Startup Business Plan – Here Are Things You Will Need to Prepare
Starting a new business is not for the faint-hearted. It is full of challenges and sacrifices, still, most of those who sally forth say they would do it all again in a heartbeat. If you’re considering a new startup of your own, there are some vital things you need to have in place beforehand.
The most important of those is having a bulletproof plan and a passion for the long haul. Most successful entrepreneurs believe the following tips and suggestions are key to seeing any new business through the good and the bad times and they are hints that the unsuccessful should have heeded:
1. Powerful Message
It’s common sense to base a new business on the customers’ needs and wants so you need to ask yourself questions about your ‘value proposition’. You need goods or services your customers cannot live without. Ask yourself why you think your business is successful, what customer problems you can solve and if your customers are willing to pay for it.
2. You Need a Business Plan
It’s notoriously challenging to start a new business; the easy part is spending all your resources and your time on it. The solution is to write a business plan. If you get it on paper you will know exactly where you’re headed.
Your plan should include your projected results and your personal goals, for example, your business might make a profit of $50,000 but if you have a family to support and you live in a large city then this is not enough money to live on by any means.
Your business plan will be important in identifying parts of your business model that might need tweaking at different stages.
3. Stay Customer Focused
If you can master the art of sales and marketing you’re on the path to a successful business. There are many companies offering less than the best services and products that do very well because they have a good grasp of sales and marketing.
If you do your research, fully understand the buying habits of your potential customers, and keep an eagle eye on your competitors, it will help you succeed. You can also connect with other businesses similar to the one you want to develop, and discover what their clients say about them on social media.
4. You Need to Start Small, Get Others On Board
It’s a great idea to self-fund your startup, then when you have a story of growth and a good record you should apply for funds from your bank or other lenders. It’s fine to do everything yourself at the beginning but there will come a time when you need to get others on board – people like an accountant, a lawyer, an insurance agent, a web page designer and other relevant professionals.
5. Keep Advisors and Mentors Involved
Statistics show that within five years of starting up, more than half of the new businesses will fail. So you need to value your mentors and advisors and seek their help. It is near impossible for one person on their own to possess all the skills, experience, knowledge and perspective necessary to deal with every business roadblock that will appear.
6. You Need to Know Your Figures
To operate a successful business you will need to be aware of your sales, gross margins, cash flow, profits, and the metrics relevant to your business. No doubt there will be random decisions made but if you’re aware of exactly where you are with your figures, the decision will be the correct one.
Search out places where costs can be cut, don’t miss out by avoiding tools such as social media and email marketing. There are great ways to drive your message home rather than opting for traditional advertising which costs so much more.
7. Discipline and Dedication
This is such an important tip. As you have already found out, owning any sized business is one of the most difficult jobs in the world and every cent you make will be hard-won. In a survey carried out recently, many startups fail because the entrepreneur gives up too early, rather than fight through the challenges. That’s why discipline and dedication can become a big role in new businesses
8. Be Passionate About What You Do
Many business owners can testify that starting a business can be a very lonely, thankless road to take and there are not enough hours in a day to complete every job. Without a great deal of passion for your goals, if you see your business as just a way to make a quick buck, then your job will be that much more impossible.
9. Feedback Is The Key To Success
Try your product or service out on people to find out what they like about it or what they dislike. Allowing someone else to cast an eye over what you’re offering can reveal things might not have considered and it gives you a chance to iron out unforeseen problems early in the piece.
Such feedback can be invaluable if you get it early so you can change things that can be changed. You must accept all the feedback, however, and some might not be positive so don’t take it personally. Just thank the person who told you what they think, no matter what they have said.
10. When to Make it Official
Launching your business will be an exciting time but you must make sure you’re ready and all the legal aspects have been covered so you won’t need to worry about a potential partner doing the wrong thing, or someone stealing your idea. To help, here is a quick checklist:
- Business name
- Register the business
- Business structure (corporation, partnership etc)
- Business bank account
- ABN or GST
- Permits and licenses
- State and Federal taxes
- Trademarks, copyrights and patents
While it’s possible to do all of the things in the above list on your own, it’s much safer to have experts do it when you’re starting a new business to avert any problems.