Starting a Business? Plan first…
Are you thinking of starting a business? Do you have a good plan in mind? This contributed post covers those planning stages before you launch your brilliant idea. This is how to start a business with a firm foundation to ensure your success in the future. #startingabusinessplan
The Crucial Steps of Starting A Business
If you’ve been following any of the Mompreneurs featured on the site, then you have likely started to develop an idea of how easy it can be to start a business nowadays.
Running it is another thing but there’s no doubt that there are fewer barriers than ever when it comes to running your own startup.
However, every success begins with the right first steps, so let’s take a few of the steps you must take and the trouble you can land yourself in if you don’t.
Have more than a hunch about your idea
All businesses begin with an idea. A certain flash of creativity or innovation is going to go a long way. However, blind faith in a business idea is not a recipe for success.
First of all, you need to know that is has a viable market. For instance, using a pre-existing business idea but finding an as-of-yet unserved niche, like older customers, can help you increase your chances of success.
If it’s a brand-new product or a new spin on an existing service, you need to carry out a little market research.
- Are there people who need it?
- Are they willing to spend money on it?
- How many competitors do you have?
Answer these questions before you throw yourself headlong into a startup.
Know the Way Ahead
You might be fully assured that the market is ready for your idea and you may have the skills to make a success of it. However, you also need to know what that success is going to look like.
A business plan isn’t just an idea of how you’re going to run the business. It’s a critical look at :
- your measurable objectives
- how much you need to sell
- and how much you need to make to keep growing the business.
Services like www.bplans.co.uk can help by providing templates that you can use to put together the bones of a business plan, but you need to make sure that you’re taking enough steps to ensure it’s specific to your market and your idea.
Ensure you have the resources necessary
Having a working and reliable business plan can also be a crucial part of the next step: finding the funding that your business needs.
In the not-too-distant past, banks were the only real way to get the funding the business needs, but that’s no longer the case. Look at www.thisismoney.co.uk to see examples of other funding spaces now more openly available to entrepreneurs.
If the traditional route of borrowing from banks isn’t right or available to you, you can instead look into angel investors, crowdfunding, or even building up your own savings.
What’s essential is that you have figured out how much it will cost to get your startup running and that you get the money before you try to begin.
Don’t forget to dot your i’s and cross your t’s
Failing to take the proper steps to fully legitimise the business and get a hold of the paperwork you need can see you landing in legal hot water.
Using services like www.yourcompanyformations.co.uk can help you quickly get a hold of your certificate of incorporation and other essential articles if you’re starting as an incorporated business.
Make sure you’ve done any research on potential permits or licenses you might need, too, whether it’s related to starting a business in a certain area or neighbourhood or something more industry-specific. Not having the right paperwork on hand if there’s an inspection in future could sink the business entirely.
Begin with a brand in mind
When coming up with a new business idea, having some sense of what the brand is going to be will help. If you can come up with a unique selling proposition and an idea of how to appeal to your market, you already have the skeleton of a marketing campaign. However, you should ask yourself a few key questions about the brand before you start.
Primarily, what is the story that can best communicate the value of your services or products to your intended market? Think up a story, such as solving a problem in their lives or helping them live a certain lifestyle, that can help the audience more quickly recognise what it is you provide and how it would benefit them to invest in it.
With the tips above, it should be a lot easier to make sure your business has a strong foundation to build off from the very start. Successfully running it isn’t quite as simple, of course.
Keep up with the latest tips and resources from the blog, as constantly learning is key to ensuring that success in future, too.
Did you have a business plan in place when you started your business? Or did you just wing it?