There are many reasons you would want to start your own business. Maybe you look at the jobs market and read the specifications, but nothing seems to speak to you. Perhaps you have an undying entrepreneurial spirit and want to show it to the world. You may simply want something so you can work from home and make money online.
You probably have many ideas and are ready to focus all your efforts on one of them. When getting ready to start a business, there are many things you need to consider. Here are some tips and advice for you to think about.
What Inspires You?
The first thing you need to have is the spark of inspiration. When you are coming up with the idea, think about other companies that may do the same thing to hone your concept in your mind.
It may be worth brainstorming your initial thoughts. From the mass of initial ideas and tangent you come up with, you'll begin to form some sort of coherent thread.
Once you see a narrative coming together, and things fall into place, you will notice the possibilities.
Talk About it
It is good to speak to friends, family, and other business owners about your idea and gather their opinions. Other people can help you identify weak areas and offer solutions.
If you know any other entrepreneurs, they would be a great advantage to you at this stage. They can warn you about any pitfalls and give you information based on years of experience.
Ensure you have a pen a paper with you and write down anything of interest. If all the people you speak to say something similar to each other, it's an indicator of flaws in your business idea.
Above all, though, if the idea is received positively, you may be onto a winner. And if they become as passionate as you are, that should give you the confidence to go forward with the plan.
Keep Things Simple
When you are in the inventing and creating phase of the idea, the temptation can be to include too much. If you have inspired friends and family, you may all be talking about all the things you could do, and in doing this, you are adding more and more complications and difficulties into the initial concept.
It's essential to consider the big picture, and although some of the ideas and plans you come up with may seem like a good idea, it is probably better to leave them until you have a business that is well underway.
When you were in the initial forming of the concept, you probably did a little research. However, once you have a much better idea of the business, you need to do a much more in-depth analysis.
First off, is there a market out there for what you are proposing? If there is, is the market already over-saturated? You need to think about what your USP (unique selling point) is. Think about your competitors and how you will do things differently and better.
What problem in the real world is your business idea looking to solve? It may be a good idea to discuss your proposal with potential customers. What are they looking for? What do they want? Reach out to experts in your particular line of business and ask for their advice.
Another thing you could do is join any relevant online forums. They can offer insights into the potential costs and logistics, etc.
You need to give a lot of thought about your target market, too, as this will become especially important when it comes to marketing.
Write a Business Proposal
The most important step is to create a business plan. It doesn't matter on the size and scale of the business, because a plan will help you identify areas you need to improve on. It will force you to think at all aspects and will help you iron out any potential pitfalls and hazards.
Writing a business proposal is crucial if you will pitch the idea to a bank or a group of investors to get the funding you need to start the business.
You will need to create cost analyses and projections and create a fully comprehensive strategy going forward. It will help you see where all the weaknesses are in your proposal and where you need to do a little more research.
Make it Legal
Ok, so you have the proposal, you have the capital, and you want to get going. You need to think about the type of business you are so you can register the company. Are you a sole trader, or will it be a Limited Liability Company, for example?
It is good to practice to look at the advantages and disadvantages of the business structures available. It may be worth your while speaking to a lawyer and an accountant too. There are the added parts of looking after staff, taxes and meeting legal requirements.
Name and Branding
To register the business, you will need a company name. Here's your chance to get creative and choose something that will speak to your customer base.
If your business is fun, think of something quirky and catchy. Corporate companies tend to take a more serious tone, and the branding needs to match. Think about logos and catchphrases for the company, and how it will look online and on paper.
No business is complete without marketing. Without this, no matter how great an idea you have, it will not get off the ground. You need to ensure first that you have a great website with relevant keywords to maximize your visibility on search engines.
As a small business, you should begin marketing locally before thinking about global domination. Building a social media presence will help you reach a wider audience, but it's important to post consistently.
Concentrate on getting your name out to the people that will benefit from the service you're offering and develop content with the audience in mind. It may be an idea to speak to a content marketing agency to help you with marketing.
The Bottom Line
Starting a business can be very rewarding, but planning is vital for your success. Fundera states that 20% of companies fail in their first year, and 50% cease to exist after five years.
The fact is, with perseverance and dedication, anyone can start a business. Keep your focus on the long-term goals you set and never forget that your customers come first.