This article provides five simple tips for all those thinking of, or in the process of starting their own business. The current economic climate has seen a large number of professionals leave permanent employment to look for a more suitable work-life balance, and this has resulted in them starting their own small businesses. We are in the time of the owner-worker start-up, and as such, it is worth having as much knowledge as to this process as possible before you rush headlong into what is an extremely competitive environment.
First, Have a great idea
There are a lot of innovative ideas out there, but if you’re going to risk savings and invest time and money into something, ensure that it’s a great idea that is actually capable of being built into a solid business opportunity. Yes, the idea is literally the first step in a journey, but it can be the most critical of the entire business establishment process.
At the time when you have the initial idea for the business, it needs to be interrogated, discussed, un-picked, and related to reality and the actual demands of the market, needs of the consumer, and the realities of your finance and practical considerations. A great business idea is thus not just about a flash of inspiration but more about the ongoing interrogation, conversations, and intense thinking as to how the idea will become a reality. Talk it through with others that you can trust, and keep a journal as to how the idea develops.
Lastly, and in relation to the inspiration for your business, be prepared to have a number of great ideas, which may not pan out into the successful business you dreamt of. True entrepreneurs may have a myriad of great ideas, and yet only one of these needs to become a viable business for them to become successful. So, persevere and never give up.
Create and follow a clear business plan
Having a clear step-by-step business plan for a new business is the best way to create momentum and get the business off the ground. Start with an informal plan and simply develop it as the business develops or have a detailed ideal plan and try to stick to it as much as possible. The difficulty in the early days of a business is that there will be changes and adjustments not included in the business plan, so while it is essential to use a business plan to source funding and determine the operational plan for the business, keep it flexible in the early days. The bottom line is that you must develop and have a plan that is clear and easy to follow and adapt to existing conditions.
Know and abide by all local legislation
Ther is nothing worse than starting a business only to find that you are in violation of local business regulations, business zoning laws, and more. This may lead to fines, and your business will start off on the wrong footing. You must know what the local legislation, as well as social expectations, are in the area that you aim to operate.
Notify local authorities and find out what regulations that your specific business needs to follow in the area that you have set up and hope to operate. So, in Australia, for example, you would need to know how to set up an ABN to alert local authorities as to the business and to get a business number and access local government financial support. This is a notable example in that many foreign enterprises started in Australia neglect this and, as such as not known to the local authorities.
It is thus pertinent that before you start your business, you must have a clear list of all the local government legislation, as well as the national or state-specific laws that govern your type of business, as well as those for businesses as a whole.
Study the market and your competition
There is no way that you can successfully start any business without having a truly clear understanding of the market. Knowing and evaluating the products or services that are in competition with you as well as gathering a clear picture of the market demographics. Who will buy your product or service and why? Part of this must also be a thorough knowledge of anyone else who is in the same or similar business to yourself. There are many ways to research your competition, and this will go a long way to determining whether you keep the business based on the original ideas or begin to change and adapt this to suit the reality of the market and the prevailing competition.
Aim for the perfection of products and services
Yes, it may be a pipe dream, but when in business making products or providing services for others, you must at least strive to provide the perfect product or service. It is this dedication to perfection and providing the best product or service that you can for your customers and clients that will be the defining feature of a long-lasting, sustainable business.
Now it may be that the owner and principal management have this ambition or perfection, but it must pervade the company ethos and culture for it to positively affect the workforce as well as then ensure that the products made are of a top standard.
This speaks to the culture of the business, and as part of the start-up process, it is worth being clear as to the type of company that you want to start, Making the idea of looking for perfection in all that you do and specifically in all that you sell, one of the main themes of the business.
These are five simple start-up tips and suggestions that many will already have thought of and implemented. They are critical for success and have also been found to be the downfall of many a start-up or new business. It is thus worth reading through them all again and determining which of these tips you need to focus on to ensure the success of your business.