Impetus4: Step 2
Laying the Foundations for Business Success
So, you’ve discovered your ‘why?’. you’ve overcome the fear and other obstacles standing in your way and you’ve set goals to take you further along the path to achieving business success.
Excellent – well done you! You have taken a huge step closer to being a successful and awesome entrepreneur.
Now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of starting your business.
There is so much to do, but you have soooo got this covered!
Starting a business is a very exciting – and just a big bit terrifying – time. You are most likely brimming over with enthusiasm and can’t wait to get started.
That’s great – but hold your horses fearless warrior! First we need to look at some practicalities involved in your business success.
It’s time to get organised. Do you have a favourite planner, be it paper or digital, that you can use to make endless notes and lists over the coming weeks and months?
First, I’d recommend using the first page to jot down the things you discovered in Step 1 of Impetus4’s programme.
What is it you want to achieve? Why? How are you going to reach your goal?
If you are getting ahead of yourself and haven’t worked out your why or set goals, go back and do it now – it’s time well spent.
Impetus 4: Step 1 - Getting ready
Return to Step 1 of the programme to discover your motivation and set your goals for success.
One of the first things to do before launching your business is to draw up a business plan.
Even if you do not need a formal document to take to the bank or investors, a business plan is a great way to focus on the whys, hows and wherefores of your business.
How will it be set up, eg a limited company or a sole trader? Where will you be based, what equipment will you need, how many staff will you employ, what will your overheads be, what services/products will you sell, how many, who too, who are your competitors, how much will you make?
This exercise might seem boring and unnecessary, but trust me when I say it will really get you thinking about the viability of your business and maybe throw up some questions or issues you hadn’t even thought of.
For help in creating your business plan, visit Impetus4’s Resource Centre.
Go to our Resource Centre now to find everything you need to build your business.
You have a business plan. You are halfway to having a bona fide business, right? Well, not quite, I’m afraid. The difference between a real-life entrepreneur and a wantrepreneur is the ability to put plans into action.
Now you’ve got to put in the hard slog to make your business success a reality.
Download the printable free STARTING A BUSINESS CHECKLIST for a step-by-step guide to what to do next.
It includes information on the legal set-up of your business, getting your finances in order, choosing a name, domain name and ideas on what software and systems you will need in place to ensure you get your business off on the right foot.
As the saying goes, those who fail to plan, plan to fail, so it’s really important that you take the time to make sure your business has solid foundations before you take what will probably be one of the largest leaps of faith you’ll ever take.
Now, before you jump in with both feet, is the best time to look really closely at your business idea and make sure (as much as you can at least) that you have dotted all the i’s and crossed the t’s.
Make sure you have considered:
Business structure – will you be setting up as a sole trader or limited company? Are you aware of the implications and requirements of your chosen set-up?
Audience/Market – Have you thoroughly researched what market there is for the products or services you will be selling? What are the opportunities and threats present in your marketplace?
Finances – It all comes down to the money in the end. Very few businesses will survive if they don’t make a profit. Even the best business ideas may take a while to become profitable. Do you have the resources to survive until that happens? You will also need to look at how you will track your finances. There are lots of simple, effective and affordable software solutions to track your cashflow, but you may also want to hire an accountant to help.
Branding and Marketing – Now is the time to decide on a business name, design a logo, set up a website and social media profiles and consider how you will market your business. What colours and fonts will you use? What tone of voice will you use in your marketing? What core values do you want your business branding to represent? Also, start thinking about your “story” – customers love businesses to have a story behind them which humanises them.
Get Equipped – Research what you will need to run your business and then shop around for the best deals. Whatever your business you will need somewhere to work – whether it’s just a desk in the corner of the kitchen or an office or retail unit. If it’s the latter, consider its location if customer footfall is important. You are also likely to need computers, printers, smartphones and other office paraphernalia. Also, start looking at all the software and apps you might use to run your business for tasks such as project management, customer relations management, invoicing, accounting, social media management, design work and more. Many provide a free trial and there is a wide range of pricing points, so you are bound to be able to find something which meets your business needs.
Wow, once you have done all that, you are finally ready to start selling.
For help on taking those first steps, jump to Step 3 of Impetus4’s programme.
Impetus4 Step 3: First Steps In Business
Learn the basics of marketing and finding your first customers.