There are many resources on the web related to starting your own business, but there is very little information that tells you how to make a strong beginning.
In this article, we have put together the primary focus areas that will help you setup a strong beginning for your new business.
When starting your own business, it is natural to feel nervous and apprehensive. Preparedness can help you get over this anxiety.
Preparing for each of these planning points will require work. And all that hard work will give your new business a confident and a strong start.
Business Plan on Paper
This is obvious but easily ignored. You will have it in your head, but putting it down on paper will help you greatly.
A business plan is the most important thing to do before starting your own business. While the plan may not predict the future or guarantee success, it provides a way to steer your business along its growth curve.
The plan will keep you focused and help you avoid big mistakes.
Develop a game plan, and make sure all key players are on the same page.
To build a solid business plan:
- Include your basic business model, your strategy and financing needs.
- Include mini-plans for different facets of your business like product/service development, marketing, sales, finance, staff management, etc. With it, you increase the likelihood of success by moving in the right direction for different aspects of your business.
- Include an overview of your professional and, if appropriate personal background.
Additionally, a well-written business plan may actually help to raise capital, be it from fund raising events, interested financial backers or banks.
Just like any other important financial decision (such as buying a new car), starting your own business requires doing some research before diving in.
What you should do?
Part of your business planning efforts should involve market analysis, which entails industry and market knowledge as well as research findings and conclusions.
Your research should focus around narrowing your target market to a manageable size and researching that market’s needs.
It should include analysis of your competition, along with their performance and assessing factors that contribute to their strengths and weaknesses.
How will it help you?
A careful done market analysis will help to identify your target demographic, target area and target market.
It will help identify your window of opportunity to enter the market.
Create the Right Business Name
A right business name is a first step toward building a strong identity. Having the right name can quickly make your business the talk of the town.
You want to choose a name that is attention-grabbing, creative and reinforcing key elements of your business. When coming up with a business name, keep the following in mind:
- Choose a name that is appealing to your target market.
- The name should convey the purpose of your business, along with a sense of your core values.
- Don’t use a name that is long or confusing.
- Make sure it’s not a pun that only you understand.
- Choose a name that sounds or make your business seem different from its competitors.
Remember, once you put it out there, the business name in most cases will identify and distinguish your business for pretty long-term.
Most small and medium businesses, when in their early stages, are in bootstrapping mode, meaning that they are starting a business with little to no capital, and without the help of venture capital firms or other large donors.
Starting your own business can be a costly endeavor, and chances are you are still working your job and trying to make a decent living in the beginning.
Bootstrapping your business can be emotionally and financially rewarding.
Maximize your effort and minimize your costs, making sacrifices to earn your strong beginning.
Bootstrapping is good in early stages, but as you start getting some traction, you need to be ready to scale-up.
Have some planned options open to raise funds when you will need them.
Some early fund raising options include:
- Seed Money: Money from a personal savings account, money borrowed or donated from friends and family. This can also be crowd-funded money.
- Customer Money: Money generated from first customers. While a business is growing, customer money may seem to barely trickle in. Be patient.
- Small Loans: After a steady amount of customer money begins flowing in, it may not be a bad idea to pursue a small loan to help take your business to the next level. Experts agree that loans should not be relied on to start a business from scratch, but merely to grow it once steady cash flow is attained.
Ready, Aim and Don’t Forget To Fire
Once your business plan is completed, and funding secured. It is time to put yourself and your business out there!
When starting something from the ground, it is important to actually execute. That is the only way you will get results or will learn from. Do not over-analyze and paralyze your business by being caught-up in too much planning.
Take advantage of affordable advertising. Get the word out through both professional and personal networking. Connect with experienced and successful people.
Stay focused, start building the right team and plan for growth.
Starting your own business may seem tough, but you will learn and eventually succeed by actually doing. So, go out there are start rocking!