Basic steps on how to start your own business

This article was posted on 08 September 2016

Posted in Business Insurance

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Having an idea to start a business, putting it on paper and actually executing the whole concept is a far stretch proving to be out of reach for a lot of entrepreneurs. Starting a business is no easy task but by following the below steps, you’ll be sure to get your business up and running in no time.

STEP 1 – Have an idea of what it is that you want to do

The whole idea behind this step is to give yourself a reality check. Important questions to ask yourself is, “Is there a market for the product that I am selling or the service that I am providing? Is there a similar or existing product or service on the market and how much are people paying for it?” Without being overzealous, you need to do some market research in order to assess if your business will be effective. You won’t want to put a lot of your own money, as well as those of investors and sponsors, into something that will not be profitable, right?

STEP 2 – Ownership of your business

If you are going to partner up with someone, it is crucial that you determine, as soon as possible, whose idea the venture is and how important that is. The percentage of ownership of each of the partners will determine how the profits will be divided. It is also important that you discuss the role everyone plays in running the business as well as the duties and tasks that needs to be performed by all key-members.

STEP 3 – Put everything on paper

Putting everything on paper doesn’t mean legally binding it, yet, that will come later. Everything that has been discussed and agreed upon such as the ownership, money and time invested, roles of everyone and most importantly the name of the business needs to be noted. This can be documented and kept for later use when you need to legalise everything. When deciding on a name for your business it is vital that you check if there are no businesses with the same name and that you legally register the name as soon as you’ve decided on one.

STEP 4 – Budget your business

By now you should have a rough idea of the capital that you have to spend. Now you need to think about the initial sales/profit forecast, starting cost, not forgetting your own salary i.e. profit. When doing a sales/profit forecast you should keep in mind that it is an estimated guess. Try to do one for the next 12 months by breaking it up into what you think your expenses will be for things such salaries, equipment, services that you might make use of etc.

STEP 5 – Marketing your business

The first thing to take into consideration when working on your marketing strategy is who your target market is – think about the ideal customer. Determine age, gender, location, family situation, job type, media preference, extra-mural and social activities. This way you will have more or less an idea of who your customer is and it is very important to know your customer well. How will you implement, apply and get your message across? What means are available to you for you to advertise and eventually sell your product or service? Marketing also speaks to brand management. How do you want to portray the company? Do you have a logo? What is your tag-line? How do you want people to feel or react when they see your brand?

STEP 6 – Get Insurance

Get Business Insurance as soon as you get the ball rolling. Because of the risk involved, you should cover yourself as well as your business against anything that can possibly happen where you suffer a financial loss. Insurance companies such as Santam has nearly 100 years of experience and in-depth expertise to insure your business properly. FNB offers affordable and flexible cover for your business contents. Whether you run a small commercial enterprise or operate a multi-national corporation Mutual&Federal has got you covered.

STEP 7 – Funding

Depending on the start-up capital and detail such as the type of business, it is not very easy to get investors to invest in a new business. It is important to draw up a comprehensive business plan for when you are going to have to pitch your idea/business to potential investors.

STEP 8 – The Grand Opening

The opening of your business should be a joyous celebration with all of the bells and whistles. This is also a good marketing strategy. You can invite the media as well as potential investors as well. You need to note what is going on on your first open day to note the things that can be improved upon.

Launching a business is one challenging venture. Adaptation is key. It is important to understand that you will win some and lose some. How you deal with and go forward with the challenges thrown at you is what will make your business successful.

- Enzo Leigh Botes

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