Many people are thinking of starting a business at any one time, and that is something to think about if you are one of them. For one thing, it implies that your idea might not be as original as you hope, and you will need to check and double check that to make sure. It also shows that there is a good chance you are going to have competition early on, not just with finding customers but even before that with landing business funding and so on. Of course, if you have a strong idea and a lot of passion, you should think about starting your business anyway. But there are a range of things that you should be aware of or consider first, to ensure you do it right.
Is The Idea Good Enough?
What is the presiding idea behind your business? If it is for a particular product, then you need to know that this product is going to be popular enough that it can sustain the business in the long-term. That is a lot of pressure to put on one product, so you really need to test the waters with it as best as you can. That means asking around with as many people as possible, even doing a focal group if you can or something similar. You need to be as certain as possible that your idea is good enough, especially if you are simply working from an idea for a product.
Your idea might be more about the business itself, such as one that provides a service you feel is missing or operates in a certain way that you think might work well. Again, make sure you put these ideas to the test, so that you can make sure you are going to be sure of them from the outset. A good idea that holds water is the strongest possible basis for a business, so it’s important.
How Will You Fund It?
Starting a company takes money. Not necessarily a lot of money, but certainly some amount. It depends on what you are specifically doing, of course, and some businesses can be started for hardly anything while others will take many thousands to get going. So the first thing to do here is to actually work out your budget, how much money you think you are going to need for your business to get going. Then you need to take a look at your funding options, of which there are likely to be plenty.
When you are seeking or applying for funding, make sure you have a specific, defined amount in your head that you can explain with all the necessary evidence. As long as you have that, and you have the kind of idea that people can get on board with, then you will find that you are much more likely to get the funding you need. You can look to angel investors, bank loans, personal loans, personal credit, crowdfunding, grants and more. There should always be a way to fund your business, but it may take time to get it approved.
What Tech Do You Need?
There is simply no business operating today that does not require the use of some kind of technology, even if it is very rudimentary and basic. It is important to work out what tech you are going to need to use in your business, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is likely to be one of the major early one-off expenses, so you need to account for it in the budget as fully as possible, without any errors. Secondly, very often the quality of the tech dictates or is related to the quality of the product, and certainly the level of customer service you provide. Tech really is related to everything you do in business.
Apart from figuring out what tech solutions you need, you also need to develop a means of using it that works for your business. That is something that is going to develop a lot over time, but the important thing is that you have at least some idea of what you are going to do first and foremost. That means having a strategy for using your technology, including what to automate and what your digital transformation strategy is going to be. What is digital transformation? Simply, it’s a way of ensuring that you can successfully automate what needs automating, for the good of your business in the long run. It’s a vital part of setting up your tech.
Who Are Your Customers?
Good marketing requires that you have a strong idea of who to target the marketing towards. That means that you need to work out who your customers are going to be, long before you have started trading. This is an art and a science that has developed profoundly over the years, to the point where it is now easier than ever to work out what people are likely to buy your product or use your service. That is thanks largely to the increase of data traffic that people give out – using that, it is possible to find out increasingly specific demographics for pretty much anything. You can hire a team to do this for you, which is probably the best way – but at the same time, you need to be prepared to cast the net wide, just in case you should need to.
How Will You Survive The Year?
The statistics are against you when you start a business. Most companies fail in the first year – around 80% by most guesses. You need to work out how you are going to make sure that you continue to operate as long as possible, but only as long as you are being profitable of course, otherwise there is little point. How are you going to survive the year, and what plans do you have in place to deal with specific problems that might occur? Being clear on these questions is hugely valuable in keeping your business afloat.