It is critical to develop the clearest idea about what your business will look like to maximise every area of the business to its full potential and capacity. Before jumping into operating your business, you would first need to scope out what is required to start the business. You don’t want to make any rash decisions that can result in long term mistakes or regrets that can be detrimental to your business’ future. You aim to develop an effective strategy that will allow you to be sustainably successful. The following steps are how you can successfully get started with your own business.
- Find your niche
To initially start a business, you will need to come up with your unique business idea. Whether it is a product or service, it must be something that you are interested in, are passionate about and have relative experience or knowledge in the area to perform well. Ensure that the idea is also one that has an appeal to a target demographic. The idea must be unique or otherwise done differently from existing competitors within the market. Your idea can range from being a bakery selling unique pastries to an online education platform to a selling from a Healthy Vending Machine. Conduct research on your market and business environment. Are there any potential rivals that can steal your sales? Who is your set target market? These are all considerations that are essential to enabling the success of your business.
- Online, brick and mortar or both?
Depending on your product or service, it may be more efficient to hold your operations solely online. Products relating to technology, marketing and online resources can be managed online and even in the comfort of your own home. If your business begins to expand and require a larger number of people, you may then wish to consider finding an office location for your staff to work in. If you require a store front or factory, you would need a physical location. However, you will still need to develop a website for potential online orders, inquiries or for a way for consumers to contact you. An online website can also allow you to gain more consumers as it can increase your brand awareness through digital marketing.
- Finance your business
Have you considered where you would be accessing the funds for your business? Will you be using your own personal savings and assets or borrowing from friends or family? Or will you take out a loan? This will dependent on how much investment your business requires to initiate your operations. You would also need to consider what equipment or machinery needs to be invested and whether you will rent or purchase. If you are opening a physical location for your business, you will also require funding for leasing your premises.
- Who is your staff?
You must also consider who will you be hiring to assist you in your business. Is the work demand capable enough for you to handle the business on your own? If you do plan to hire new employees, what is your process of recruitment? Consider whether it is more efficient to outsource your non-core functions such as accounting or marketing, or otherwise the expenses can be minimised by completing such functions yourself. List down your potential suppliers and gain contacts with them. Will you be forming contracts and for how long should the contracts last for? Ensure that you undertake external research and take into account your business to determine the wages of your staff and how much you will be paying to your suppliers.
- Legal requirements
You would also need to undertake research on potential restrictions of your product or service and whether it is legal to operate. If you are deciding to establish a physical location, you must also consider area regulations and zoning. Depending on your product, you may require specific certificates or training such as food safety training course for restaurant owners.
- Write a business plan
Once you have established a clear idea of all the components for your business, you should get started on creating a business plan. This will allow you to have a record of one document that includes all the Information that has to do with running the business as well as considerations dealt prior to the commencement of the business.
No matter how experienced you are in establishing a new business, you will always need to be completely prepared with all the elements of the business to ensure that it will run smoothly. What step from the checklist have you not yet considered before starting your own business?
Also published on Medium.