8 tips for starting your own business

8 tips for starting your own business

A lot of Kiwis LOVE the idea of owning their own business; it’s that strong DIY spirit we have. If this is your dream, are you fully prepared to and ready to make a success of your business idea? Here are some tips to help you on your way.

1) Be prepared to work hard

If the idea of starting your own business appeals to you because you think it’s all about having no boss, hours that suit you and holidays whenever you like…you might want to think again. Those are great things to aim for one day but initially starting a business is a lot of hard work.

2) Find a gap in the market

American entrepreneur and marketer Seth Godin says “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” What this means is, make sure there is a need for what you’re offering. Find a gap in the market and fill it.

3) Do your homework

Once you’ve identified the market gap you’re going to fill, it’s time to put in some time and research it.

  • Are there any regulations, legislation and compliance relating to your industry/product?
  • What similar products/services already exist?
  • Who are your competitors and what are they offering?
  • What are you going to do that will set you apart from them?
  • Who are your potential customers?
  • What is your price point?
  • Does it match what you know about your customers?

4) Work out the cost

How much money it will take to set up will be unique to your business but you’ll need to factor in things such as your premises, furniture and office equipment, any machinery or technology, website development, marketing budget, insurance and any legal and accounting services.

You’ll need to estimate when you think you’ll start making a profit to ensure you have the cashflow to sustain your business until then.

5) Write a business plan

Your business plan is an outline of your purpose, your objectives, your strategies to reach them and a description of how your business will operate. At this point it’s a good idea to engage a business advisor or mentor who can guide you through.

Try to make your plan succinct; keeping it short and simple will help you focus on what’s most important.

6) Put together a marketing plan

When it’s time to launch your new venture you need to have a plan around how you’re going to let the market know you exist.

7) Set up an online presence

Part of your marketing plan must be an online presence. Either people will find you through an internet search or they’ll hear about you some other way and they will look for you on the internet. If they can’t find you they won’t look for you again.

8) Be realistic

By all means be optimistic and think positive, but balance that out by knowing what you’re in for and how long it might take to get where you want to be. If you’ve followed the tips above, this should be in a good position.

A great resource to call on before you start anything is The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website; this will guide you through almost everything we’ve discussed above. If you’d like a bit more help, you can rely on our decades’ worth of real-world business experience through our advisory services.

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