Step 1: Do some research
You’ve probably already defined your business idea, so now it’s time to balance it with a little reality. Does your idea have the potential to succeed? For a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, meet a need, or offer something the market wants.
There are several ways you can identify this need, including research, focus groups, and even trial / error. While researching the market, some of the questions should be:
- Is there demand for your products / services?
- Who needs them?
- Are there other companies offering similar products / services?
- What is the competition?
- How will your company fit into the market?
Step 2: Make a plan
You need a plan to make your business idea a reality. The business plan will guide your business from the start-up phase through the establishment and eventual growth of the business. The good news is that there are different types of business plans for different types of business
If you intend to seek financial support from an investor or financial institution, you will need a broader and more in-depth plan. If you do not expect financial support, a simple one page plan can give you clarity about what you hope to achieve and how you plan to do it. In fact, you can even create a working business plan on the back of a napkin and improve it over time. A written plan is always better than nothing.
Step 3: Plan your finances
Starting a small business doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it will involve an initial investment as well as the ability to cover running costs before making a profit. Create a spreadsheet that estimates the one-time, initial costs of starting your business (licenses and permits, equipment, legal fees, insurance, branding, market research, initial advertising, opening events, etc.) and what you expect as an expense to maintain your business for at least 12 months (rent, utilities, marketing and advertising, manufacturing, supplies, travel expenses, employee salaries, your own salary, etc.).
There are several ways you can finance your small business, including personal financing, small business loans, small business grants, and more. The combination of the above methods works best. The goal here is to orient yourself in the options and create a plan to create the capital you need to lift your business off the ground.
Step 4: Choose a business structure
Your small business can be a Sole Trader, Pty Ltd. or Ltd. The business you choose will affect many factors – on behalf of your company, your responsibility to the way you pay taxes.
Depending on the complexity of your business, it may be a good idea to invest in legal advice to make sure you are making the right choice of structure for your business.
Step 5: Choose and register your company name
Your company name will play a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be good. Once you choose a name for your business, you will need to check if it is a trademark or is currently in use. You will then need to register it. Don’t forget to register your domain name after choosing your business name.
Step 6: Obtaining licenses and permits
Documentation is part of the process when you start your own business. There are different licenses and permits for small businesses that may apply to your situation, depending on the type of business you are starting and where you are. You will need to research what licenses, patents and permits are required for your business at startup.
Step 7: Choose your accountant or accounting firm
You need company accounting to manage your budget, run a legitimate business, pay your taxes. And without a good accountant, your business is doomed. You can hire an accountant or an accounting firm to take on this complex task for you.
Step 8: Choose the location of your business
Creating a business location is important for your business, whether you have a home office, a rented office, a rented space or an online store. It is good to consider whether it makes more sense to rent a place or use a virtual office.
Step 9: Hire a team
If you are going to hire employees, take the time to outline the positions you need to fill and the responsibilities that are part of each position. If you do not hire employees, you think you can handle it yourself in the beginning, you will still need your support team. This team can consist of a mentor, close acquaintance, friend or even your family who can help with advice, motivation and mental support
Step 10: Promote your small business
Once your business is up and running, you need to start attracting customers and consumers. Lay the groundwork by writing a unique offer for sales, cooperation, partnership and create a marketing plan. Then research as many small business marketing ideas as possible so you can decide how to promote your business most effectively.
Once you have completed these initial business activities, you will have everything you need as a base. Keep in mind that success does not happen overnight. But follow the plan you create to work constantly and consistently for your business and you will increase your chances of success.
For professional advice on how to start your small business, do not hesitate to contact Reece Arcon