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“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” Scott Belsky
Do you have an amazing idea? Was it a brilliant ’light bulb’ moment or a concept that you have been brewing for some time? Starting a business is an exciting time but one that should be well planned. Even if you don’t need much money to get started, you will still be investing time and energy so starting off on the right foot is essential. Here are six areas to consider when setting up your business:
1. The Idea
- Why am I starting a business?
- What are the goals of the business?
- What products or services am I providing?
“Capital isn’t that important in business. Experience isn’t that important. You can get both of these things. What is important is ideas” – Harvey S. Firestone
2. About me
- What are my skills/strengths?
- Do I need more skills or knowledge before I start?
- Are there aspects of the business I will need to outsource? (accounting, graphic/web design, administration support etc)
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
- What is the name of my business? Is this name available?
- What legal structure will the business have (sole trader, partnership, company)
- What systems do I need to set up ? (income/expenditure, time management, security, quoting, invoicing, social media etc)
- What records do I need to keep?
- What do I need to do before I open?
- Where will I operate my business from?
- What suppliers do I need?
- When can my business open/launch?
- How will I market my business?
- What hours will I work?
“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” Confucius
- Who are my ideal customers?
- Who is my competition? What do they do and what can I do better or differently?
- How will I get customers?
- How can customers and business contact me?
“Customers are the reason we open our doors every day, and keep the machines humming all night long. Customers determine what we eat, where we live, whether we stay in business.” Harvey Mackay
- How much money do I need to get started?
- What will be my start-up costs and ongoing monthly running expenses? (business registration, industry association fees, accounting, marketing, insurance, equipment, tools, office supplies, power, telephone and internet etc)
- Will I need a loan?
- How much will I charge?
- How will customers pay?
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” Ayn Rand
6. Moving forward
- Where can I get advice and support from?
- What are the risks in my business/what can go wrong? What can I do to help reduce this?
- Where do I see the business in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years?
- Will I have employees? What will they do?
“The future depends on what you do today.” Mahatma Gandhi
So, are you ready to take the leap and start your own business? Have you got the passion, patience and perseverance to grow your idea into a successful business? Will you take steps regularly to work on doing something to improve and build your new venture? If so, get out your calendar, set some deadlines and get started today.
“We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.” Calvin Coolidge