5 Important Steps When Starting a Small Business
You’ve heard it before, “getting into business for yourself is nothing but trouble”. When deciding to move forward with starting your own business, that saying keeps sticking around and reminding you that it is scary and it’s just a road block.
Now let me tell you something else. Before you get scared of, think abut this….
Who told you that getting into business for yourself is nothing but trouble? Well we collected some stats, actually from over 1,000 people all across Australia who were in the same situation as you, and guess what. The results came in and 93% of the people who told you not to get into business are family and friends, and only 7% were people with past business experience.
Now, getting into business could be all trouble if you don’t know what you are doing. It is in fact extremely difficult. Any person who is getting into business needs to be savvy, be intelligent and have a tolerance for some risk. But most importantly, to ensure your success you must have a strategy or at least a set of rules or steps to follow.
So we decided to help you get started with starting your own small business with these 5 key steps.
Step #1: Do A LOT of Research
No matter if you are starting a small business or a large one, or if you think you know it all, research is the first step to starting any small business. Doing the research usually means that you are taking the time to learn about the different industries and you are trying to identify any problems or possibly pain paints which could be solved by your business.
There are multiple options. People typically start a small business in the industry that they know about, however some will go opposite in order to take their knowledge of one industry and have a new, clear perspective on another industry.
It is important to conduct your own research, and a lot of it. The more you know the better your chances of building a successful small business are.
Step #2: Create your Business Plan
Once you’ve done the necessary research and you figured out what the problem is that you want to solve, you can create a business plan in such a way that aims to solve that problem. Your business plan is very important and a critical step to any small business. In fact speaking with thousands of business owners per year, it seems that over 80% of these small business owners create a business plan. Some do it for themselves as a plan, while others for investors and in order to use it for obtaining funding.
Your business plan should answer the critical points about your business. If somebody was to read your business plan, they should be left without any questions.
Step #3: Talk to Potential Customers
Most people skip this step. Probably because nobody thinks about it.
Who better to tell you what you need in your business, with your product or service but your customers, or potential customers. Think about it this way. When McDonalds has a new product idea for their menu, ever wonder why you don’t see it in every McDonalds restaurant? It’s probably because they are collecting feedback from their customers. Once they are satisfied with the results, the product is everywhere.
Do the same. Get out there and speak to potential customers. What do they want in your product or service that isn’t available now? How can you improve the solution to a problem?
Step #4: Funding
One of the biggest problems that small businesses have is the lack of funding. This simply means not having enough money to do what needs to be done, and often improper planning of funds results in business failure.
The first step of course is to ensure you have a good business plan and that you answer the questions;
- Do I really need funding?
- What do I need funding for?
- How much do I need?
- What if I can’t get funding?
Once you have these questions answered, knowing where to get money is your next step. Be sure to consider all options such as obtaining funding for your small business from your family and friends, personal finances (credit cards and savings), from banks, business partners, private investors and even the Australian government in the form of grants and loans.
Be sure to look at our Funding Database to see hundreds of funding sources for your small business.
Step #5: Working with Help.
What does this mean?
Help can be anything that helps you get started. This could mean, take advice and assistance from mentors, consultants and potential investors. But most importantly, don’t do it all yourself.
One thing that business owners love to do, especially new business owners is wear all hats possible. In the startup stages of your business you are the programmers, the designer, the content writer, the marketing expert, accountant and everything in-between.
But true and successful business owners pass on as much as possible. Consider the same. Get the help your small business needs. Leave the work you “don’t understand” or that somebody else could do better to somebody else. Sure it can cost money, but getting it done right (and paying for it), could result in success for you. Give it a try.
Follow these 5 key steps to starting your small business and you never know, you may be the next success story.