It’s no easy task creating a successful business and there may be times when you might want to pull your hair out but before you do that, read this post. Creating anything from scratch can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before. I think a lot of the associated stresses of building your business can be eliminated by being prepared for every eventuality and planning for every eventuality. So here are a few things I think you should consider when building your own business.
Whatever idea you have chosen to pursue, you will need to ensure that it’s thoroughly researched and ultimately, that it’s a viable business option. You will need to know who your target market is or is likely to be, their spending habits, how and where they spend. Information about your key demographic will serve you well when it comes to developing your products/services and will ultimately have an effect on how your business grows, develops and whether it will succeed.
Conducting thorough market research should be intrinsic within your business model. There are countless market research tools online and a quick google search will definitely point you in the right direction. Google Trends and Google Analytics are both great tools which you can use to conduct market research and to analyse consumer behaviour.
Create a business plan
A great business plan is the cornerstone of every successful business. It allows you to methodically organise and structure your business. So even though you might think you know what your business is about and how it will work, it helps immensely to formalise your thoughts in the form of a business plan. For most entrepreneurs, a business plan is essential for securing funding and investments.
Your business plan should be detailed yet concise, it should contain a summary of what your business is and what it intends to do, good marketplace and consumer research, detailed and realistic financial information along with a clear plan of how you intend to sell your products and services. Once you’ve written down all of your ideas, it becomes one less thing to worry about. There are also countless tools online designed to help you with your business plan.
Risk assessment – what do you stand to lose if your business fails?
Some people choose to include a risk assessment within their business plan but I wanted to pull this out as a separate topic in itself.
No one wants their business to fail but the reality of it is that many businesses do fail. A recent survey by the Office for National Statistic found that 91% of small business are still trading after their first year however by year 5, only 4 out of 10 business will continue to trade.
It’s important to fully consider what financial implications starting your own business could have on your own personal circumstances. Once you’ve considered all risks, start planning to mitigate them. I would suggest seeking advice from an accountant when putting together your business plan or when making any big financial decisions.
Mentoring and Networking
It’s important that you talk to friends and family about your ideas and that you’re open to criticism about them. We often underestimate the wealthy of knowledge that we have surrounding - friends and family might not own their own businesses but they may have worked in a particular industry and could give you a few tips where possible. Ultimately, I would suggest finding a mentor in the form of an entrepreneur or someone within your industry who has sound experience and who is willing to guide and advise you along your journey.
Networking is a great way to meet new people, potential customers and even potential employees. Aim to build a database of useful contacts by attending as many industry events as possible.
There are going to be many bumps along the entrepreneurial road but that doesn’t mean that you should become bogged down and stressed out about every little thing. Plan for every eventuality and ask for help whenever you need it. Always try to remember why you decided to build your own business and have as much fun as you can doing it!