Many women dream of leaving their jobs and starting their own businesses. You could be facing retrenchment or retirement or just looking to set up a viable, income-generating, side hustle. The benefits are endless; flexible working hours, the ability to work from home, use your creativity to earn some money and so much more. But the big questions is where to begin?
Here are some of the things you should consider to get started.
1. Create a business model
If you have an idea for a business a good start is working on a business model. Working through this process will help you determine:
- What your value proposition or point of difference is.
- Where your potential revenue streams are.
- Remember there could more than one way to generate income.
- Who your target market is and how you will reach them (distribute your product or service).
- What type of relationship you will have with your target market.
- Some products or services require a very hands-on approach, while others are more arm’s length.
- Who potential partners or suppliers are.
- What equipment (assets) you need to achieve this.
- Use a template to help you. The questions will help prompt you to cover all the different areas.
Click here to access the #ShiftYourJob template. You might find that there are some gaps that you need to work on. That’s ok. That’s the point of the exercise; to make sure you have everything covered.
2. Getting your first client
- Getting your first client can be daunting but this will be a pivotal moment in your new business.
- Develop a lead generation mechanism.
- You know who your potential clients are but where are they and how will you reach them?
- Get in touch and set up meetings. This is a great way to test your product or service and find out what your market wants and if you need to do any tweaking.
- Set up meetings with leads; find out what they want and listen to their responses.
- Set up a follow-up process (sales funnel). What are the next steps? Use a basic customer relationship management system to help you keep track of everything.
- What happens after the meeting? Do you need to send a proposal?
- How do you follow up on the proposal?
- What are the timelines? (the length of your sales cycle)
3. Registration and compliance
Registering a business does have certain advantages. The main one being that a registered business is seen as a separate legal entity. This does offer a certain amount of legal protection.
This is an inexpensive process (approximately R200 for name reservation and registration) and can be done directly on the CIPC website (in South Africa) http://www.cipc.co.za. You will need to provide the following documents:
- Identity documents of all shareholders
- Proof of residence for all shareholders
- Proof of residence for the business
- Required forms completed and signed
4. Get support
A coach or mentor can make a huge difference at this stage of a business. Someone who is objective and will listen to your ideas and give you valuable feedback is extremely valuable. A coach or mentor will also hold you accountable to make sure things happen and move forward. Getting stuck and then procrastinating can be a big problem. Life happens, things get busy and it becomes so easy to get distracted.
This can all seem very daunting but take it one step at a time, get the support you need and then do it. Be brave! And you’ll find you’re more capable than you ever believed possible. For more information on #ShiftYourJob #KickStart workshops email firstname.lastname@example.org