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The First Steps To Take When Starting A Business

Starting a business can be an exciting (and sometimes scary) undertaking. No matter the kind of business you’re looking to start, there’s bound to be a plethora of information available to you. Whilst that can make things a little easier, it also means you can get overwhelmed and not focus on what is truly important.

For those who has had the pleasure of starting a few businesses, they would admit that each one has been an incredible learning lesson. Not all businesses go the distance but some can succeed with the right mix of planning and hard work.

  • Research your business

Research is the number one thing you need to do before you invest any time, energy or money into a business. In fact, research should be your top priority of things to do before you do anything else.

You may think you have a unique idea or business proposition however without thoroughly doing research first, you can get into trouble. Ensure that you check out the competition because while competition is healthy, you don’t want to choose a market that is flooded with the same offering. If you find a business or product that already successfully exists, think about how you could make it even better or put a spin on it. Don’t just go in and do exactly the same as another business because it will mean you’ll have to work harder and you’ll always be one step behind.

  • Take actions on your findings

When you do your research, make sure you honour your findings. If your brain or instincts even tell you not to go ahead with something, then don’t. If you have any doubts, fears, or minor concerns, either work out solutions or discuss it with people who might know the answer.

  • Know your personal driving force before you start

Before starting a business, ask yourself what is my driving force?. The reason this question is fundamental is because it will be the thing that determines whether you succeed or not. Knowing your personal drivers or motivators gives you the ‘why’ for doing something. Is your driving force money? If so, you’ll want to make sure your business has the capacity and scalability to make lots of it. Is your driving force the thing you’re passionate about? If so, make sure your business aligns to your passion, so you’ll be more driven to make it work.

There’s nothing worse than working in a business or field that you’re not passionate about. Do you want to start a business for better work-life balance? Well, you need to know that it will still take a lot of hard work. Do some serious self-reflecting and understand what will motivate you to make your business succeed.

  • Work backwards

When you are thinking about starting a business, it is natural to think about it from where you are, the beginning. But you need to work backwards with your business. Ask yourself some important questions like:

Who is the end user and what price would you expect to pay?

This can help you factor in things like online delivery cost and delve further into the logistics of it.

What is your exchange or return policy?

Depending on what you’re selling, you need to have these parameters in place. If you don’t have these terms clearly outlined, you don’t have legs to stand on when it comes to challenging customers. You don’t want to run into a scenario when someone is asking for a refund in June of a Christmas gift they received.

What are the costs for bags, boxes, shipping or any other material needed for the sale?

These items costs money so it needs to researched and factored into your business plan. These kinds of costs can seem like they’re small and incidental, but they can add up very quickly.

  • Have a plan at the start

A business without a plan can be doomed from the start. You need to know what your end goal is, along with where you want your business to be in 3, 5 or 10 years. You need to know your business inside out and the way you can do this is build out a business plan.

Also factor in an exit strategy. Sure, it might seem like something you don’t need to know right now, but the end goal will affect the start up and running strategy.

Do you want to sell and retire, move onto another business, franchise, or sell a stake? Your business plan should factor all of this in. Again, there are so many great resources online that can help you to build out your business plan along with prompt you about the things you need to factor in before starting your business.

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