Set For Success: Making Sure Your Business Is Set Up The Right Way. : ThyBlackMan

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Set For Success: Making Sure Your Business Is Set Up The Right Way.

November 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Money, Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.comWith economic insecurity, stagnant wage rises in many sectors and more and more of us realising there’s more to life than a corner office, starting up a business is an increasingly attractive option for many. Quite aside from the opportunity to make profit for yourself rather than someone else, you also have a the opportunity to set your own values for the company and be in charge of your own schedule and work life balance, making time for family commitments, volunteering and other important activities as well as growing your company. Sometimes there is a greater value than just working for a title at someone else’s firm – you can give more back by establishing your own business.

When you’re caught up in the excitement and challenges of getting your own business up and running, it’s easy to slip into the mentality of thinking your game-changing product or service will magically have customers running to your door. But the truth is, in order to build a successful company, you need to get the basics right- including a watertight business plan, a financial and legal structure, a marketing strategy and the best IT infrastructure to get the word out.

Writing Your Business Plan

Every business must start with a plan. This is a comprehensive document that maps out key areas such as defining your products or service, spelling out who your target customer is, taking a view of the current marketplace in the sector, setting out what funding and start-up capital is required, financial projections, any permits required, and also includes legal documentation regarding how the company will be set up, for example as a limited liability company. This information is intended as a tool for you to map out the opportunity, make sure you have your facts straight and that your idea works, and also help you to convince others, such as investors and suppliers, that you have something worth their attention. You can find plenty of free business plan templates online to help you get started.

Find Your Why

Every great business has one thing in common – they know exactly why they exist. Narrowing down a concise purpose that you can articulate clearly is a key part of getting your business off the ground. Your unique selling point is what will differentiate your business from all the rest out there and give your customers a chance to connect with what you are doing and start forming a relationship with you. It’s important to remember that you aren’t just selling a physical product or service- it’s actually a combination of that and your branding.

Analyse the Market

You will need to make sure that the opportunity exists for your business to flourish. No company is an island, and macroeconomic and local market conditions will influence the success or failure of what you’re doing. You must work out a very clear knowledge of who your customer is, what they are seeking and how your business can help meet their needs. The more specific and granular you can make this, the better. It will allow you to target the right people with the correct message. A proper CRM system which allows you to map out a customer journey, segment your audience and that uses big data to give intelligent insights about where you to focus your efforts is essential. Use methods such as customer surveys, focus groups and social listening pre-launch to make sure there’s a good market for what you plan to do. This type of feedback is so valuable in shaping the direction you take your business in. It’s also worth spending time in competitor analysis, monitoring what other companies are up to and assessing their strengths and weaknesses.

Create a Financial Plan

They may be designed to bring you a profit, but businesses are costly to get off the ground. In order to buy in vital equipment, supplies, stock or even to promote the business, you are going to need some funds. These monies are known as your start-up costs. You will need to combine them with your financial projections and put together a business case to appeal to investors and show them how they will get a return on their investment – this could be anyone from your bank manager to an angel investor. Map out all the costs involved, even if you are just planning to start an Internet based business from home, youre going to need a fast fibre-optic broadband connection, website hosting and build costs, and a budget to promote your business via social media advertising and other means. Larger operations may require stock, warehousing space, rent of an office premises and perhaps even specialist equipment or machinery. Map out what  you need to lease and what you need to buy with conservative estimates as to the cost. Include detailed profit and loss projections so that potential investors can see plenty of financial detail as to what they are buying into and what they’re likely to see back and when.

Making It Legal

It’s hugely important to ensure everything for your business is also set up in the correct way legally. You don’t want to have to untangle things later or face serious consequences further down the line, so get it right from the start. You must firstly determine what legal structure your business is going to take, register the business name and ensure you are on the record for business taxes you are liable to pay, and that you have any permits you will need to trade. There is a fair amount of regulation, and depending on what you’re planning to do, you will have local, federal and state checks to satisfy. You could decide on a sole proprietorship, usually suitable for solo contract based workers, like graphic designers and other freelancers. Or it could be a partnership, which can be more suitable for small car dealerships or catering companies. You may be setting up a small firm as a limited liability company or a corporation if you have multiple investors. A good small business lawyer will be able to advise which of these formations is the best route, as they all have separate definitions and implications in law. They will also be able to help assist you with registering the company name.

Spreading The Word

Once you have your structure and funding place and have sorted the business set up, your main task is to get the word out and start attracting some customers. It’s important to start cash flowing into your business as soon as possible. There are lots of potential avenues for driving awareness of your company to the people who count, so you must start by understanding who your target customer is and going to where they are. A useful way to go about this is to create some buyer personas. This helps to bring your potential customers to life and gets you thinking about their needs, interests and desires. This will also help you to develop your branding and the identity of your business. Being consistent with your brand helps to promote what you do and gives you a professional image.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to setting up your business your very own company. As a new business owner you must become somewhat of a jack of all trades, understanding a little about a lot of areas. Always keep learning and striving to improve, and before long you will have built up a company that you can be proud of with values that will resonate.

Staff Writer; James Carter

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