So you’re thinking about starting a business, eh? That’s awesome. But realize that for any startup to be successful takes a few things to go your way. While there’s no magical recipe that you can just throw together to be successful.
However, the right recipe includes having a proper strategy, well-thought-out logistics of what to sell, how to market it, flexibility in running your operations, and the best way to distribute your products and pair those with a little luck.
We’ve tackled the subject of how to build a successful operation from the ground up previously, and in this article, we’ll expand on those main points and add a few more.
Develop A Strategy
People often come up with a business idea and think they can get a business license, and away they go.
There are business licenses, federal, state, and local fees, and registration that needs to occur. Depending on what type of business you plan, there may be retail or office space to secure and lease.
There are vendors and distribution and marketing you need to plan.
And let’s not even get into labor and employee compensation. That’s a considerable portion of your expenses.
So for anyone thinking about starting a business and believe that, to borrow a phrase from the movie “Field of Dreams,” if you build it, they (customers) will come, you be sorely surprised.
In truth, successful businesses are much more planned out than that. They take time and research to find the best way to sell the product.
As you strategize your organization, it’s helpful to have a visual map of your thoughts. Some people like to organize their thoughts with a mind-map, which is a tool to connect various ideas and look for a common theme running between them all.
Others like the connection and feel of handwriting out their thoughts, and that’s where notepads come in handy.
However, if you need to share your thoughts and organizing principles with other members as you work through them, a visual aid like a glass dry erase board is an excellent way.
You can also elect to organize your thoughts and share them with others in the cloud through software programs and management software.
Understand The Market And Analyze The Competition
Before you throw yourself and your money into a business venture, you need to be sure that there is an opportunity for you to succeed. Right now may not be the best time to try and challenge Amazon as a retail powerhouse as they have an almost near-monopoly on the business model.
Understanding the market will help guide you to better position your product and your organization’s success.
You want to examine and answer:
- How Competitive Is Your Market: Not every market is the same. Some are highly competitive with significant corporations behind them, meaning that entryway to that niche may be very difficult.
- How Does Your Product Stand Out – USP: What is unique about your product, and how is it different from similar ones on the marketplace? Think about your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, and craft your business model accordingly.
- What Is Your Plan To Advertise: How will you create brand awareness and foster brand loyalty? Return of sales is an excellent indicator of overall performance, and you should be thinking about future sales while beginning. Just don’t get too far ahead of yourself and forget about the “right now.”
- How Will You Fulfill Orders: You have a product, you found a buyer, now how do you plan on fulfilling that order? What is the delivery mechanism you plan to use for fulfillment? You need to answer and schedule how you deliver the goods, use a third-party, or have the buyer pick-up your product?
Understand what your competitors do well and areas they underrepresent are great insights for planning your business. By looking at what they do well, you can simulate those successes (if it makes sense) and avoid some issues that can entangle new startups.
Organize And Prepare Your Financials
As you organize around your business idea, you need to plan your financials out a year or two ahead of time. What will the market look like in the 3rd quarter of this year? How about next year? What do you perceive to be your payroll and other expenses, including your quarterly and yearly taxes?
Finally, incorporating the above strategies with your finances will put you on a path toward a successful foundation. Getting a grasp of these financials is crucial organizing concepts that will help you project the type of sales you need to be profitable and grow.