If you have a business idea that you want to get off the ground or you’re on the verge of getting underway, there are some important things to do and consider before you get up and running and open the doors. To avoid being one of the many businesses that fail in the first few months or years, proper planning and diligence are required at the outset to ensure a greater chance of success.
Let’s look at some of the things you need to do in the early stages and avoid making mistakes and costly errors.
#1 – Do Your Market Research
This is a step that ideally should be carried out when you first conceive a business idea. Research in this vital area gives you an overview of the potential success of your business idea. Through your research, you’ll discover who the competitors are in the market, whether there is a large enough customer base to make the business profitable and, if you believe it can be profitable, you’ll then have enough knowledge to search for a way you can gain a competitive advantage over other similar businesses in the space.
#2 – Write Up a Business Plan
It’s very important not to get over-excited and become impatient in these early stages. It’s in your best interests to take your time, do your research and write up a business plan.
Your business plan will become the foundation and cornerstone of your business. As you go through the process of filling in the details of your plan, you will become intimately familiar with your new business and what’s involved. You’ll also map out goals and objectives, the business structure, financial details, and much more.
Never start a business without first writing up some form of a business plan to work from.
#3 – Develop a Risk Management Strategy
One thing that can kill a business is encountering some major problem that brings the business to its knees. In order to avoid or mitigate both major and minor incidents, risk management solutions are essential.
Every business, no matter how large or small, will face various risks that could develop into major problems. One of the main goals of risk management is to recognize those risks early on, so measures can be adopted to avoid those risks if possible.
Rather than always going into damage control mode to try and find solutions to problems once they’ve occurred, risk management enables you to dodge many risks so your business runs far more smoothly. You might also want to consider investing in dedicated risk management software at some point too.
#4 – Ensure You Have Enough Start-Up Capital
Not only will you need enough cash on hand to finance the business and get it up and running, but you’ll also need some backup capital to keep you going until the business starts to turn a profit and can finance itself.
Nothing will put you out of business quicker than running out of money, so spend some time formulating a fairly accurate budget before getting started and be sure to include an amount to keep you and your business afloat for at least the first six months.
#5 – Choose Your Location Carefully
If your business requires you to have a premise, as in it’s not run online from home, the location can be vital, particularly for retail businesses.
If the plan is to open a store of some description, you’ll want to open your shop in an area with decent foot traffic and that is not difficult to get to. Also, take note of whether any customer parking is available.
Are other businesses in the street or area thriving? What type of businesses are they? Does the asking price for the rent seem fair for the location, and is it affordable?
For businesses that depend on being in a good location, the choice of location could make or break your business, so spend some time finding the right place at the right price.
If you want your new business to be successful, spend time in the beginning planning and thinking about every aspect of your business. With a sound idea and detailed planning, there’s every chance your business will be a resounding success.