If you’re wondering how to start a new business, there are many things you need to consider to get your idea off the ground. It’s one thing to have a great business idea, but quite another to actually bring it to fruition.
There are two things you need to start a business that can help set you up for success.
- Fully Research and Vet Your Idea
Research is one of the first things you should do when starting a new business to ensure your idea’s viability. Your research phase is critical, regardless of the type of business you’re thinking about creating, such as a franchise, direct sales business, online store or brick-and-mortar retail shop. Whether your proposed business will employ only you or hundreds of people, you need to spend plenty of time researching the idea and carefully considering every angle.
Your research and vetting process should include every aspect of owning this business. A few of the questions you’ll want to address include:
- Have others been successful in this type of business?
- How many competitors will I have and how will I stand out?
- Will I enjoy this type of work, including all the HR, payroll and paperwork?
- How will I handle tasks such as HR, benefits administration, etc.?
- Do I have enough knowledge to be successful in this business? If not, how do I get it?
- Do I know how to market this business? If not, who will I hire to do it?
Your research should include looking closely at the competition. In fact, one of the best things you can do is physically observe someone who is already in the business you want to start. Learn the ropes from them if you can. Become an apprentice for a while if possible. Take every step to ensure this business idea can work, is something you truly believe in, and has the potential to become a successful venture.
- Write a Clear Business Plan
When assessing what you need to start a business, a business plan is quite possibly the most important element. This document helps you think through every element of your business: model and legal structure, financing needs, location, projected revenues, handling employees, payroll and so much more. Every company should have a business plan in place before launching. The good news is, if you’ve done your research, you already have much of what you’ll need to write your plan.
Many individuals fail to understand the importance of a business plan. Some believe their business idea is so straightforward and simple, it doesn’t require a plan. Or perhaps the idea of writing a business plan may be overwhelming, so it gets skipped. If you want to set yourself up for success, however, you must have some kind of strategy.
When it comes to actually writing your business plan, you’ll find an endless well of information on the internet, including templates, critical topics to include and examples of good plans. In addition, Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a fantastic resource. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.
So if you’ve been wondering how to start a new business, jump on these two critical elements right out of the gate. Sure, you’ll need to do many other things once these steps are completed, but spending plenty of time on these first two will go a long way in ensuring success.