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If you’ve been sitting on a dream that you’re just sure will make a great business, now could be the time to act. After all, the coronavirus pandemic has upended many aspects of the way the world works, giving you the opportunity to really dedicate some time to the formulation of a business plan. If you can spend just an hour or two working on your business each day (which you’ve probably already gained by working remotely and skipping your commute!), you could have a launch sometime in 2021.

Of course, getting your business off the ground takes a lot of hard work and careful thought. That’s why it can be helpful to read different guides to gain perspectives you may not have considered. While the items on this list are by no means exhaustive, these are some of the linchpins responsible for getting your company off the ground. Read on for three steps to take when it comes to getting your business from dream to reality.

1. Create a budget and secure funding.

Perhaps the least exciting aspect of launching a business, raising money is also one of the most important. While it’s true that you can take out Small Business Association loans or a personal line of credit in order to start your company, this can be risky to do since you don’t know how long it will take for your company to stand on its own two feet and be financially sustainable. As such, it’s good to look to alternative sources of funding, too, like venture capitalists or angel investors.

When you present to these types of investors, make sure that you have a comprehensive and clearly delineated business budget. This not only shows investors that you know where their money is going; it also illustrates that you have a strong vision for how to run your company.

2. Automate elements of your business.

When it comes to actually doing the work of your business, you might think that you need to hire a large staff of workers, particularly if you’re managing a warehouse or manufacturing products. You might need to hire upwards of one or two hundred employees to get the job done well. It’s important to consider whether or not some aspects of your business can be automated to save you money in personnel costs.

Fanuc America, for example, focuses on developing collaborative robots for manufacturing in order to help assembly lines perform a wide variety of highly technical and precise tasks. Fanuc America envisions a world where “robots directly collaborate with people, becoming a crucial part of the team.” Not only does this help your business become more productive, but it also takes more dangerous aspects of assembly — such as lifting heavy objects — and gives them to robots who can handle repetitive, physical demands without it taking a toll on them the way it would on a human. Investing in automation technology or collaborative robot technology could provide a major return by maximizing output and minimizing workman’s compensation claims.

3. Build a dynamic brand and marketing campaign.

Once you feel confident about your product and company, it’s time to create a brand and go to market. Marketing your business can take on a wide range of tasks in 2020, from handling social media channels to creating email marketing campaigns, building a website, and delivering digital and print ads across the country. As you’re just starting out, you might want to look into partnering with a full-service digital marketing company in order to handle some of this workload.

While it’s important to pick a company that has a team of experts with experience in these sorts of approaches to marketing, it’s just as crucial to find a company with a deep understanding of your needs and values. Peaks Digital Marketing, for example, is dedicated to transparent practices and a high level of customer service, meaning they’re a great fit for clients looking for a loyal, innovative, and straight-forward marketing firm to help them launch their small business.

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