WWhen it comes to starting a new business, there is no right or wrong. Your effort will be what counts most. But preparing yourself with the right skills and knowledge is key to making that effort count.
New business creation steps
The sweat equity you invest in your business will, in large part, determine the success or otherwise of your new venture...
Sweat equity counts but how to know what to focus on?
The challenge then, is to make sure that your efforts are directed by good practice and by drawing on the successes of entrepreneurs and those that have been there and got the t-shirt. After all, you don’t want to be sweating the wrong stuff, and if this is your first startup then you will want to be learning from others
Is there a right way to set up a new business?
There’s no specific way but there are definitely some good ways - some well-established business habits, skills and processes to follow that will reduce your risk of making a calamitous or silly mistake owing to poor preparation.
A rough outline of what good business startup steps look like:
Steps to setting up a new business
Self-reflection: Think about who you are and what you really want to do/achieve. Saying "I want to get rich" is too vague. You will need to uncover you true motivation for being here and for wanting your own business
Skills & Knowledge Development: Be prepared to invest time in learning the skills necessary to succeed in business. These could be accounting, sales & marketing skills, product knowledge, people management, strategy & visioning, stock control or project planning. The list is endless. Consider which skills are business-critical and then get reading!
Idea Generation: Understand that an idea is not necessarily an opportunity. Learn how to come up with ideas and then validate them
Self-Assessment: OK, so you've got an idea that looks like a promising opportunity too. Next step is to assess whether you personally have the skills, resources and abilities to progress that opportunity. Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you need a partner or co-founder? Conduct a personal SWOT analysis!
Opportunity validation: Do your homework and establish whether a real market for your chosen business idea exists. Study trade data, company reports, news and statistics to verify that a well-defined market exists.
Market Research: In-depth analysis of the drive in your chosen market, buying behaviours, market segments and trends. Check out competitors and conduct surveys
Market testing: Get out there and trial your product or service on real live customers. Record their feedback and listen carefully!
Sales & marketing plan: Draw up a simple plan of how you are going to reach your market. Remember to factor in feedback from the previous step.
Company formation: Register yourself or your company and get all the required documentation, branding, registering of domain names etc. in placBusiness Setup: Office or premises setup, signage, finalisation of systems for invoicing & book-keeping, set up your supply-chain and get your house in order ready for launch.
Market retesting: Trial a "soft launch". Test your product on your first formal customers. Work closely with them to refine and improve your systems, products and services.
Raise finance: Secure the investment required to get your startup off the ground.
Business launch: Make some noise or take the quiet approach. Either way launching your business will be a major milestone. Of course, the work doesn't stop there!
Yes, but what about my business plan?
If you go through the above steps, or a similar process, your business plan will evolve naturally and become well-developed. It's your prepration that matters, once you are truly prepared putting your plan down on paper for investors and yourself will be so much easier.