Starting a business is extremely exciting no matter what your business idea is. If you start up a business it is usually something that people care a lot about, most business owners are passionate about their businesses and will do anything to help them succeed. Having a successful business provides people with a sense of freedom as it allows them to be their own boss and to choose their own working hours, rather than being told what work to do and when by an employer. However, starting up a business and having it succeed is a difficult task and there is a lot to think about before you commit, we’ve found the 8 most important things to know before starting a business.
What is the most important thing for starting a business?
The most important thing you need to know before you start a business is how important it is to develop a clear and powerful message for your customers. The reason people startup businesses and are successful is because they are solving the problems of a potential customer. Make sure your message makes it clear what problems it is that you can solve and why people need your services.
Why is it important to understand your customers?
Having a solid understanding of your customers’ needs and requirements if often more important than developing the best ideas or getting products into the market before your competitors. You can research the most likely demographic that potential customers will be, this will allow you to understand them more and you’ll be able to effectively market to them. Keep in mind your competitors will also be marketing to potential customers so the more research that you do the better.
Why is it important to start small?
Whilst having a big business is the most appealing type of business as it is the most profitable, you are much more likely to succeed if you begin small. If you start small it is often possible to fund it yourself, by doing this if your business ends up failing you won’t fall into debt. Once you have a strong footing for your business it’ll be much safer for you to get funding to allow your business to grow. Don’t get disheartened if it takes a while for your business to increase in size as this is the case for most companies.
Why is business insurance important?
There is a lot of risk associated with starting up a business and one of the most important things you need to think about is how to minimize this risk. The best way to do this is to make sure you find a great business insurance, there are many places that offer great business insurance, professionals covers is one of the business insurance providers in Ontario that has the best feedback. Business insurance covers you for things like lawsuits, injuries and any other potential damages that may occur.
Why do I need to be aware of my skills?
Although you will have a heavy work load and be responsible for all business decisions, it is important that you understand your skills so that you’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re setting up a business and have a great idea, but you’ve never filled out a balance sheet before, by identifying this as your weakness you’ll know to contact an accountant to deal with this for you. All good business owners know how to delegate and aren’t afraid to hire other professionals when they’re unsure themselves.
Should I get a mentor?
Getting a mentor is a fantastic idea and there is plenty of places online where successful business owners are willing to help people who are just starting up their businesses. Statistics have shown that over half of the small businesses that are set up fail within the first 5 years of trading. If you don’t want this to happen to your business then it’s great to have someone who is already successful giving you advice. There is also often online workshops and seminars that you can attend to learn more about starting up a business.
Do I need a business plan?
Yes! Even though it is unlikely that you will be able to fully stick to your business plan, it is vital to have a proper vision for your business and the best way to achieve this is by thinking long term about the future of the business and creating a detailed plan. This is great to have before you start as you can compare it with your actual performance to see if your business is doing as well as you projected or if you’ll need to change things.
Do I need to understand finance?
Whilst you can hire an accountant to take care of any financial statements so they’re legal, it is still important you have a grasp of finance as numbers are the best way to tell how your business is doing. You should be aware of what important figures like your cash flow, your startup costs and what your projected profits are and you should have a thorough understanding of how these numbers impact your business. There is plenty of free material online and some great books that will allow you to gain an understanding of this without being too confusing.