Besides being a daunting prospect in and of itself, starting a business can be quite complicated and time consuming if you have not done your research and informed yourself accordingly about all the elements involved.
It’s not that it’s impossible, not at all – you just have to be willing to learn. Some of the learning will be done through making mistakes, and that’s fine – in fact, that’s great. Making mistakes is ultimately what makes us learn.
Some learning, however, can be done without making crucial errors that may be detrimental for your business – I have put together a list that aims at tackling some of the things you want to get right from the start.
In this article, I am going to provide you with a list of four very important things to think about when starting your own business.
People come up with business ideas all the time. Coming up with a good and viable idea for your business, however, is a whole other story. Here are some of the elements involved in creating a great business idea:
- Pick something you like – if you’re going to dedicate time and resources to this, you need to pick something you are passionate about – or at least interested in. Trust me, I’ve seen people who hate what they do. They are not in a good place.
- Problem solving – what problem is your business going to attempt to tackle? Is it even a problem? Is it a realistic problem to tackle? Are you sure someone else is not already onto this?
- Your angle – how do you provide a better solution to the problem? Here you should look to areas for improvement in relation to the problem you want to tackle.
- The competition – how are you going to deal with this problem compared to another company who is already dealing with it? What do you have to offer in comparison?
Putting in the research
Once you’ve done some brainstorming in terms of a viable business idea, you want to do extensive research on the various elements – particularly in relation to the market you’ll be tapping into – that will help get you started.
- Demand – where is the demand for your products or services? How will you explain the benefits of what you offer to prospective customers who perhaps have no idea what you’re talking about? Will you have to educate them? Start framing an idea in your mind in regards to your target customer population.
- Your target market – you want to define your target market as best as you can. Is there even a market for what you want to sell? Is it that revolutionary a product that you’ll essentially be creating one from scratch? Who are your main competitors and how will you deal with them?
Testing your idea
Once you’ve done some research in relation to the demand for your products or services, the type of customer population you will be targeting, and your target market, you can begin putting your ideas to the test.
Product testing will decrease the chances of you pursuing a completely unviable business idea – remember, there’s no shame in ceasing the pursuit of something that you know won’t work.
- Think cheap and quick – you are going to want to look for the easiest way to test your product, as this will save – of course – time and money (which you’ll need in great amounts if your idea does end up working).
- Some testing methods – there are a number of ways of doing this that largely depend on what sort of product or service you are offering.You may want to set up a simple, professional-looking website with a landing page that describes what you do with for the purpose of building an email list of potential buyers.
Another option that works well if you’re selling physical products is to set up an online store and buy some ads through Facebook or Google to advertise your product. The main idea is also to start building a list of potential buyers.
Coming up with a business plan.
The nature of your business plan depends on what you are trying to sell. There are usually about 6 key elements involved in the creation of a business plan, I shall address some of the questions related to these.
- Your model – you’re going to have to come up with a business model depending on what you’re selling – are you a manufacturer, a distributor, is your business based on subscription, freemium?
- Your finances – you will need to set clear goals and milestones – without these, you won’t know where you and your company are headed, and that’s no good. Remember to be realistic in regards to where your business is headed financially.It may be a good idea to use a business mortgage calculator if you are saving up for a business mortgage.
- Market, buyers and competition – I mentioned this earlier, but I shall repeat the main point: you need to have a clear idea of the market you’ll be tapping into, the sort of customer you’ll be targeting, and what your competition is up to.
- Marketing – in this day and age, marketing – and specifically online marketing, has taken centre stage. This is why you will need to up your game if you want to sell, particularly if you are entering a particularly competitive market.You need to come up with a clear plan in terms of how you are going to attract prospective buyers, nurture them and turn them into leads effectively.
- Your team – within your business plan, you are going to want to include a section that talks about the members of your team – their qualifications, experiences and how they will enhance your business.
- The executive summary – this is essentially a summary of what your business plan which can be done at the end once you actually have
It’s true – starting a business for the first time can be intimidating, and this intimidation can lead one to give up really early on. I hope this brief article was useful in giving you an introductory list of things to think about before you begin. The key takeaway, I believe, is to be mindful, patient and financially responsible. If you do things with a bit of conscientiousness and financial responsibility, you chances of success will already be much higher than the average person.