10 things to consider before starting a business
If you want to be an entrepreneur, there are few things you should consider before you start your business. Starting a business can be a challenging task if you are a newbie in the market. Don’t worry we have prepared a list of points to consider before you launch your business in the market.
It is a great thought that you are thinking about starting your own business. But here is the truth - starting a business is not as easy as it seems to be. Let’s assume that you have a great business idea. Though, don’t rush toward starting your business immediately. Before you get started there are some important factors that you need to consider at the initial stage itself. This article will guide to focus on some important aspects to consider before starting a business:
1 Do you have a great idea?
Every business requires a unique idea. You should be truly passionate about your idea. It is possible that similar idea already exists in the market. Your task is to make sure that your idea still stands out among those similar ideas. Apart from having a great idea, execution of the idea matters a lot. You might be having hundreds of ideas from which you could start earning money. But those ideas are worthless if you don’t actually implement it. Consider the following questions while thinking about implementing the idea:
- Do you have required skills and time to implement the idea?
- What will be the USP of your idea?
- How your idea is different than other competitors?
2 Convert the problem into an opportunity
You should be familiar with your idea, product or service you are going to offer. Customers face many problems in their daily lives and they are always in search of solutions. If your business idea can solve the customers’ problem then that problem can become a business opportunity for you. You can get an idea from anywhere and anytime. It’s also possible that you might be facing any problem and you come up with the innovative solution. That solution can be transformed into a business idea. Or you can copy any existing successful business idea and implement it with proper planning. We would suggest that rather than copying an existing business idea come up with your own innovative idea.
3 Importance of market research
Most people get excited about their business idea and directly jump into starting the business. If you start a business without doing enough research then you will not get success in the business. Therefore, do detailed analysis of your business idea’s industry. Check out whether your product or service is viable in the market or not. Conduct research about your competitors. Know about their strategies. Research about required skills to start your business. Is your idea feasible in the market? What is the ratio of achieving success through your business idea? You can even take guidance from experts of the respective industry. Market research will give you a clear picture of the potential market.
4 Know your target market
Who is going to use your product or service? Who are your potential customers? What are their requirements? What kind of features are they expecting from you? Knowing your target market is an essential factor to be considered before you start your business. Decide whether you are targeting local market or thinking about covering larger market. According to your target market, you will be able to develop marketing strategies. Know about customers’ likes & dislikes. Listen to your customers carefully. You can stay connected with your customers through questionnaires, social media platforms and by holding focus groups too. Consulting customers make them feel worthy. Therefore, they might become your loyal customers. Knowing your target audience will help you to build products or services as per their needs.
5 Legal documentation
Once you have gone through intense research, you will get surety of whether your business idea is viable or not. Next step is to finalize the name of your company. After finalizing the name you would be able to complete legal procedures of business. Every business has to consider legal rules and regulations. That is why give priority to complete legal documentation procedure. Because incomplete legal procedure can become hurdle in your business. So it’s better to fulfill all legal requirements at the initial level.
Without cash flow, there is no business. Launching your business will require funding. Will you be able to arrange startup cost or will you be needing investment from outside? You can borrow money from family members or friends. Else you can opt for a loan from bank. You can also look into business grants available by government. You can also look for venture capitalists or angel investors. Crowd funding is also one option that can be considered. You should be able to convince investors that your idea is worthy and in future, your business idea will make money. At this stage, consider the budget of your company too. Having some potential clients in starting period of business will help you to manage cash flow of business. You should be able to manage the regular budget decided for the company. While finalizing overall funding requirement, consider initial investment cost, regular monthly expenses, product development cost, and other future expenses too.
7 Marketing plans
You don’t need to be a marketing expert to design marketing strategies for your business. Once you are clear about your target market, you will be able to design marketing strategies accordingly. Online marketing is the latest trend nowadays to market a product or service. You can even go for joint-venture marketing strategy where two businesses come together and help each other to market their brand. According to your business need, you can keep on improving marketing strategies. Have defined budget for marketing and advertising. Let’s assume that any specific marketing campaign is helping you to gain more profit then you can invest more in that marketing campaign. Once your brand is established in the market, planning marketing strategies will become much easier as you will be knowing what customers are looking for and what attracts customers the most. Your business’s success depend on effective marketing strategies.
If your business idea is product-based then, it would be better to have little test-run before you invest all your money in product development. To test your business idea, you can try surveys, polls and focus groups. These practices will help you to achieve positive or negative feedback of your products or services. There are many online survey tools available such as SurveyMonkey.com, Constantcontact.com, Surveyplanet, and Zoomerang.com to help you to get feedback. No matter how good your product or service looks on paper, chances are your product or service may not get success in the actual market. Your business idea might get thrown out of the market. Wherein, testing your product or service through survey helps you to identify what turns on your customers and what turns them off. Which are the aspects customers consider before buying a product or service? Surveys can help you to find this answer. Sometimes customers like certain products but they don’t buy it due to high price. Just like this, there can be a number of reasons affecting customers’ buying decision. Exploring online forums can be useful to get a better insight into customers’ mindset. What are people discussing on online platforms? What do people want to know about? Knowing these answers will help you to work more on your business idea.
9 Web presence
Imagine someone types in your company name in a search box and nothing comes up related to your company. Not good right? In today’s technological era it’s very essential to have a strong web presence to keep up with the competitors. According to one research, 50% of small businesses don’t have their own website. Some businesses don’t build a website because they can’t afford it or they don’t have required skills to build website. There are many online tools available to build websites such as Moonfruit and Wix.com. Imagine, wouldn’t it be great if you could sell your products or services online through website? A website helps you to gain benefit of an online market. Since from website, customers can buy anything from anywhere and anytime. But make sure that your website’s design and content is appealing. Your website should be able to engage more customers. If content displayed on your website is interesting then only you will get more page views. Now imagine again what if someone types in your company name in a search box and can access your business detail such as products, services, contact information etc. Build a website of your business if you haven’t yet and see the difference.
10 Be prepared to fail
Life is uncertain so is business. When you start a business, always be ready for the uncertain circumstances. Accept the uncertain nature of the business. It is not at all necessary that you will definitely get success in business. Always hope for success but be prepared to face the failure too. If you get failed then you have to accept the fact that at least you tried. Your perspective towards failure matters a lot. You failed in the first try it doesn’t mean that in every try you will not get success. If your one business idea is not successful, you can always try another idea. You don’t stop trying that’s what ultimately matters. Take a lesson from the business idea that didn’t work. Not now then in future, from many business ideas, one idea might actually work. Keep trying and don’t give up.