It has never been easy starting a business from the ground on up for most people, and those that have made it will tell you that if you don’t have the vital tips on how to make your business successful you will face a lot of challenges.
There are thousands of business that are started every year in South Africa, and almost half if not more of those either struggle or completely shut down after a few months.
The question then becomes – Why?
The answer is simple, most people go into business without a thorough preparation in the form of research, resources and sometimes not understanding the market they are venturing into.
Before you quit your job and start a business we are going to help you out with a few tips that will help you along your way when you do eventually start your own business.
Get to understand your Market…
For any business this is the most important first step, arguably more important than raising capital for your venture due to the simple fact that this tip alone can make or break your business.
Understanding your target market is very crucial in making your business a success, with this knowledge you will be able to position your product or brand in the relevant market space, ensuring that the intended target market gets access to your offering.
A little market research can help in finding out what the market wants, what gaps exist in the market and how you can maximize on that.
I personally use Google Maps Reviews for looking at my competitors in any business market I want to go into, I know most people don’t take a look at this but it helps you understand what the market is requiring, the strengths or mistakes that your competitors are making in servicing that market and you can be able to use this information to tailor your own marketing strategy.
Draft a Business Plan…
Often one of the things entrepreneurs neglect when starting a business, a business plan is crucial in documenting every detail and steps for your business is going to take from start to finish.
Having a written down business strategy is good as a tool that helps your business by giving you a roadmap that will show you if you going in the right direction or not.
A well done business plan doesn’t have to be complicated but simple and will include things such as your business services, competitor analysis, financial resources needed to start, marketing strategies, forecasted revenue projections and so on.
Some benefits of writing a business plan before you go into business includes using it to raise money from potential investors, defining business strategies that will allow you to make sound decisions, help you identify any potential weaknesses and rectify them.
One of the best ways of getting funding is having a business plan mentioned above that you can take to potential lenders or investors.
On the other hand not all businesses require a heavy investment to get started, if you have a steady job you can start saving a portion of your money every month until you have raised enough to start.
Have an Expansion Plan…
An expansion plan is important to have before you even open the doors of your business; you need to have a plan of how your business will grow over time.
You don’t start a business to stay on the corner with a small office space for 20 years; you need to eventually open other branches in different locations.
Write down where you see your business in 5 years, 10 years or beyond, and use it to see if you on track with the growth of you business after a few years.
Work Hard and present a Good Image…
Nothing substitutes hard work and professionalism.
Ensure you give your business venture your all and this means presenting a good brand image about you and your business.
Remember you are your business, the first interaction you have with a customer says a lot about your brand or business so it is important to get things right from the start – things like a well designed business card, branded clothing, quality products and importantly good customer services.
These things although seemingly small leave a lasting impression on your customers.