If you’ve had a great business idea and you’re ready to go, you’ve already conquered one of the hardest challenges, but the work has only just begun. It’s a common pitfall for those looking to start their own business to rely far too heavily on their good idea and get caught up in the fantasy of things going smoothly, whilst neglecting the many simple ways they can avoid foreseeable disasters. Of course, starting your new business should be fun and exciting but don’t forget that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your success is much the same.
Do your research
It can’t be stressed enough, doing your research is the number one priority before getting started with your business plans. You’re going to want to know about financing requirements, tax and administration requirements, your competitors, your target audience/customers, brand development options, marketing channels and much much more before you make any commitments. This is the time to evaluate how feasible your idea is – perhaps consider a backup as a service to your interests and to ensure you’re not left in the lurch.
Which entity type?
Deciding what style of entity will be will impact greatly on the structure of your new business. The standout impacts include your legal liabilities, taxes and government administration requirements. Costs of starting a company can be quite high and it has greater amount of paperwork plus higher reporting standards. Most opt to start small as a sole trader or partnership and reassess further down the track when the benefits begin to outweigh any downsides.
Drafting a business plan
This one can be daunting for most. Many worry that their plan needs to meet a certain structure or follow a certain formula. If you’ve never been exposed to a business plan or this is your first attempt at writing one, you may find it helpful to consult with someone with experience – just be sure to make sure this someone is trustworthy, you don’t want to risk them stealing your good idea. The main point of a business plan to get it down in writing what you actually hope to achieve, it doesn’t need to be perfect, but you will find it will help you in your pursuits.
Identify and source your financial needs
After you have your business plan sorted you should have an idea of how much money you’ll need to get your new business off the ground. This might be needed in the way of purchasing stock/materials, rental or purchase of equipment/a workspace or investing in disaster recovery as a service. From here you can decide whether you’re able to fund your ideas with your own money of if you’re going to need to hunt out a loan or find people to back you.
Establish your accounting plans
Often overlooked by new business owners is the amount of administration associated with owning a business. Depending on your industry and size of business there will be varying accounting, tax and other expenses to take into consideration. Knowing what types of taxes you’re going to be liable for and deciding on a system or process for managing your receipts and the likes is better done before you get started. Opening a bank account specifically for your business is imperative. This facilitates your need to keep your business and personal finances separate but also eliminates the risk that your bank won’t process transactions for your business as it is a personal account. You may find it helpful to find yourself a reliable accountant, tax agent and or bookkeeper to assist you with this part.
Surround yourself with the right people
Whether it’s a professional service you’re turning to for assistance, a partner you’re inviting to join you or an employee you’re looking to take on, making sure they align with your values and your vision will make things easier in the long run. People can be unreliable at the best of times and the last place you need to find this truth is in your own business.
Consider your marketing plans
Marketing sounds like an obvious requirement when we talk about owning or running a business, but so many new business owners are very quick to overlook the many channels and styles of marketing available. Ideally you’ll have already established who your target market will be and what your customer demographic will look like. Simple Google searches like SEO for technology companies or website development for technology companies will only get you so far. Your marketing success will in turn dictate the success of your business. If there was a single area worth investing in some professional help, it would be this one. If you want the customers to come, you must make sure they know who you are and where to find you. It is also more important to have a data backup and recovery in cloud computing to ensure that your data is secured safely.
Set realistic expectations
Starting your own business is not a walk in the park by any means. No matter how in demand your product or service is, you’re still going to have to put in the work. It’s not uncommon for new business owners to still be working part time (if not full time) at a salaried job until they build some traction. This will mean working longer hours and often with little reward to start off. Having a realistic expectation of the effort required and the likely timeline before you see results will help keep moral up when things look a little bit grim. Setting yourself realistic milestones and goals is also a tangible way to track your success and properly realise your progress.
Find/maintain the passion
The biggest mistake new business starters encounter is thinking their endeavour will be successful if their heart isn’t in it. As previously pointed out, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to be successful off the bat, the odds are typically not in your favour. If you aren’t passionate or at very least interested in the industry you’re attempting to break into, you’re going to make a slight incline into a steep one. As long as you feel equal to the challenge, up for the work and confident in your abilities to commit and work hard, you’ll be sure to see success.