Starting a business is no easy feat. In fact, having a great idea alone is not enough anymore. Gone are the days of build it and they will come. Now in order to build a sustainable business, you need to put in the work before you even officially launch the business. Why? So you do not waste time, money or resources. So that you have a clear idea of how fast and how deep your business will grow once you start. There are some important steps you need to take before you start.
Here are 5 things:
- A clear goal
You need to know what your end goal is for starting your business. Do you want to create a large conglomerate in 10 years? Do you want to leave a legacy for your children? Do you want to make $1million in 5 years? Do you want to create a regional impact and have your business in 5 Caribbean islands over 3 years?
What exactly do you want to happen in your business and by when? A goal needs to be written out and broken into smaller parts so that you can see and understand all the moving parts. A written goal is more likely to become real to you. A goal keeps you motivated and focused on the bigger picture even when you have tough days, weeks and months. A goal gets you excited to work on your business every single day.
2. A business plan
Your business plan is your guide to develop your business. Your plan will include who will make up the members of your team, as well as your estimated budget, your Unique Selling Proposition, your missions and vision statement and an analysis of your competitors and the market you are entering.
Some people rush through a business plan not realizing the importance it plays in guiding the developmental process of your business. Your plan can be flexible and in fact should be reviewed and updated maybe once a year to ensure you have tuck to your goals and take into consideration any changes in the economic climate in which you operate. I touched on this topic a few months ago- What does your business plan really say
The one thing that many new business owners fail to do. They start with a great idea and then launch on social media with a biz page and images and expect to make millions. But before you start, you need to do some research to ensure you have a ready market for your business. Do people want what you are going to offer? How much are they willing to pay? How do they want it delivered to them and how often? What is the challenge they are facing that you are now going to solve for them?
Research is not a guessing game. It means you have to figure out who your ideal clients are and start discussions with them so that when you are ready to launch you know exactly what they need and want. It means speaking to industry leaders and do some surveys. It means getting really intimate with your market, visit and even speak to your competitors and ‘stalk’ them for a while to see what works and what is not working.
Without this crucial step, many businesses fail before they even have a chance to really get off the ground.
4. Understanding of your money
Why did you get into business? To make some money. That is one of the key mistakes entrepreneurs make. What is some money? Entrepreneurs need to have a very key understanding of how money works for them and if they have a challenge then that is the first help you should get from an accountant.
- Do you have a budget?
- How much does your product/service sell for?
- How much are people willing to pay?
- How much do you need to make every day, week or month?
- What would your overheads be?
- What taxes do you have to pay every quarter?
5. A marketing plan
Marketing is the life blood of your business. Without a structured system of marketing, your products can sit on the shelves for months and your phone will never ring. Marketing is NOT creating a facebook page. But instead, is the process of engaging with your ideal customers to build know, like and trust so they will buy from you continuously.
Marketing also involves a combination of activities which compliment each other to increase your visibility and reach. Many entrepreneurs get stuck on this part of business and while they have he best intentions, never seem to move past the launch stage. Hire an expert who can guide you through what a structured marketing plan would look like for your business. In a past blog, I spoke about 3 ways to market your business when you have no budget
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it is a good starting point for you to start your business. How many of these do you have in place and did you skip any steps when you were first starting your own business?
As your coach, I would love to help you through this process. For more help, book a FREE discovery call with me today and we can get started.