Examine yourself. Always evaluate yourself before starting any business. Get to know what your drive is. Are you going into that channel in search of freedom or money? If that is your only reason, then restructure the decision. Be aware that risks are prone to happen and be prepared to handle them. Have goals and consider doing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of the business plan so as to identify the internal and external factors that will affect the business’s performance.
Evaluate the market. Once you have settled on what field to follow, analyse it keenly. Spend time reading books related to that field, collect data from friends and online or visit your would-be competitors to learn how they run the business. This will help you know what unique thing you will bring on the table to win more customers and beat your competitors.
Know your target audience. As you analyse the market, get to know your target audience. What do they expect? Following the heart of your target audience will create chances of winning them. When analysing your target market, consider their demographics including age, location, gender, income level, education level, family status, occupation and ethnic background.
Also take into account the psychographics namely personality, attitudes, values, hobbies/interests, lifestyle and behaviour. Then determine how your product or service will fit into their lifestyle.
Get licenses and permits. Basically, start by registering your business. Work with a good lawyer who will help you with the finer details. Then get your business license and permits and also insurance cover, which might be costly but worth it.
Assess your finances. Have a plan of how you are going to cover the costs of starting the business. Come up with estimates of costs such as licenses and permits, equipment, legal fees, insurance, branding, grand opening, rent, utilities, production, supplies, employee salary and your own salary. Will it be self-sponsored or will you need a loan? Have you considered partnership or selling your business’s shares? Work through the options and see what will work best for you.
Select the appropriate place. Once the plan is sorted and you have the money at hand, search for a space to setup your business. However, you might not necessarily need an office if you are having an online business. When seeking premises to set up your business, consider the rent, location of your target audience, visibility and the distribution of your competitors.
Brand your business: Create a memorable impression of what people will relate to. Besides a good logo and branding name of the company, print t-shirts, caps, business cards and stationeries that you can giveaway. Have a business website and ensure you have a social media presence.
Start off: Now that you have your most important bases covered, you can have your business up and running. Remember, success doesn’t happen overnight. Use the business plan to consistently work on your business and to keep you on track.