Have you ever had a great idea, perhaps you’ve found a gap in the market or a solution to a problem, but the thought of bringing that idea to life has felt extremely overwhelming? This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your passion.
Starting a business is exciting, but it can also be a challenge if you’re not sure where to start or how to bring to fruition.
Below is a 10-step guide (Gregory, 2019) which may help you to evaluate your idea before taking the plunge.
1. Identify a need in the market
Think about a niche in the market that isn’t currently being filled. Figure out what product or service should exist that isn’t currently being offered. Run
your business idea through a validation process before you go any further.
2. Create a business plan
You need a plan in order to make your business idea a reality. This will guide your entire journey. Identify your goal and keep it foremost in your mind as you build your brand.
3. Plan your finances
Starting a business doesn’t have to require a lot of money, but it will involve some initial investment as well as the ability to cover ongoing expenses before you breakeven and start to make profit. Put together a spreadsheet of your one-time start-up costs (licenses, insurance, trademarking), as well as what you think you will need to keep your business running for at least 12 months (rent, supplies, employee salaries).
4. Choose a business structure
The entity you choose will impact many factors from your business name, to your liability, to how you file your taxes. You may choose an initial business structure, and then re-evaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs change.
5. Create a business name
Your business name represents your business. Think about what you want your business name to convey. Keep it short and simple, use related words in a creative way, and it needs to be easy to write and remember. Don’t forget to register your domain name once you have decided.
6. Get licenses and permits
There could be licenses and permits that may apply to your situation, depending on the type of business you are starting and where you are located. These need to be organised during the start-up process.
7. Choose your accounting system
This is necessary in order to create and manage your budget, set your rates and prices, conduct business with others, and file your taxes. You may hire an accountant, or you may set it up yourself using accounting software (e.g., MYOB, Xero).
8. Set up your business location
Will you have a home office, a shared or private office, a retail location, a shop front? You will need to think about your location, equipment and overall set up, to make sure your business location works for the type of business you will be doing.
9. Get your team ready
Will you be hiring employees? Make sure you take the time to outline the positions you need to fill, and the job responsibilities that are part of each position. Are you a solopreneur? You will need your own support team comprised of a mentor, even your family, who serves as your go-to for motivation, advice, and reassurance.
10. Promote your business
This is the time for attracting clients and customers. Start by creating a unique selling proposition and a marketing plan. Then, explore as many marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business effectively. How will you use social media? What channels will you use?
So, does your idea have potential, or do you need to go back to the drawing board?
Keep in mind that success does not happen overnight, but if you consistently work on your plan, you will increase your chances of success!
Gregory, A., 2019. Starting A Business. [online] The Balance Small Business. Available at: <https://www.thebalancesmb.com/starting-a-small-business-4161641> [Accessed 19 November 2020].
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