A lot of successful companies started out small. Many got started as a hobby or a leisure pursuit. All of them became successful not by accident but, by careful planning, by being good at what they do and by fulfilling customers’ needs and expectations.
The mortality rate of new enterprises continues to be extremely high, but the rewards for those who make it can be significant.
You have generated ideas but before you go into the next step; you have to ask yourself “do you have the passion to push this idea into a business?” That drive is necessary to carry you through the challenges ahead.
Here we have outlined the ten most important steps when starting a new business.
1. Test the market.
Is there a market for your business idea? Are there existing products in the market?
Is there room for a similar product? Who are the competitors?
2. Write a Business Plan
The business plan is a must have for any business. But, too many start-ups ignore this requirement only to find out later when the business becomes a failure that they should have written one in the first place.
Do not be intimated by the prospect of writing down a business plan.
If you need help in writing a good plan for your business (essential for obtaining finance) engage the services of an experienced business consultant.
3. Obtaining Finance
Having finance — and the right amount of it — is crucial for the start- up and ongoing success of your business. Your business plan should show how you will finance your business from start-up.
4. Build a Network
A good business needs a network. Networks are valuable to a start-up as it allows you to connect with people who’ve been there and done that. You can learn from many sources their own experiences – things to avoid and things that can work for your business.
5. Choose the Right Structure
Sole Trader, Partnership or Company? Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on the nature of your business, hence, choose carefully and check with your advisers.
6. Naming your Business
The name of your business could have big impact on its future. So take the necessary amount of time — and steps, to get it right. Once you’ve decided on a name, do not forget to register it with the proper channels.
7. Finding the right business premises.
Consider location, – leasing or purchasing. What features must your business premises have? Alternatively will you work from home?
8. Develop a marketing plan.
Following on from the ideas raised in your business plan, you should put together a carefully thought out marketing plan to ensure you will reach your target market.
9. The Regulatory requirements.
Register your business name, your company name; obtain an ABN (Australian Business Number). Ensure you have the appropriate tax file number. You may need to register for GST, State Government Licences or Local Government permits. Register a Domain name even if you do not yet have a website.
10. Draw up and implement systems.
For your business to operate smoothly draw up and implement systems to take care of all necessary record keeping such as accounting, bookkeeping, sales and inventory. If employing staff draw up hiring and job descriptions/specifications, it will safe you many headaches down the track.