The First Steps in Starting a Business

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Starting a business can seem overwhelming with all the cogs you need to have in place before you can power up your business machine. But if you look at each cog and put them in place correctly when you pull the trigger on your business, you will have fewer complications to deal with.

Choose a business idea

Is there a demand for it? Have you seen other businesses doing what you want to do or something similar? On the other hand, have you asked your target market if what you want to do is something they will be willing to pay for? Because without a demand, you won’t have cash flow and without cash flow, you won’t have a business.

What is your unique selling point? Even if there is competition where is their weakness? Competition shows you that there is a demand but it is important for you to stand out from the crowd. How will you make your offering different from what is available?

Write a business plan

By writing a business plan, you will put your idea down on paper. This will help you to analyse your idea more objectively and see if there is a chance for it to succeed. The first areas to consider in your business plan are:

Target audience: Who will be buying the product from you? Where are they based? Which platforms do they use to interact with businesses?

Competition: When you consider your competitors you should not only consider direct competition but also look at what people are doing if they don’t use your direct competitor’s product or service.

Product: What are you going to sell? When considering the product you need to work out your break-even point. You do this by considering your fixed costs (rent, subscriptions, internet or phone line, etc) and your variable costs. Using this equation: Fixed costs / (Price per unit – variable costs) = breakeven point.

This will let you know what is the least you need to do to ensure you don’t lose money.

Find funding

How are you going to pay for your business idea? You can bootstrap your business idea which means you start with the money you have and as you make money you put it back into your business to grow it. You could also reach out to small business initiatives and see how they can help fund your business idea. Lastly, you can look for an angel investor. It is important to remember when you get funding from a third party, there should always be a contract that clearly states what your responsibilities are and what the funding entity will give you in return.

Tell the world

If you hide your idea under a rock and never tell anyone about it then you will not be successful. You need to market your product. Ensure you are on the same platforms where your target audience hangs out and let them know what you have to offer. When you speak to your audience try to become a thought leader in your area and share information which will help your audience to better understand the problem your product or service solves.

By building rapport and trust through great articles and information, you will be top of mind when they decide to solve their problem with a product or service. By following these first four tiny steps, you will have made a good start on your business.

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