It’s always an exciting idea to create a business. You know it is something that you can call your own. Something that you know if you pour your heart and sweat into it, it shall give you the desired results or experience to tackle a similar problem in future. A business is usually born from something that you are passionate about.
You can never be sick of your hustle and it makes you excited to wake up in the morning to go work on it. You even have the opportunity to create employment for others and do it on terms that make sense to you. In a nutshell, having a business is a great idea, but what do you need to have in place before you can even imagine your business soaring?
1. Create A Business Plan
First things first, you need to have a business plan. This will serve as a drawing board for your business. You need to put all your plans down and devise ways how you will execute them and the contingencies put in place. This is also to help you get investors because they will need to see that whatever they are investing in actually makes sense. So how do you create a business plan? Click here to get a detailed process or write up a business plan that will have investors begging you to take their money and let them invest in your business.
Related: Business Plan Writing 101
2. Estimate Startup Costs
This needs to be calculated precisely and very carefully. You don’t want to scare off investors with huge sums that need to be invested. Also, you don’t want to have less money when you are starting and the business fails before it has even begun. This will help you to calculate your startup costs effectively. So as to be able to find a balance and have the sweet spot. The startup costs include the operating costs, the expenses incurred and any other costs that the business may incur while it is still in the stage of picking up.
3. Register Business Name
This is a vital part as your business will need a name, it has to be a catchy name but it has also to be easy on the mouth, a name that people will easily remember. It also has to be a name that reflects your business. Once you have the perfect name you need to obtain a license for it from the government offices. You also need to obtain all permits that will enable you to run your business within the law.
4. Open A Business Banking Account
It is always wise to have a separate bank account for your business. This has several advantages one of them being that the bank is more likely to offer up a loan to a business than to an individual. Another is that you will be able to monitor how your business is doing financially. It is always best to research several banks on the facilities they offer to businesses and see which one best fits your needs before you can decide which bank to use.
5. Choose a Legal Structure
There are many loopholes when it comes to business operations and the whole entirety of running a business. It is always wise to involve a lawyer that will be able to cover you in any legal issue that may arise. If you cannot afford an in-house lawyer, it is best to contact one outside of the office for the issue at hand. The lawyer can also help you to exploit the loopholes to your business’s advantage, this is good for as long as it is within the law. Do not jeopardise the future of your business on something that is not really worth it.
6. Identify Your Target Market & Research Competition
You need to know to who you plan to sell your products or services. You also need to know where they hang out so that you can know how to attract them to your business. What do they look for on social media, so you can know how to target your ads to bring them to your business? Research your competition, what are they already offering? Are you offering the same thing? What is your edge over them? What do you plan to do differently that will make the consumers choose you over them?
7. Choose Brand Colours & Design a Logo
Your logo needs to be simple and reflect your business. This will be what customers see in place of your name. You also need to choose the theme colours wisely. They need to be colours that reflect your business as well. They need to be colours that are easy on the eyes and that will not overwhelm the onlooker.
8. Create A Website & Tagline
The first place people go to search for something is online. The web has become such a monopoly that it is close to impossible to have a business without an online presence. Your website is what clients will use to gauge whether they should trust you and give you their money or whether you are not so trustworthy. It may seem dumb but this happens a lot. So you need to make sure that your website is something to behold. It doesn’t matter if it costs you a bit more than you hoped for but it will well be worth it. And it is a one-off payment, which is worth it for your business. Your tagline needs to be catchy as well.
9. Create Social Media Accounts
Social media has become a giant in its own light. More people are on social media now than before, so it is always a safe bet for your business to have a social media presence, it is marketing that will bring customers to your business. Also, consumers spend a lot of time on social media so they are more likely to know more about your business through your social media presence. So make sure you have all the social media accounts for your business and that you are active on them. You can hire a freelancer for this if you feel like it is too much work for you.
10. Order Business Cards
Consumers are more likely to take you seriously if you give them a business card after talking to them. It looks more professional and looks like you have an idea about the niche your business is in. It is way better than asking someone to put your contact info on their phone. Plus business cards are not so expensive to have. Also if you are dealing with a more tech audience you can still have e-business cards, which still look professional and have no costs at all, all you need to do is design them.
11. Set Up An Accounting System
It is vital to get an accounting system since there will be inflow and outflow of cash and if not properly monitored problems may arise. The accounting system will make sure invoices are input correctly and sent out to the relevant people, money received is receipted properly, and statements of accounts and any other financial reports are prepared properly. Of course, this will be able to give you an overview of how your business is doing.
12. Set Up An Order Management System
This is especially important if your hustle is a product-based business. You want your customers satisfied when their order is delivered to them within the stipulated time and when it is the correct order. This is achieved very easily when you have an order management system as it will capture all the details of the products that you have in stock and will alert you when a product is almost out of stock. It will also capture the specifications that the customer would like and execute effectively. This will also be more efficient for a service-based company to enable customers to book appointments more efficiently. This will make your customers have even more faith in you.
13. Create Sample Products
Sample products can entice customers to get more of your product or service. If they get a little taste of what it is that you are offering and it happens to be just what they want, they will buy what you are selling. The best way to employ this is to visit where your target audience hangs out and set up a table and display your products. Make sure that they see the sign that they are sample products and hence they are free. Also, you can offer your services for free, give them a little taste.
If you have a solid business plan and solid products or a solid service and you have set up these things right, you are set up for success. Let me know in the comments below how this list will help you or has helped you.