Do This Before Starting Your Own Business
It takes more than a single great idea, or even several, to start your own viable business that earns sustainable profits. You can set yourself up for success by taking these steps before you open your doors to the public.
Planning, Research and Development
Once you have a business concept, it’s time to research your ideas and ensure that they are viable. As you go through the planning and development phase of your idea, you should research and find the answers to several questions, including the following:
- Is there a need for the product or service that you wish to offer the public
- What segment of the market will you target?
- Which businesses are your direct competitors, and how can you differentiate yourself from them?
- Do you have the ability to obtain the financial backing to get business operations started?
As part of your planning stage, you should also look at outside research into the industry and market you wish to enter. Government journals regarding statistics, publications from associations in your target industry, and other reports that relate to your market and target audience are all sources of valuable information when you are formulating your plans.
Put it in Writing
Research shows that most of us can boost our chances of achieving our goals simply by writing them down. After you have conducted your research, you will want to write down your ideas, plans and objectives. Most lenders will require a formal business plan before they will grant financing, and one can also be required by various licensing and governing bodies, depending on your industry.
Your business plan should not only include your goals and mission statement; it should also include the results of your research into the industry, your plans on how you will obtain financing to cover start up, as well as your plans for marketing and managing operations. The important thing to remember about your business plan is that it isn’t set in stone. It’s a flexible document that’s subject to change, and which should be updated frequently to reflect changing business and market conditions.
Other Important Considerations
Once you have a business plan, your days of research, planning and development are not over, they are only beginning. You will also have several important decisions to make as you develop your final plans and preparations before opening day.
One of your most important decisions you will need to make is how best to organise your business structure. Your choices include: sole trader, partnership or limited company.
The location of your business is also of prime importance, and finding the best spot will also require research, as well as attention to legal issues such as zoning and obtaining permits. Business insurance is also not only a good idea; it may be required by your lender, or to meet any number of governing standards and regulations.
Additional considerations include research into what you will name your business and your plans on how to best use it to set yourself apart from competitors and brand your business. Branding should be a key aspect of your marketing plan, which you should also begin to research and develop at this stage. Identifying your target, setting objectives and budgets, identifying strategies and steps to achieve your marketing goals, as well as assigning roles and responsibilities, are all parts of a comprehensive marketing plan.
You will also want to learn whether or not your business name has already been used or infringes on any trademarks and patents, and then register the name of your company.
You should also ensure that you are in compliance with regulations and licensing requirements from various governing bodies before you formally begin operations.
Regardless of the size of your company, or your planned volume of sales, going into business can be a complicated undertaking, but getting things off to a good start is vital to your success. Whether you have a great idea for a new business, or just need help sharpening the focus and reach of your existing one, we can help you. Why not get in touch today and ask about our full range of business consulting services?