How to start your own business

You’ve got a business idea, and the drive to make it a success – now it’s time to get started. Our entrepreneur experts put this guide together to help you build a successful business from the ground up.

What's your business idea? 

Whether you’re selling a product, service or working as a consultant, you must know how your idea fits into the entrepreneurial world. Research is key.

  • Three things to make sure you've done

    • The effort to understand your competition beyond Google search. Attend conferences, connect with your network and start online conversation to see where you stand among competitors.

    • Thorough research on consumer psychology.  Knowing your target audience is not enough; you must know where they are, why they need you and how to reach them.

    • Investigation on your funding options. Read up on how successful entrepreneurs in the industry have approached this in the past.

How's your business plan? 

Your business plan must be comprehensive and flawless.

  • Follow these tips to make sure it’s exactly that

    • Convey your vision in a well-refined paragraph.

    • Explain your sales and marketing processes in detail.

    • Include thorough research on your target audience.

    • Develop a presumed cash-flow statement.

    • Don’t overestimate your income projections.

    • Overestimate your start-up expenses by about 25%.

    • Identify the resources that will support your start-up.

    • Use industry facts and statistic to back up any claims you make.

    • Explain return on investments thoroughly.

    • Don’t exclude your weaknesses.

    • Attach any licenses you’ve already attained.

    • Use good design and visuals to hook your reader.

    • Ask two or more professionals to review your proposal.

    • Consider creating a logo and including it in your business plan because it adds a great deal of professionalism.

What's your capital?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a ton of cash to get a business going. Ambition and tactic will get you there.

  • Here are a few ways to finance your business

    • Try crowdfunding online. It’s an effective way to raise money, and also to get your new brand’s name out there.

    • Seek an angel investor or venture capitalist. Your business plan needs to be in top-notch order before you try this!

    • Apply for a small business loan from a bank. You’ll need a good business plan for this too.

    • Consider going into partnership with someone who can help support the business financially. 

Where is your business located? 

It’s likely that you’ll operate from a home office at first, but when things get busy you have to up your game.

  • Six advantages of renting office space

    • Flexibility of lease agreement makes it easy to relocate if needed.

    • Better space for contractors or employees to work.

    • Monthly payment is tax deductible.

    • Good geographical location options.

    • Conveys a more professional image for clients and stakeholders.

    • Shared space opportunity can help you lower overall costs.

When is your launch? 

Host a formal event to celebrate your company’s official opening. This gives you the chance to get your network’s attention, build new connections and market your brand.

  • Follow these tips to maximise this event opportunity

    • Start planning at least two months before the event.

    • Invite guests at least a month before the time.

    • Use social media to create a buzz around the event.

    • Incentivise attendance by offering discounts or small gifts.

    • Provide exclusivity for very important guests.

    • Choose a professional space that’s easy for guests to get to.

    • Provide food and drinks, even if it is just platter snacks.

    • Give a speech - keep it short and powerful.

Be patient. Learn from your mistakes and keep looking for gaps in your growth. Always remember this and you’ll be a successful business owner in no time!

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