It’s never been easy for most people to start a company from the ground up, and those who did it will tell you that if you don’t have the crucial tips on how to make your business a success, you’ll face a lot of challenges.
There are thousands of businesses that start every year in South Africa, and almost half, if not more, of those that either fight or shut down after a few months.
The question then becomes – Why?
The response is clear, most people go into business without a thorough planning in the form of analysis, finances, and often they do not understand the market they venture into.
Before you leave your job and start a company, we ‘re going to help you out with a few tips that will help you along the way when you actually start your own business.
Get to understand your Market…
This is the most important first step for any company, probably more important than raising capital for your business because of the simple fact that this tip alone can make or break your business.
Understanding your target market is crucial to making your business a success, and with this knowledge, you will be able to position your product or brand in the relevant marketplace, ensuring that the target market you are aiming for will have access to your offering.
A little market analysis will help you figure out what the consumer needs, what consumer shortages exist and how you can leverage that.
I personally use Google Maps Reviews to look at my rivals in any business sector I choose to reach, I know most people don’t look at it, but it lets you understand what the market demands, the strengths or weaknesses your rivals are making in serving that market, and you can use this knowledge to customize your own marketing plan.
Draft a Business Plan…
Often one of the things that entrepreneurs ignore when beginning a business, a business plan is essential to recording every detail and the steps that your company will take from start to finish.
Getting a written business plan is a helpful way to support your company by offering you a road map that will show you whether or not you are going in the right direction.
A well done business plan doesn’t have to be complex but straightforward and will include items like your business offerings, a competition review, the financial resources needed to get started, marketing plans, expected sales forecasts, and so on.
Some of the advantages of writing a business plan before you start your company include using it to raise capital from potential investors, identifying business strategies that will allow you to make sound decisions, helping you recognize possible weaknesses and fixing them.
One of the easiest ways to get financing is to have a business plan listed above that you can take on potential lenders or investors.
On the other hand, not all companies need a strong investment to get started, if you have a stable job, you can start saving a portion of your money every month until you have earned enough to get started.
Have an Expansion Plan…
It’s important to have an expansion plan before you even open your business doors; you need to have a plan of how your business can expand over time.
You’re not starting a company to sit in the corner with a tiny office space for 20 years; finally, you need to open other branches in various places.
Write down where you see your company in 5 years, 10 years or more, and use it to see if you’re on track with the development of your business in a couple of 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 that you are your company, the first contact you have with the customer says a lot about your brand or business, so it’s important to get it right from the start – items like a well-designed business card, branded clothes, quality goods and, most importantly , good customer service.
These things although seemingly small leave a lasting impression on your customers.