8 Useful Guidelines for Starting A Business
8 Useful Guidelines for Starting a Business
Starting a business begins with brainstorming ideas and then making plans for your business, before finally setting it up to begin selling. Implementation of the business idea into a profit making business endeavor, requires the consideration of a number of elements at the starting point. These are vital elements which you should incorporate in your business plan at the starting stage of your business, before it is up and running. The business plan is a formal document which includes background information about the business owner and the business idea. It is crucial when seeking funding from investors and serves as a guideline for the progress of the business. These essential guidelines for starting a business will enable your new business to become successful and profitable.
#1 Find funds
The first concern when starting a business is having enough capital to start up. List everything that you may need to do and form a business worksheet to appropriately budget for everything involved; including the initial equipment or materials that you might need for the specific business that you have in mind. Other costs that should be deliberated on while starting a business include the cost of advertising, setting up the venue, conducting research and recruitment processes. After developing the layout of the estimated costs, you can now seek funds to finance your business. There are many options from which you can choose to finance your business. You could use your own money which you set aside from your savings. Or you could seek traditional loans from family, friends or from the bank.
#2 Have a vision
Forming a clear vision will give you direction and focus to where you are heading to. A vision helps you to come up with objectives and an idea of and your expected outcomes. Write down your vision or mission statement and build all your plans in a manner that will help you achieve it. List your objectives and how you expect to attain them. Know that sometimes a business may take a while before it starts to accumulate profit. A well-defined vision statement gives your business an identity and persuades customers to come to you. It also makes employees to work towards achieving it thus improving their job performance.
#3 Determine the business type
What type of business are you intending to start? Is it service oriented or product oriented? Is it a partnership or a single owned business? How big is the business? The type of business will determine the amount of capital required. A product based business necessitates finding funds for buying the materials, paying the suppliers and transport costs. For the service business, you must hire people with the skills to provide the specific service. If you will be doing the work on your own, are you skilled enough? The size of the business will determine the number of employees needed and the diversity of work available. For example, if you want to start a supermarket business, you will need to employ more people at different sections from, marketing, sales, customer care, customer service and cleaners. However, if you are starting a business of a small store, you do not need so many employees, or you might not even need to employ anyone. Therefore, determine the type of business that you want to start from the beginning so that you can have a distinct picture of what to budget for and how to craft the organizational chart if needed.
#4 Do market research
The success of the business that you want to start will depend on how well you meet the the consumer needs, thus when you are starting analyze carefully the market needs, trends, location and the availability of your target population. Find out about the available competition in order to determine the value of your business. Use social networking platforms such as Facebook or Twitter in order to identify potential clients and reach out to them. You may also invest in creating a website for your intended business in order to facilitate your presence and publicity to potential clients. Perhaps you had the intention of opening a restaurant in a specific place that seems to have good market for restaurants. However, after your research, you find out that there are only fast food restaurants in the area. You will have identified a gap in the market in which you can tap into in order to maximize the potential success of your business. Instead of starting a fast food joint which is so common, you could instead decide to do hotel business which also offers accommodation, and give yourself a competitive edge.
#5 Analyze the risks
Venturing into business involves a lot of risks since you can never be entirely sure of good returns. Also sometimes unexpected situations may occur which leave you with a great loss. While starting a business it is important to think of the possible risks that you may encounter and make advance preparation of how to face them. Before you start the business, formulate contingency measures and problem solving strategies of probable setbacks that may arise. One way of doing this is by budgeting below your means so that you may have extra money aside from the capital which you have budgeted for. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the business which you want to run. If you think the benefits outweigh the risks involved then you may proceed with it because such a business is likely to succeed.
#6 Determine expertise
What are your qualifications, knowledge or skills in the area of business which you are starting? If you want to employ people, what qualifications will you require them to possess? A business that produces its own goods for sale, like say designing clothes, will necessitate skilled people in cloth design and tailoring. You could have an interest in design but for the sake of your business you will not be able to produce all the quantity by yourself. You will seek to find people who you can employ to do the tailoring work by posting advertisements stating the skills, responsibilities and qualifications which are essential for the work. Before starting your search, establish an organizational chart listing the responsibilities of each role, from the top level management to the junior employees.
#7 Meet legal requirements
Verify your business according to the legal requirements of your particular business type to prevent unnecessary constraints on your budget. Access the license or permit so that you can start your business comfortably without worrying about getting caught. You may write the contracts that recruited employees will sign and ensure that you state clearly what type of contract it is. Is it permanent or temporary employment? Employees should know what they are signing up for to prevent conflicts. Make sure that you do not make breaches unless you are running an illegal business. Following what the law requires of business persons will protect you from unnecessary fines or court cases. Lay down the ethical standards of business which you will adhere to in order to maintain a code of conduct for everyone involved. The ethical standards can involve coming up with core values and standards like integrity, honesty and respect to guide employee relationships and their relationship with customers.
#8 Align your business with your personal goals
Invest in a kind of business which you enjoy or have an interest in so that you will stay motivated. For example, if enjoy going out at night to clubs, you could start a night life club. There is no point in starting a club that entertains people at night if it does not interest you. Align your business idea to your personal lifestyle and your personal goals which you intend to reach. Do not invest in an area of business which you dislike or which you are not interested in just because the prospects of its success seem big. Pursue something that you are really interested in so that you can gain satisfaction from it and you can be motivated to continuously input your time, creativity and energy in it.