Just because it is a small business does not mean that you can start your operations right away. For it to be successful, you have to consider a lot of factors that are essential not only in starting your own small business but in its overall operations. No matter how much capital you have, if you fail to start and manage it right, your small business is more likely to fail. Here are some of the factors that you need to consider and evaluate to know if you’re ready to start your own business:
1. Your business idea
It does not mean you have to make or invent your own product. You can deliver, sell, or make use of an existing product or service or customize them to address the specific needs of your target market. Put your idea into writing along with an overview of how you want to operate your business.
2. Business plan
Don’t worry, this is far from the formal business plan you’re thinking of. It does not require hundreds of pages with lots of charts, tables, and graphics. Just make sure that your business plan contains your research of several important things related to your business, including the price of your product or service, variable and fixed cost of delivery (if necessary), and your target market.
Your plan should also contain an evaluation of your competitors. Find out how many, how strong, and where are they, and how will you vie. Also state in your plan all the things necessary to enter the market, such as government regulations you need to meet and necessary permits. It should also include contingency plans should you encounter problems not only when starting your own business but also when it’s already in full swing.
Your business plan should actually have a section that’s dedicated to financing. Determine the amount you can allot to your business. What are the things you have to pay for and how much your business start-up and operations costs should be? Find out if you need financial assistance such as bank loan or credit card purchases. You also have to consider the salary or allowances you need to support yourself or your family while starting your own small business.
4. Marketing plan
There are a lot of ways to advertise your business-some of them require a small budget while others can be done for free. Word-of-mouth referral is the best form of free advertising, so inform your family and friends about your business and make them your first customers. List down on your business plan all the marketing efforts and strategies you need to undertake. Take advantage of the Internet because it will give you a competitive advantage.
There is an old adage that says: failure to plan is a plan for failure. So before starting your own business, make sure that you have a detailed yet simple business plan. If you’re having a hard time creating your plan, ask help from someone who knows how to pull it off.