3 Essentials for Getting Your Business Off the Ground
If you’re planning to start a new business, it’s vitally important that you have the right elements in place before you set off. Everyone planning to work for themselves flies blind for at least part of the journey, but it is possible to make certain preparations that will assure you at least some level of success. In this article, we’ll explore the main three.
Undertaking research into your chosen field and making educated guesses or predictions regarding the likely direction and financial status of your organization after three, five and ten years are great ways to begin when starting a business. Most specialists recommend that a prospective company owner should draw up a business plan of between 15 and 30 pages as early as possible. That plan should include:
- Financial projections over at least the next three years. Details of the market and where this particular company would fit in
- Information about staff members and the positions they will take
- Your favored approaches to marketing
- An introduction to the company’s products or services and why they might be in demand
Not only will a business plan help you to introduce your business idea to potential funders or stakeholders, but you can also use it as a step-by-step research template to which you can refer back as your business reaches certain milestones.
It’s very important to educate yourself on the finer points of your company’s field. From in-depth knowledge regarding your products and services - and those of your competition - to legal matters and elements of good business practice, the more you know, the easier everything will seem. Perhaps it’s a good time to go back to school. Whether you want to study business management or increase your knowledge of your specific field of practice, higher education is one of the most valuable ways to better your knowledge. It may also introduce you to some useful contacts. Naturally, there are costs involved in attending university, and it’s no secret that you’ll need all the capital you can get when you’re starting a business. However, it’s almost always possible to apply for some kind of financial aid and there are flexible student loan repayment plans available when it comes to paying back.
Of course, all businesses need funds - whether that’s to purchase office equipment, get hold of manufacturing materials or just pay some wages. Draw up a budget covering everything you need, including services like water and internet as well as the correct insurances. Add a good contingency too. It’s up to you to decide on your approach to raising those funds, unless you’re lucky enough to have the right amount in the bank already. You may be able to borrow from a bank if your idea is deemed suitable, or you can try to find individual investors who will provide capital in return for shares. Crowdfunding is also an option. It’s important to remember, however, no investor will ever give you something for nothing. You need to think carefully about what you will give your funders in return.