Once a business idea starts coming to you, it is important to know the process to follow and the vital steps to take so as to bring the idea to proper fruition. I am sure that every intending small business starter will need a guide for a good business foundation. How this pre – planning period is handled matters a lot during the take – off of the business.
For you to get to the mountain top in business, be assured that you have to start climbing from the very bottom. It means, there are places where you have to start from, things you need to do and steps you need to take. Many small businesses normally rush to start without getting the basic understanding, only to later notice foundational mistakes. If you have not started, then you still have the ample opportunity to sit back, think and get your facts right. Let’s look at four major steps to take before venturing into a small business.
CARRY OUT RESEARCH
Research offers a great help when it comes to starting a business. This is technically the first step to take. Impatience is often responsible why some people disregard this phase. Never mind if it’s taking you a longer time to carry out your research, it is worthwhile at the end. When you carry out research, you will be able to identify your target customers, your competitors, your industry’s business opportunities, and the right products. It helps you to see different dimensions and different ways your chosen business could be run. It also makes you know who the low and top players are in that industry.
You can break down your research into four segments where you’ll research the Industry, Products, TargetCustomers, and Competitors. For instance, there is no business without competition, so, you need to research more on your competitive landscape. The essence of the research is to enable you to offer better or cheaper product than other existing competitors. The results of your research will eventually help to fine tune your entire business direction. Your product or service must be at least for a particular segment of people, and that’s the reason why you are researching on your target market.
While carrying out your research, there is nothing wrong about taking your time to understudy an existing business you would like to model after. You’ll also be able to find out about the regulations and licenses (If any) that may be required for the exact business you want to venture into. Some particular businesses still require further registration even after the business name has been registered. For example, you may be asked to still register with the umbrella body or the regulatory body for your kind of business. All of these and much more are expected to be revealed by research before your launching – out.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT BUSINESS STRUCTURE
After ascertaining the nature of the business you want to go into, you need to choose the right business structure which will help your take – off be an easy one and not to be encumbered with any legal issues. You can either pick options for your own business suitable business structure from a Sole Proprietor, Partnership (If you have a business partner) or a Limited Company.
Thereafter, you can then register your business name conveniently. I have always encouraged people who want to register their company to ask a lot of questions from a legal practitioner even if you don’t feel like patronizing them. It is better to identify the most suitable structure which would be in line with your business goal.
PLAN YOUR BUSINESS
It is never good to start a business without having a plan in place. Don’t just leave your business dream as that mental picture. You need to think through it with a business plan being your guide. A conscious plan is required to help you crystallize your vision, your product or service, your marketing strategy, business structure, finances, Staffing and your ultimate action plan. You will really have to strategize and plan.
Develop a marketing strategy that will articulate how you are going to deliver your products or services to your target market. You will also need to work out the tactics you’ll use to sell your product. In your plan, there should be an estimation of different costs associated with the taking – off phase of the business i.e. the estimated start – up costs. It is for you to count your costs and estimate your business expenses. Depending on the nature of your business, cost estimation could range from establishment cost, equipment or tools cost to your running costs. However you see it, holistic planning is important for any business.
DETERMINE YOUR BUSINESS LOCATION
It is someone who is only interested in a traditional business that will be looking for a physical location before starting their small business idea. Apart from people having the plan to lease or run their business from home, more and more people are starting their business by just having their business location online.
As we speak, there are many sites which will allow you to register your business on their platform for free.The location should not really be an issue since you can put your office online for a start. In case your thinking and strategy can only make you see your start – up from a physical store or office, then you should be ready to include and bear the cost of rent in your planning which may sometimes be above budget.