start your business

Starting isn’t the problem – it’s the solution

Do you have a brilliant business idea but you’re not sure where to start? Or do you have the passion to found a business, but fear has a grip on you? If you said yes to one or both of these questions, you’re not alone.

In this article, we’re going to discuss how to start a business in 3 steps so you can bring your vision to life. Let’s get you started.

1. Prepare

The first step is to do extensive research to help you get a better understanding of what your business should offer in the industry you’re entering.

Here’s what you can do:

Find a problem

A business idea should aim at solving a problem or adding value by improving someone’s quality of life. So, if you’re on a mission to get the right business idea, look around you and start identifying problems in your local community that can be solved with your skills, passions or strategy.

The problem you identify doesn’t have to directly affect you. It can affect another person or a group of people. Extensive research done through discussions, surveys, questionnaires and observations can lead you in the right direction.

Brainstorm a solution

Once you’ve clearly identified a problem, start looking at ways that you could come up with the solution. The solution is the idea. This may take a while, but if done right, it has the potential to bring you the idea you need to start a business.

A key question you can ask yourself is: what is the best solution to this problem? While you’re looking for the answers, keep your eyes and ears open. Watch the news, read up on current trends and always carry a notebook with you just in case you have an aha moment.

Research your target market

With that in mind, you need to have a clear picture of whose needs you’re answering to. A key question you can ask yourself is: who is my customer, and why would they want to buy from me?

This means you’d need to understand who they are, where they work or study. What they do in their spare time, what and how they spend their money and any other behavioural patterns that could be insightful in making them move to buy your product or service.

Do market research

Market research gives you a perspective on your customers’ needs and desires. It also highlights who your competitors are and how competitive the industry is. You can use the information you gather to create a competitive advantage for your business.

Brainstorm your business name

Your name matters in many ways: it’s authentic to what you’re offering and people will remember you by it. So, make it memorable. A few things to note when naming your business is:

  • Make it meaningful
  • Avoid a super difficult name
  • Get feedback on it
  • Search the internet to see if someone else has it

Whatever name you choose to go with, make sure it doesn’t limit your business.

The chances are, your business will grow. If you start a business limiting yourself to your current focus, it will be difficult for you to reposition yourself at a later stage.

start your business

2. Plan

Once you’ve pinned down your preparation, you need to put forward your plan of action. Here’s what you can do:

Map out your business plan

Your business plan is a roadmap to see where your business is going and what you’ll need to do to drive it there. It can also come in handy when you’re pitching to potential investors.

Choose your business location

The right business location can unlock many great opportunities for your business. One of the reasons why it’s critical to choose the right location is knowing that that’s where you can reach your desired market. A few things to consider before deciding on the right spot for your business is:

  • Pricing – can you afford renting or buying?
  • Visibility – can your market find where you are and can it bring in foot traffic?
  • Ease – will people find parking easily and is there access to public transport?

Get your finances in line

You don’t have to be a millionaire to start up your business, but you need capital to get things off the ground. If your pocket is not sufficient, don’t worry. There are potential investors and possible funding methods you can access to bring your vision to life.

Get your business registered

Registering your business means you’re legalising it. Not only does it give your business the credibility it needs, but it also has the influence to draw in potential funders and funding.

start your business

3. Pull off

It’s all good and well to have the perfect preparation and plan, but it’s ineffective when you don’t have the proper way to pull off your branding and get the word out there.

With that being said:

Brand your business

Branding is the perception people will have of your business to differentiate you from the rest of your competitors. It’s how your business looks, speaks, and the value it promises to bring. Branding your business can be broken down into 3 stages:

  1. Brand strategy – this is a plan that lays out how you’d like your business to be perceived.
  2. Brand identity – this is how your business is publicly conveyed through visuals, messaging and experience.
  3. Brand marketing – this is the way your business chooses to raise awareness on what your products or services you offer.

Advertise, and never stop advertising

There are many ways you can start advertising both online and offline. Advertising will be different depending on who you’re trying to reach, where you’re trying to reach them and what you’re trying to communicate. Explore your options here.

 

Get started, get busy and get growing

Now that you know what tools to have in place, keep an eye out for a more in-depth dive into each step and how you can use each tool to start a business.

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