1. Have a passion
If you’re going to invest all the time and energy in building a business, make sure it’s one you’re truly passionate about. It will get tough and the one thing that will keep you going is your passion.
2. Educate yourself and work on your idea
You don’t need a business degree to have a business but you do need to know and understand the type of business you’re stepping into hence being passionate will help you. Generate your idea, brainstorm, talk to others and thoroughly research your industry.
3. Research and start writing a business plan
Every business needs a business plan, even if you’re not planning to seek investors, you need it for yourself as an owner. It doesn’t need to be complicated if you’re writing for yourself; a business plan will help you determine:
– Who are your competitors, understanding of your financial implications and operational model, staffing plan, marketing and sales plan, form a legal structure and analyze your risks.
4. Save, save, save
If you have a full time job make sure you save enough money especially if you’re planning to quit your 9-5. Secure funding from friends and family, investors and incubator programmes.
5. Register your business & get a tax number
A necessary step, if you are in South Africa you can do this online at http://www.cipc.co.za for less than R300
6. File for local taxes
You can’t run away from the tax man forever, do the right thing!
7. Start a personal brand
Click here to read more about personal branding.
8. Create your products / Service
Get this done as early as you can so you can start testing your idea and develop it in time for an official launch.
9. Research your manufacturers and suppliers
As thoroughly as you possibly can, read reviews, visit their facilities if you can, video call them, have them on whatsapp and let them send you pictures of the work being done.
Hire the necessary staff (if possible) otherwise learn to do things yourself as best as you can, YOUTUBE is your pal!
11. Sell and launch a website
We’re living in a digital age, yes! you need a website or at least social media and whatsapp for business.
12. Create a digital marketing plan
This is how people will know about your business and find you but you need to invest time in finding them first. Content marketing, SEO and social media are places to start.
Ask others to share your new business with their contacts and meet new people
14. Use promotions and discounts
To help you attract potential customers and clients, this step should be included in your initial cost plan. When you’re new in business profit isn’t as important as securing long-term clients
15. Customer Service
This is very important in ensuring you stay in business for a long time, resolve problems quick and listen to customers feedback.
16. You’ll have challenges along the way and don’t beat yourself up, instead improve and fix each one of these steps as you grow. Most important of all START! Don’t take too long! Fail Fast so you can do better!