to scaling your company. As you add team members, consider what systems they’ll need in place to succeed. Perhaps you’re turning your personal baking business into a local cafe. Getting clear about the onboarding process, roles, and responsibilities of your staff will create a solid foundation for long-term business growth.

How can I build a team?

 Just as the pandemic shifted the ways we get paid and interact with customers, it has also changed how we connect with our team. It’s no secret that zoom meetings have become the new normal. But as you launch your new organization, consider how you can foster connections with your team in the digital space. Maybe you integrate quarterly community-building activities, or initiate a simple check-in at the start of meetings. Taking that extra step will help you bridge the virtual gap in 2022. 

What else should I consider for 2022? 

Many founders had to shift their entire business model to accommodate these unexpected changes in the past few years. Hindsight is our friend in 2022. This next era of entrepreneurship includes embracing the digital space. For some, this may be a direct opportunity. For example, fashion retailers add recent collections to their website and ship directly to customers. However, service-based businesses may have to get creative with their online-approach. While personal trainers could offer virtual workouts, dog grooming services may want to focus on connecting with pet owners via social media. That way their relationships in the digital world, with the goal of meeting in person. 

When it comes to starting a small business in 2022, it’s all about embracing the changes that came earlier this decade and letting them inspire your work moving forward.

Taylor Lhamon