Starting your own business can be hugely rewarding, but many people are put off from ever making the commitment for fear of failure or simply having no idea how to start.
If this sounds like you, then read on! These six steps will help you to stop making excuses and get a few steps closer to making your business dream an actual business reality.
1) Do your research
Before you do anything else, you need to do some thorough research and ask yourself a bunch of tough questions.
Is your idea unique? Maybe it doesn’t have to be, but if it does, you need to make sure that nobody can offer what you want to offer. Are there other companies in your area that provide a similar service? Who are they? What can you offer that they don’t? How will you compete?
During the research stage, you need to get a clear idea of how your business will survive in the market. How much money you can charge, how much you’ll need to spend in order to get started and how long it will take you to break even or make a profit. When it comes to research, you can’t have too much. After all, it is better to know about all the potential hurdles and challenges upfront than learn about them too far down the line.
2) Make a plan
Don’t get scared by the idea of putting together a business plan just yet. The bigger picture can often be overwhelming so start by just writing a list of everything you can think of that needs doing. Once you’ve done that, start organising it in chronological order. Then, you can just focus on completing one challenge at a time.
3) Get your business qualification
You might have a fantastic idea for a business, but without a solid foundation, you’ll struggle to get started. But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your job, spend tens of thousands of dollars and go to University to get the right business qualifications. These days, there are plenty of online business courses in Australia that will give you the knowledge and qualifications you need to succeed.
4) Find a mentor
Whether it’s monthly wine-meetings with a friend who runs their own business or registering with an official mentoring program, having someone to guide you through this process will be invaluable.
Mentors who have already started their own business will have the luxury of hindsight which will help prevent you from making the same mistakes. They will also be able to connect you with other people who can help you as well as provide inspiration and support when the going gets tough.
5) Register your business
Whether it’s a Sole Trader, Ltd Company or any other set-up, registering your business will be a big step into making things official. Once you’ve registered your business, you can then think about setting up a business bank account, finding a tax agent and all those other finance-related things that will make your business dream a reality.
6) Hire marketing professionals
Once you’ve got your plan and business structure in place, you need to create a website and come up with a marketing strategy. Unless you’re a qualified and experienced marketing expert, this can be an overwhelmingly large task to take on. So why not outsource this task to a team of specialists?
When hiring a marketing agency, look for a company that specialises in start-ups as they can help guide you through the entire process. From establishing your brand identity and designing a website to raising your profile with all the latest digital marketing tactics, they can help make sure that people know about your business.
Starting your own business is daunting. But don’t let the big picture scare you off. Break everything down into tangible tasks and tick them off one by one. Make sure you do plenty of research early on and whether it’s finding a mentor or hiring a marketing agency, don’t be afraid to ask for help!