Starting a new business – The business idea
Starting a new business begins with a good idea. What problem is your idea going to solve? What makes your idea different to your competitors? Is your idea unique and how will it stand out in the marketplace? You should be thinking about every aspect of your business and then have an answer for each. Taking time to brainstorm your idea will be key to how successful your business is in the future. Remember potential investors such as banks will want to know that all these questions have been answered and your business idea is sound. Remember many new business start-ups fail so ensuring that your idea has been well researched will be important.
Sounds simple but many businesses venture into markets with little research in the beginning. Conducting market research will be one of the first tasks when starting a new business. For example if you have decided to open a coffee shop, you will want to be asking key questions;
- How large is your market?
- Who is the competition?
- How well funded are your competitors?
- What is going to make your product different from your competitors?
Knowing your market will help shape your business idea and then ensure that your business has a better chance of success
Have a business plan
All new businesses will have a business plan. Investors and backers will ask to see your business plan before deciding whether to invest in your business. The business plan will provide an overview of your business idea and future plans. This will include an overview of your operation, business idea, market research, sales and marketing plan and financials. This is one of the most critical elements when starting a new business.
Once your business is ready to launch, the administration part of setting and running a business will need to be planned and implemented. This includes legal stuff such as compliance with laws and legislation, corporate structure, staffing and HR administration, setting up business bank accounts, insurance and setting up supplier accounts. Most start-ups will also have a board of directors which is another administration task that will need setting up.
Developing your product that you intend to take to market will also be a key step to starting a business. A good product and pricing strategy will be crucial to ensuring that your product succeeds in the market place. This part will have been covered during your market research. Considering doing things in house may be an option during the early stages of your start up. Testing your product and getting it ready to launch may involve refining your product so any flaws are resolved.
Launch marketing and brand-awareness
Getting your product out to the public will involve marketing and engagement strategies. What methods of marketing will you be employing? How to you intend to create brand awareness. Social media can be a great way to create brand awareness for your products. Having an online presence is essential in today’s marketplace for practically any business. This will involve creating social media pages, having a website and implementing search engine optimisation to ensure that your website can be found. Other forms of marketing may include local listings, newspapers, advertising, networking and road shows. Having a marketing plan in place that includes several channels for marketing and creating brand awareness around your product will help ensure that you give your product launch maximum exposure.
An essential part to setting up a new business is having your finances in place. This includes having an accounting and book keeping system in place to ensure all finances are documented. For most businesses whether a limited company or sole trader, it is possible to claim expenses before paying tax on your profits. Ensuring you are set up to pay tax is also important. You may decide to hire an accountant for your business who can make sure that your accounts are managed correctly.