Are you planning to start an online store to sell artwork and relics?
Or perhaps, you are planning to open a restaurant once you complete your culinary degree.Each business idea is unique and distinctive in its inspirations, objectives, and goals. However, the underlying structure that supports a solid business plan remains the same for each idea.
There are numerous considerations to undertake before starting a business. This endeavor requires meticulous planning, extensive research, forecasting, feasibility analysis, and much more. As an aspiring businessperson, you need to focus on cultivating a diverse skillset and arming yourself with resources.
Below in this article will walk you through the steps you need to take before starting your business.
Here, take a look:
EXPANDING YOUR SKILLSET
A successful business is a simple equation of profit and loss, but this equation gets very complicated when you start spending. As a new business, it can be increasingly hard to breakeven let alone turn out a handsome profit. If you have limited capital and resources, your freedom to delegate and hire employees will have curbs.
As a solopreneur, it is ideal for diversifying and expanding your skillset to kickstart your business successfully. If you don’t have a business or management-focused academic background, this can prove challenging. Product development or services, marketing, promotion, accounting, and sales are the most vital processes to support a young business.
If you cannot manage accounting or marketing, you will have to hire experienced and reliable professionals. However, if your operations are small and home-based, it is ideal for cultivating the skills of a corporate controller. It will help you steer your business towards success and growth in the long-run.
To answer this question, how to become a corporate controller? You can explore accounting-focused degrees and certifications to build up your skills. Similarly, you can take graphic designing and video editing courses to create your marketing campaigns. So, before you move forward, focus on the skills you need to make your business feasible and successful.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!
It is essential to do general market research to test out your business plan theoretically. You will come across similar business ideas and research papers, which will help examine your plan’s feasibility, strengths, and weaknesses. Market research will help you explore opportunities to actualize your vision into a successful and profitable business.
Focus on your target customers and competitors that are operating within your demographics. Carefully study the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and the preferences of your consumers. Explore social media groups and communities to reach out to your target audience and learn about their choices. Conduct surveys and post questions to get concrete responses.
This research will help you carve out a competitive edge for your business.
TESTING THE FEASIBILITY
How feasible is your business idea? Will it grow to become a profitable business with a growing demand for your products or services? Or perhaps, your idea will receive a lukewarm reception because consumers don’t desire it?
It is crucial to test out the feasibility of your business plan before moving forward. But how can you test the feasibility without actually dipping your toes in the water? There are two methods you can adopt. The first would be trying to sell your products or services through social media groups and posts. If the reception is strong, you can go ahead with your business plan and perfect it further.
The other strategy requires extensive research into the feasibility of your targeted market, location, and business idea. You will have to test your business idea against multiple variables, such as competitors, demand, location, resources, expenses, and more.
A feasibility analysis should not discourage you from proceeding with your idea. It should serve as a mirror that allows you to understand the weaknesses and strengths of your plan.
CREATING A SOLID BUSINESS PLAN
Once you have conducted your research and visualized the growth of your business idea, it’s time to get real. It would help if you created a comprehensive and realistic roadmap of how you want to structure, operate, and manage your business. Your business case will serve as a roadmap that will guide your goals and milestones. But more importantly, it will help you present your idea as a functional and practical business plan.
It is vital to learn how to write a business case professionally and engagingly. It is an essential document that you will present to your financial lenders, investors, associates, and networking partners. Be sure to include statistical data to support your feasibility analysis and expected outcomes.
FUNDING YOUR BUSINESS
Now that the business plan is ready, securing funding is your foremost priority. Your funding requirements stem from the structure and scale of operations you have envisioned for your business. For starting an online store, you can begin with minimal funding and grow gradually alongside increased demand.
However, if you want to start a restaurant, an offline boutique, or a hair salon, you will need substantial capital. Before you begin applying for loans and reaching out to investors, make a financial plan. Outline all your expenses, such as equipment, rental space, employees, and others.
When approaching financial institutions and investors, maintain professionalism, and present a well-documented business plan. Make impressive presentations supported with visuals and statistics, and dress sharp to make a good impression.
As you look around for loans and investors, consider looking inward for funding. Do you have any savings lined up for a not-so-rainy-day? Can you reach out to your family for support?
These are just a few steps of the business planning and structuring process. As you move forward, you have to create a business structure, logo, and marketing material and choose your entity’s name. Things can get exciting and overwhelming, but extensive planning and documentation will allow effective streamlining.
Be sure to dedicate time to trivial accounting and taxation matters, and avoid focusing too much on one aspect. It is better to give your time for marketing and promotion and budgeting and forecasting.