Opening a business nowadays can be rewarding and easily accomplished using the power of an Internet connection and an intention to produce or render services. However, knowing the right time to venture into the business makes the difference between a successful launch and a failure.
How do I know it’s the right time?
Money, Money, Money!
Most businesses fail because the owner does not have enough cash flow to fund a business. Remember, cash flow is king! Building your projected budget for the coming year and stick to it. It is very easy to stray from what you expect to spend and then creates a cash flow crunch that you were not looking for. It is also important to note that before starting a business, you may wish to accumulate up to a year’s savings to help balance out any unexpected costs that you didn’t budget for.
Formulate an Effective Marketing and Sales Plan
One of the challenges that a startup business faces is a constant supply of new customers. Marketing of either the product or the service should start long before you have established your business. Define and evaluate the marketing mix of your product or service. That is, the four P’s:
- Place – Make sure that your business premises are located in an easily accessible location if you are choosing a physical location. Otherwise, make sure that you are easily accessible with a website that loads quickly and has an engaging first page. This is your “front door” of the business. You want to invite them in, not scare them away.
- Product – Aspects to consider when designing a product include quality, packaging, design and customer service. Be innovative in producing a product and promote product differentiation by listening to your customer. What does your service do to eliminate a pain point for the buyer?
- Promotion – Advertising is critical and can be an expensive venture when starting a business. Take up cost effective advertising platforms such as social media to promote your business and services that you offer to your customers. Remember, it is all about the bottom line when you are starting out.
- Price – One has to strike a balance between the cost of production and existing competition. If you price your products too high, you will lose customers to the competition. If the prices are too low, there is a risk of running losses, and the business will fail.
Support from Family
Starting a business venture will affect the people in your life. One way to ensure stability is to start a business while still working at your full-time job or position. The security of having a pay cheque coming into the household will help alleviate uncertainties while allowing you to build your dream.
By involving your family in the decision-making and garner their support, you can include your family and they too have an investment into the business.
What Resources Will I Need?
Make a detailed business plan and include approximate budget, business objectives and goals and a timeline for their completion. Include a timeline for reviewing the completion of objectives.
Savings can be used as a source of capital. On the other hand, you can borrow money from financial institutions.
Acquire the knowledge you need you need to run the business. Invest your time in studying the market that you want to service. What are the sales statistics? By obtaining data and understanding who you are selling too, you can provide a product that they may want to buy over your competitor.
Premises and Supporting Furniture
Should you start small and look at starting from home? Or should you rent and invest in leasing a location? Leasing can be prohibitively expensive when you are starting out in a new business. Just remember to keep costs at the top of your mind until the income starts rolling in.
Most entrepreneurs will tell you that taking the plunge to owing your own business really is a leap of faith. Building a business from a concept to an entity does take time, energy, money and most of all, an internal belief that you can make this work.
What you really need to do is ask yourself one question: When do I start?
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Until the next time,