Some Things You Should Have to Start Your Business
Are you an entrepreneur? Once you have thoroughly thought it out and examined yourself, the next step is to sit down and think about your business strategy. Indeed, passion, leadership and a can-do attitude in an entrepreneur will help a lot, but those are not the only things that you should equip yourself with.
It is best to think about the practicalities and operational issues of your business. Here are some of the things you need for your business startup:
– A unique selling proposition. Why will customers buy your product or service? Are you offering something that no one else does? If you are selling something that has been around in the market, what makes your product or service offering the one the customers will prefer? Are you targeting a niche whose needs are not being addressed by the current players?
– A knowledge of the market and your customers. This is the beginning of what is called due diligence. Your sources can include industry statistics, government agencies, related blogs and websites, research journals from consulting companies (such as McKinsey or Deloitte) and studies. You can also establish focus groups. Here are some things you should look into:
- Your competitors. Who are offering similar products? Who are the major players? How successful are they? Can you get data of how much of the market each competitor has cornered?
- Your market. If you are able to picture in your mind how your customer looks like, what do you see? What are your target market’s characteristics (age range, gender, income level, preferences, needs)? Are your products geared towards millennials, baby boomers or families? Knowing who your market is helps to sharpen your focus on what kind of strategy you will have. Yes, you will still reach people belonging in other demographics but you need to concentrate on a particular segment of the market.
– Resources. Building a successful business requires a lot of capital. This includes your sweat, blood, tears, finances and time. During the first few months of your business, you may need to spend a lot of time on setting up shop, streamlining your operations and checking how your business concept works in real life. There may be some considerable tweaking to do. With regards to your business finances, you will need initial capital and access to more as you need it. You can consider getting loans from family and friends, applying for a loan from the bank or through non-traditional means, such as a merchant cash advance. These funds will make up for the initial slow days or when you need to add more equipment and increase the level of your inventory.
– To-do list. Write down some of the things you need to acquire and do. It will also be helpful to try to set a timeline of when these things are needed. Some of the items in your to-do list can include:
- Decide on a name
- Register your brand’s trademark
- Setting up the business’ identity, including registering for government licenses and permits
- Setting up the office/work space
- Get business insurance
- Apply for a bank account and a business credit card (if you can)
- Talking to vendors and establishing a line of credit
- Getting the logos and marketing collaterals (brochures, fliers, etc.)
- Establishing a system for manufacturing your products
- Building a website or e-commerce website if you are planning to sell online)
- Hire and train staff (as necessary)
These items are just the start. But with the right business formula, attitude, plan and financing, you can be very well on your way to having and running a thriving business.