All businesses begin with an idea, but no existing business is an idea. According to Technasite the idea is where everything starts from, but as with everything that must have life and benefit the world, it must grow. Growth from the idea stage into a full-fledged business is the most practical part of a job. If a job idea doesn’t leave the idea stage, it will never get to be the multi-million dollar enterprise that the founder dreams it to be.
However, for this growth to be healthy, several things have to be checked off the list between the ideation stage and the launch stage and even after. In this article are 8 guidelines every business individual must follow when starting their business. Follow them closely and try to practice them faithfully. Here are the guidelines, in no particular order.
The place of research at the very beginning stages of starting any business cannot be overemphasized. No matter what your idea is, without adequate research on the subject, you can never know enough to launch a standard business from it. It is a very fatal mistake to make at the start of a venture.
You need to find out if there’s a market for what you intend to do and if there is, learn the characteristics of that market, check for trends in the market. Ask and find the answers to relevant questions about the industry. Are there gatekeepers? Who are they? Do you have an existing competition? Is the industry easy to enter? Is it easy to exit?
There are a lot of questions you need to seek answers to before hitting the ‘Go’ button, and even after launching. Make sure that while you’re researching, your answers are realistic and not sentimental.
Draw up your organizational structure
For every job to be successfully operational, except it is a sole-proprietorship, different duties have to be carried out by different people. No one man can do all it takes for a business to be truly successful. That’s just as good as trying to catch the wind.
An organizational structure will give your business a management blueprint that will ease the day-to-day affairs of the company. Even if you don’t have the manpower at the start to man these different roles, it is a good rule of thumb to at least know them. Talents are required in the areas of finance, logistics, public relations, legalities, marketing, purchases, production, etc. Surely, no one man can handle all of these effectively.
The point of an organizational structure is to allow you to focus on what you’re great at, while others who are better qualified to handle other areas do so.
Find a mentor
There is nothing new under the sun and as such, there is very likely to be someone who has towed the path you intend to take. Find them. Let them teach you the ropes and show you how it is done.
He/she may or may not be in your specific niche, but if they’ve gone through the line of business and made commendable progress, their wisdom is worth learning from. Make sure your mentor is someone who will hold you accountable to your actions, especially when you go the wrong way.
Get legal advice
Lawyers are there so that your good intentions don’t lead you to jail, just because you were careless enough to break one rule you didn’t know existed concerning your business. You need to know the legal implication of any and every action your future job will ever require from you.
Also, proper guidance from an attorney is necessary at the point of registration of your business so you don’t get played by fast agency folk. Be wise, pay a lawyer.
To succeed, you need to get known beyond the confines of your neighborhood. When you’re first starting, the people closest to you will most likely be your first customers, but you can’t remain at that point for too long if you intend to take over the world.
This guideline is very essential if you’re in the kind of work that requires that your face at the forefront, like a public speaking career. Your network is your net-worth comes alive and strong in this scenario. Try to make one new friend/acquaintance every day who will be relevant to your business in the long-run.
Get your finances right
Business is an investment and as such, you can’t afford to go into it without at least a basic idea of what it will cost you to set up. If you carried out the first guideline in this article to the letter, then this is most likely going to be a breeze. Every industry has its own needs that separate it from others, therefore the expenses will differ. Do the research and note these figures down.
Secure your business
Every business must be insured. The riskier your work is, the more robust your insurance policy should be. It is not enough to just decide to go into business; you must make sure your business is insured in the case of accidents, theft and any other eventualities. Aside from insurance, keep some money aside for quick contingencies. Keep your contacts active.
Always keep your options open.
Determine your unique selling point
Your unique selling point is what in business jargon is referred to as a competitive advantage. This unique selling point of yours is what will distinguish you from your competition. Many of your customers may turn out to be people who already have a go-to business or service provider they meet to satisfy that need you’re trying to meet. It is going to take more than just mere words to convince them to choose you over who they know.
You need to show them why they should choose you. And when that is done, you must find a way to keep them coming for more.
This article is not exhaustive on the things you need to do before starting a business, but if you adhere to the contents therein, you are guaranteed to have a great start.