So, you want to build a business from scratch – good for you! Entrepreneurs have shown their mettle since the early days of the pandemic, and with the online sales boom, now’s a great time to join a bustling market place.
But if you’ve never done it before, do you know where to start, what hoops to jump through and who to call on if you need a helping hand? Don’t fret – grab a cuppa and settle back as we run through our whistle-stop guide on how to launch your own business.
What’s the big business idea?
First things first: what is your business idea? Many entrepreneurs who want to start a business have a product or service they think other people will definitely want to buy.
It’s one of several important questions you need to answer if you’re thinking seriously about launching your own business.
What’s your motivation?
At this stage, you should ask yourself why you want to create a new business. Is it to escape the humdrum of the nine-to-five? Do you want to make oodles of money? Could you fill a gap in a market?
Understanding your motivations and what is compelling you to make what is a big leap can make the rest of the process a lot easier.
Do your market research
Once you’ve established why you want to become a business owner, now you need to find out what other businesses are operating in the pond you want to swim in. That means doing your homework!
Find out where your competitors are, what they’re offering to their customers, whether they’re happy with what they’re getting and if you could do things better or more cheaply.
It’s a lot of work but identifying your potential rivals will help establish if there’s a viable market for your new business.
Create a business plan
Now we come to one of the most important parts of the business creation process: the business plan. It should include the following:
- an executive summary
- an outline of the business model as well as products and services
- your understanding of your ideal customer, market and competition
- an overview of marketing and sales
- an overview of finances and any projections
- a summary of the aboveInclude a mission statementYour business plan should also include a mission statement to encapsulate your main ambition, whether it’s to provide top-quality accounting services or serve up the greatest street food.Don’t forget to update it regularly – businesses are living things, they evolve and change over time and your plan needs to reflect that.
Put it to the test
It might be hard to believe, but a lot of entrepreneurs skip this part of creating their own business, and understandably a large number come a cropper because of it.
Having a great product and a solid business plan could all be for nothing if you don’t test the waters first.
Leverage social media to contact your target market
Putting together a quality, one-page website and hitting social media can be a great way to find out if there genuinely is a market for what you’re selling.
If you prefer the in-person method, then a small market stall is a great way to gauge customer – and competitor – response.
Find that funding
Some entrepreneurs use their own money to launch a new business, but many others rely on external sources for financial support.
Knowing exactly how much it’s going to cost, down to the last penny, to run your business for at least six months is a crucial part of your business plan, and will help secure funding to get it off the ground.
If the traditional methods aren’t open to you or don’t appeal, crowdfunding has become a hugely popular way to raise money. It’s particularly good for businesses with a social or ethical angle.
Go to market!
Your product is ready, you’ve got a rock-solid business plan and plenty of funds. Your marketing strategy has been carefully crafted, backed by a robust and targeted social media ad campaign.
You know your ideal customer and target market inside out – it’s time to take the leap and declare your company open for business!
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