STARTING A BUSINESS
STARTING A BUSINESS
PLAN THE BUSINESS - A plan is a bridge to your dreams. Your job is to make the plan or bridge real, so that your dreams will become real. Many people start-up businesses without adequate planning so they fail. Don't take planning lightly, because the quality of your planning determines the quality of your results. Planning in this context simply means CONCEIVING THE BUSINESS - LOOKING AT DIFFERENT IDEAS/OPTIONS. (What need can I meet, what vacuum can I fill, What service can I render, What product can I trade in etc. Where will I locate the business, who will be my target market etc)
CONDUCT A FEASIBILITY STUDY - A feasibility study looks at the viability of an idea with an emphasis on identifying potential problems and attempts to answer one main question: Will the idea work and should you proceed with it?
WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN - A business plan is the road map you create for your business. It identifies goals and quantifies, insofar as is possible, the strategies you plan to use to achieve those goals. It tells the world how you approach business and how your business approaches the world. Business plans are also a tool for fund raising and one of the ways you can show investors, bankers and other funding sources why your business is a money machine. Your business plan should describe and illustrate the vision for your business, while convincing others to assist you in attaining that vision.
IDENTIFY YOUR MARKET - Even though you may have detected some interest in your business, you need to do more homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment.
DETERMINE YOUR FUNDING NEEDS AND START SOURCING FOR THE FUNDS
GIVE THE BUSINESS A NAME AND REGISTER THE BUSINESS
CHOOSE A LOCATION FOR THE BUSINESS - Select a location that best fits the needs of your business, one that offers an opportunity for growth, the right level of competition and proximity to suppliers. It should also be accessible to customers.
MARKET/PUBLICISE THE BUSINESS - People need to know about the business and its products and services. Embark on aggressive and strategic publicity and marketing initiatives- Take advantage of technology- Internet, Bulk SMS, Social Media, Electronic media, Bill Boards, Fliers, Brochures, Proposals, Letters of Intro, product launch etc
PUT STRUCTURES IN PLACE - BUILD THE BUSINESS ON STRUCTURES NOT YOURSELF - It is important that very quickly you start thinking of structures, systems and processes. Don't let daily operations revolve around you alone. Bring people on board, raise people, train people, trust people and delegate to people. If things work well only when you are around, you are not a good entrepreneur.
SUSTAIN/GROW THE BUSINESS - Starting a business is just the beginning of the game; sustaining that business is where the real challenge lies. This is where you fight to keep the business you have started afloat. You will have to handle competition, find customers, deal with critical business challenges, pay bills upon bills, deal with employees and so on. This is where the stress of running a business gets worst.- The following qualities will however help you sustain your business at this point.- Determination, Reputation for Integrity, Speed of delivery, Product quality, Customer Care/Satisfaction, Advertisement/publicity, Innovation, Responding fast to market changes, Structures, channelling the profit back into the business.
WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN
COMPONENTS OF A BUSINESS PLAN
Here are the basic components of a standard business plan:
Executive Summary - This section consists of a few paragraphs describing what the business will be, where it'll be located (physically and/or digitally), how it'll make money and how it'll grow. You'll expand on all these topics in much more detail later in your business plan.
Objectives - These are your specific, measurable goals for the immediate future. They can state an amount or range of money you plan to make, a percentage of the market you plan to capture, a profit margin you plan to attain, or a group of clients you plan to secure.
Organization - Here's where you explain who'll own the company, who'll run it, and who'll be the final decision-maker(s). Even if you only have a few employees or owners at this stage, you'll still want to draw up a basic organizational chart. A chain of command can get muddled over time as people take initiative on various tasks, so it's best to be clear about this from the beginning
Products/Services - Describe what you'll be selling, where you'll get it from (or how you'll create it) and how it's different from similar products or services already on the market. You may also want to add details about how quickly you'll produce your product or render/perform your service.
Market - Who are your customers, and how will you reach them? How will your product or service help them? When, where and how often will they buy what you're selling? The answers to these questions usually take more than a single sentence to explain, so this section often includes breakdowns of all your potential customers, and how they will buy and benefit from what you sell.
Competition - No matter what you're planning to sell, someone else is already selling something similar; or at least something that meets a similar need. So describe how you're different from the competition, how they'll pose challenges to your business & how you plan to meet the challenges.
Strategy - Every product requires marketing and advertising, even if it's just word-of-mouth. This section is the place to explain how you'll get a buzz going about your product or service, and how you'll get it into customers' hands and homes. Include details about where you'll sell it and where you'll promote it.
Financials - Here's the section where you explain how you'll fund your business, how soon you expect to break even, how large you expect your profit margins to be, and how you plan to reinvest those profits. If you don't yet have a clear idea of, say, what your marketing budget will be, just estimate the percentages you'll put into advertising, growth, hiring, product development etc
Milestones - How will you know you've achieved a successful launch? In this section, lay out your exact goals for the first year or two: How much you aim to make, what profit margin you aim to achieve, how many stores you plan to open, how many customers you aim to have, what percentage of the market you aim to capture, and so on.
BUSINESS START-UP CLINIC
- Getting your business properly profiled
- Place your goals in the rigth Pespective.
- Starting in the right way.
- Provide you with the right resources and information to startup successfully.