Starting a business is a dream of many people – including you. The ability to dictate your own hours, work from your bedroom or a swanky new office and the freedom to be your own boss. Sounds like bliss, right? Of course! But, before you can reap the benefits of having your own business, you have to build it!
Building a business takes thought, discipline and a plan, so before you contact HMRC, take a look at the 6 things you need to do before starting your business.
Get to know yourself
You are the most important part of your business, as you will be running it (especially at the start). So before you start, you need to assess yourself. While the idea of going into business is great, it has its downfalls too and you have to make sure that you are prepared for them. Before you jump in, ask yourself: Do I actually want to go into business? If so, why? Most importantly, am I ready to go into business? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to all of those questions, you are ready to move onto the next step.
Define a problem
Once you’ve established that you do in fact want to start a business, you need to establish what industry you want to get into and identify the problem that you will solve.
Business is a long game, so you’ll want to make sure that you are in a field that you actually enjoy. To identify your industry, write down your interests and passions and see what sectors those interests align with. After deciding which industry most suits you, start looking at the demands being made within it. Remember, to have a successful business, you need to meet a need.
Business is about supply and demand, so before you start thinking about what it is you will supply, you must identify what is already in demand.
Every industry has niche customers that you can cater your business to. Think about it, even the Shirley Temple was once revolutionary! Now, mocktails can be found on the menu at almost any restaurant and bar. Your job is to uncover the needs (niche or otherwise) within your industry and build your products around them.
Start your search with three main questions:
- What are the customers currently complaining about?
- Are there any people who aren’t being catered to in the current market?
- What product or service needs to be created to focus on their needs?
Pro tip: Platforms like Reddit, Twitter and Instagram are great platforms to find out what questions and complaints your ideal customers currently have
Create a good solution
Now, you’ve identified the problem(s), but do you have the solution? To have a successful business, you must meet a need! Once you’ve read through all of the forums and checked the trending topics and questions within your desired market, you have to ask yourself if you have an idea that can provide the solutions for those problems.
Remember: no solution means no sale. So, if you aren’t yet providing a solution, revisit the drawing board and perfect your product. It’s okay if you don’t get it quite right the first time, review your feedback and go again.
Identify who has the problem and how you will reach them
Once you have a good solution in your arsenal, it’s time to narrow down on exactly who has the problem you are trying to solve and figure out how you can reach them. In your research of the common complaints within your industry, you will begin to find a pattern of people who are having the same problems. From this, you can create a profile of your ideal customer.
This description should include:
- Job Description
- Buying habits and motivations
- Social platforms they use
Understanding your ideal client will help you to develop the best product/service for them and develop a marketing strategy.
Identify the people or type of people you need to help you deliver the solution
While you are the backbone of your business, you don’t have to do it all alone! Learn when to outsource.
Successful business owners understand the importance of their time, so you need to learn to play to your strengths. Think about what you will need to carry your business from conception to production and outsource the roles that you can’t fill. Be critical.
Think about the amount of time that you can realistically devote to your business each day and which parts of it are most important to you to complete, then outsource the rest. Biting off more than you can chew will only slow you down, so begin to look for people who can supplement your efforts on your journey.
Test the waters
Last but not least, go for it! The only way to find out if your business will be a success is to launch it. Once you’ve done all of the steps above, it’s time to test the waters.
In the age of social media, it is easy to hold off on launching your business because of fear that “it isn’t perfect yet”, but perfection doesn’t exist. Build a brand that is simple but good enough and start developing a customer base and build from there. This way you can get real feedback from the people who matter and learn how you can improve to best cater to your target market. So, start!
Going into business isn’t a small decision but it is doable! Following this guide will prepare you to start your business, so get practical and start making your way up the business ladder. If you need extra support to start, book a consultation with us, so you can turn your business dream into a reality.