People would have advised you that starting a business is very hard or starting a business is a child’s play. Ironically, both are false. Starting business is not very hard if you plan your process and perform it in an organized manner. It is not a child’s play as you need to be very attentive and open to all changes which happen around you in your market. There are four main steps which would guide you in initial stages of starting your business.
Plan and forecast
Start planning process with brainstorming. Come up with as many questions as possible with your business idea. Find right answers for your questions. The important questions to ask are;
• What need of customers is my product or service satisfying?
• How to differentiate it from direct competitors?
• Who is my target audience?
• Is there any way to increase the value of my business solution?
• How to market my business?
• What are the potential mistakes that would happen? How to solve those problems?
You can build upon these questions and get a lot of answers. From these answers, create a strong business plan. You can take as much time as possible to create a business plan. However, once you have formulated a plan, you need to stick to it throughout your business. Your plan should include your vision, mission, course of action, description of your solution, analysis of the market, SWOT analysis, trend analysis, asset (finance) analysis and strategies.
Your plan should have elements which focus on forecasting. Things tend to change from time to time. Your plan should be flexible enough to adapt to upcoming changes. So, you need to formulate a plan with forecasting.
Starting from cash to human resources, you need to gather a lot of resources for your business. If you are not able to put money from your pockets, you need to arrange another line of credit. Thus, it is important to organize all documents necessary for convincing your investors. Buying, leasing and other activities should be planned and implemented such that you procure optimum amount of resources. A tax attorney or an accountant can be helpful in this process.
Getting finances is not a simple task. You need to create a plan that would attract your investors. You need to choose right line of credit, learn about terms and conditions, provide necessary security and get the finances. It is not a one-day process. This is the hardest part of the whole process. If you are planning to put your money into business, the number of steps would be reduced. No matter what your source of finance may be, you need to keep a track of due dates, interest, taxes and other elements.
As stated before, marketing is something which has to start in the planning phase. Determine how to differentiate your business. Create campaigns and allocate resources for all the campaigns in such a way which you advertise your business to all potential customers in your target market. Your marketing process should include marketing, branding, sales, social media reach and other elements. Determine your target audience and tailor your marketing schemes to suit them.
This step also includes marketing your company or business to your employees. Your communication should be effective in terms of both advertisements to customers and to the employees. Create business cards, brand colors, logo, email signature and other professional elements which would increase your brand awareness.
Standards for evaluation
Yes, you need to determine the key indicators which would help you to analyze whether the business is profitable or not, during the initial stages. The key indicators can be sales, marketing, web traffic, likes (Facebook) or any factor that you consider as success. It is important to create a maintenance list. This would include all the tasks which are necessary for running a business starting from payroll to sales. Each task should have a key indicator which would help you to determine whether you are doing it right. This would help you to set future goals and focus on increasing performance.
There are a lot of software packages which would assist you in each stage. Starting from bookkeeping software to project management software, you can opt for a lot of packages. However, it is better to start small. The last step is to put them into action. No matter how strong your assumptions, theories and plans might be, you are nowhere near success if you do not implement it. While implementing, a lot of things tend to go out of track. You need to stick to your plan, create strategies and strive towards success.
These are the four important steps that you need to follow for starting your own business. These steps are not tailor made for any business. Thus, examine your competitors, your market and other element in the planning stage and personalize the other steps to suit your business style and needs.
Did you ever start a business? Are you thinking about doing so? Let us know and share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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