It’s hard not to get carried away with excitement when you think about starting your own business. Starting a business is a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it’s not as easy as setting up a table in front of your house and selling your products. There are important things you should consider before starting a business from capital to target market.
The road to setting-up your own business is no cakewalk, but you can make the road considerably less bumpy considering the following before deciding to go in.
1. Determine if the business suits you
First, choose your type of business – something that you know or at least willing to learn about. Knowing the industry you’re about to enter will give you an advantage in your business. Know people, read about best places to get suppliers, and research the current market trends. You have to know the ins-and-outs so you don’t get stunned.
2. Write a business plan
In everything, you’ve got to have a plan. It sets the direction you’re headed to and it ensures you don’t get derailed. Many businesses fail because owners jump head first without knowing the direction they’re moving. Determine your success metrics. What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to go? And most importantly, how do you get there? Have a vision and stick to it.
3. Identify the Structure of your company
Decide which type of business structure works best for you. Is it sole-trader, limited company or business partnership? Whichever your choice will have different impact on your tax, legal and financial responsibilities, and how you take profit.
4. Name your Business
You’ve got the drive and the vision. Now you need a name. You have an array of choices from simple or profound, to funny and witty. But whatever your choice is, it must embody you. Remember that the business name is more than just decoration. It also represents you as the owner and as a business entity. Be sure to do some research for other entrepreneurs with similar business names, too.
5. Know your Budget
It is important to consider your capital, because you know money is an integral element of business. Know your limit. Once you’ve determined this, study carefully which areas need tightening belts, and which need more allocations.
6. Research your Target Market
More important than knowing yourself is knowing your target market. Ask yourself: who are my target market? What do they want? What are their struggles? What do they want to see? Take the time to understand the people to whom you are trying to sell things because each market has different sets of needs, wants, and goals. These are factors to which they appreciate things, digest information, and react to stimulus. Understanding your market will save you a lot of time and money in the long run because you wouldn’t have to waste funds on needless marketing and advertisements.
7. Know your Competitors
You now know your target market. Now, know thy enemy. Take a field trip to their actual business place and (discreetly) take down notes. What services do they offer? How do they offer these services? How do they differ from your other competitors. Which aspect do you think they’re better than you are? How can you improve your own business based on your competitors? Being a start-up business, knowing the competition would give you the chance to set-up your personal measures of what’s good and bad. Remember that the world of business is sometimes a cutthroat environment. You need to constantly shape-up and strive to out-play each other. Otherwise, you’ll get eaten-up.
8. Legal Aspects
For start-ups, it’s not an excuse to be unaware of regulations regarding new businesses. Do some research then talk to local authorities for the requirements needed in starting a new venture. Ignoring these might result to you incurring fines.
9. Branding and Marketing
You know your consumers, you know your competitors, now comes another important question. Do they know you? You need to get your name out there, and before you get it out, make sure it’s a good one. Having a smart and strategic marketing plan is the key. In business, everything’s a brand a game.
More than anything else, you need to consider yourself. Consider your day job. How much of your time will be taken up by managing a business? Is this business worth it to quit? Are you financially stable to self-support? And more importantly, are you ready?
Entering the world of business can bring you a lot of anxiety, especially at the beginning. But you can avoid rookie mistakes by careful planning and preparation. Which among these things do you think is the most important factor to consider before venturing into business? Share your thoughts with us by commenting below.