Do you have a business idea, but aren’t sure how to get it started? Are you wondering if self-employment is the best step for you? It’s time for you to do some serious research to help you determine your next move. Here are some questions to consider:
Who is your competition? Is anybody already offering the same product or service? What will you be doing differently? Is there a need for your business? Entering into a market where there is already a lot of competition is a risky move. However, you may be able to minimize your competition by offering some kind of niche product or service. Be sure that you are making educated decisions, based on a sound understanding of your competition, and the market.
Who is your customer? Who would be willing to pay for the product or service that you are offering? Would your customer be other businesses, mothers, students, sports enthusiasts, or dog breeders? Where does your target customer shop? What do they read, or watch on television? What do they do on the weekends? What pressures are they under? What do they desire? It is essential that you take the time to develop a comprehensive customer profile so that you have clear understanding of their needs.
How are you going to promote your business? How will your target customer find out about your business? Are you planning on taking out advertisements? Will you depend on word of mouth? Will you distribute flyers? Are you developing a website? Are you planning on making use of social media?
What legal information do you need? It is essential that you identify the laws and government restrictions that may impact your business. This would include taxes, insurance requirements, intellectual property, and any other relevant legislation.
How much money will you need to get started? What immediate investments will you need to make into your business? Will you be depending on this business to support yourself? Is there any training or education that you will need to get started? Do you require a loan?
Where can you get help? You don’t need to do this alone. There are plenty of resources available for people who want to start their own business. Here are a few websites that provide a lot of great information:
Starting your own business is a risky and exciting adventure. Small business owners work hard, and many businesses fail. To increase your chances of success, start your business out right by spending enough time on the research and planning stage. Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
(Written by Karen Bivand)