Have you been completely inspired and formed a business idea? All to now be thinking, how on earth do I get started? What is the first step? Starting a business is exciting but it can also be overwhelming with so many different elements to consider.
The biggest advice I can give, don't let the fear of failure stop you from following your dream... but do let it help you! 50% of businesses that failed were actually profitable. It wasn't that the idea didn't work, it was that the idea wasn't cultivated. If you start your business the right way, you're chances of success is going to increase ten fold.
23% of businesses fail because they didn't have the right team
17% of businesses fail because they lacked a business model
14% of businesses fail because they ignored their customers
Okay, so what to expect:
Step 1 - Start simple
Brainstorm what you expect from your business, your ideas, names, keywords, goals, and anything else that comes to your mind.
Step 2 - Understand your why
Use your brainstorm to configure your 'why' statements. What value is your business going to bring?
Step 3 - Test viability
Check your finances, do a cost prediction and explore what to expect of start-up costs and how you are going to manage your living expenses until you become profitable. What do you need to charge for your services/products to be viable? Will customers pay this? Create a business plan and keep adding to it.
Step 4 - Swot
Conduct a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) so you have an understanding of your new businesses positioning. This is vital for your planning.
Step 5 - Competitors
Who are you going to be competing with? What are they doing? How are you going to add value or do something different?
Step 6 - Identify your target market
Who is your ideal client? What market will you target? What are their needs? Interests?
Step 7 - Write your foundation
Create your Customer Proposition Statement, Mission Statement, and Vision Statement.
Step 8 - Create offerings
Use your 'whys' to create your offerings, how will you display or describe their value to your target market?
Step 9 - Business name
Brainstorm and choose a business name, it should be descriptive but not too long and should be catchy or easy to remember.
Step 10 - Play with your brand
What image will best showcase your 'whys' and your value? Take a look at colour theory and experiment with different colour combinations. Your brand should be consistent across your marketing.
Step 11 - Share your plans
Share your new business idea and venture with your family and friends. This beginning networking can easily lead to your first paying customer and also great word of mouth.
Step 12 - Legal
Seek professional legal and financial advice.
Register your business name and your company/ABN.
Register for the appropriate licensing and insurance.
Open a business bank account.
Design your logo and brand kit.
Step 13 - Go online
Register your domain, create your social accounts and a professional email account.
Create your website using your brand kit and your 'whys'. Create a social media plan for at least the first month and begin posting announcements about your upcoming business. Build excitement about your launch date.
Step 14 - Set up your work space.
If you need an office, tools, a work car, etc. Get it set up and ready to go to give you the most smooth start possible.
Step 15 - Create a filing system/ download your software
Think about how you are going to track customers, receipts, finances and important documents. Create your filing system and download/set up any software you plan to use.
Step 16 - Payment systems
If this wasn't completed in the previous step, organise how you are going to receive payment. Create your invoice or get set up with Xero or similar systems so you are ready to receive your first payment.
Step 17 - Terms and conditions
Seek professional legal advice to create a contract and terms and conditions for your services.
Step 18 - Create your other marketing materials
Will you need stickers for your car? Flyers? List your business on Google and other directory listings. Get your name as out there as you can within your budget.
Step 19 - Other promotions
Consider what other promotions you can offer to get customers in the door. Discounts? Competitions?
Step 20 - Make sure all your professional documentation is in place
This includes your business cards, invoices, quotes, proposals, planners, schedulers, meeting minutes, etc.
Step 21 - Revisit your business plan
Return to your business plan, add your SMART goals, progress, plans. Continue to get the word out and be consistent with your brand and image across all your socials. Don't be afraid to network and have conversations - we have clients who have landed customers by chatting in the pub.
Step 22 - Never stop growing
Once you've launched and gotten your first clients, don't stop there. Keep planning for growth and change. Do another SWOT - where can you take your business from here?
We hope this quick snapshot of what to expect and how to ensure you're planning for success has helped you. If you would like some support starting your business, RVA supports new and establishing businesses. Check out our services below.