Every entrepreneur knows that starting a business goes beyond investing in time and money. In fact, the more money and time put into a project, the riskier it becomes. You need to understand that generating a business idea is an excellent starting point, but it requires effort to actualise it. As a budding entrepreneur, you will need to familiarise yourself with the right steps to reach your business goals. From crafting a proper business structure to developing a detailed marketing plan, the steps needed to create a successful business can pile-up quickly.
If you are planning to take the entrepreneurial plunge, how can you minimise risks while maximising your chances of success?
Know Your Target Market
One of the most crucial tasks when starting a business is defining a niche. This step determines the name given to a brand and the marketing channel used to promote the products and services. The more you understand your target market, the easier it becomes to dominate it. You can approach this market with relevant messaging, ads and content.
Targeting a specific market allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a particular niche. Begin by focusing on your current customer base. Choose specific demographics, focusing on factors such as gender, age, location, occupation and income level, among others. Then, think of psychographics; Where do they shop? Where do they spend their free time? What are their pain points? This helps determine where you will advertise and what your point of differentiation can be.
Invest in Market Research
You should never underestimate the value of market research when starting a business. Market research allows you to keep up with the market trends active and in use. It helps you to measure the risks involved in implementing certain decisions.
Market research can help you analyse if the risk you are about to take is worth it. It can also help you to identify pain points or gaps within the market. Considering that only about 50 per cent of businesses make it past the five-year mark, you want to have substantial market tactics before starting. You can try focus groups and A/B testing to find out what makes your target market tick.
Open a Separate Business Account
Be sure to open a separate bank account for your business as your business depositing and personal spending should have different records. You want a clean and accurate bookkeeping for your new business.
A separate account for your business transactions will allow you to keep better track of your spendings and earnings. Ensure that your receipts and invoices match the entries of your bank statement. Click here for more information about separate business accounts and more new business owner tips. Opening a separate business account also allows a business to maintain a professional image.
Offer Multiple Payment Methods
Customers expect to have the freedom to use different forms of payment options. When setting up your account, find out about the payment solutions your bank offers. For most retail businesses, there are credit and debit card options. If you plan to sell online, third party payment options should be available.
Providing customers with multiple payment options improves business credibility and professionalism. You demonstrate that your business is flexible. Today, most consumers prefer to complete their payments through online channels such as PayPal. Offering multiple billing channels increases customer satisfaction and creates the convenience of accepting payments.
Participate in Community Events
A lot of businesses focus their energy on advertising online but forget to promote their services at the community level. Take advantage of nearby festivals and events to encourage the growth of your business brand awareness. Local events allow businesses to connect with their targeted niche. At the event, you can market your business by giving out brochures and freebies.
This is also an opportunity to form valuable relationships with thriving local community events such as sponsoring local soccer team. To maximise your marketing strategies, pick promotional products that suit your customer base. Starting a business requires you to be social, and beginning at a local event can give you the skills needed to penetrate a larger space.
Count your Costs
One of the key elements of your financial plan is estimating realistic costs for the start-up. These costs require careful planning and accounting. Factor in employee expenses, motor vehicle costs are growing so compare prices, advertising and promotion costs. Understand the equipment and supplies cost, technology expenses, licences, insurance, research expenses and borrowing costs.
Lay the expenses by priority. If you plan on borrowing money, create a formal report that highlights the estimated start-up costs. Investors and lenders compare the projected revenue to the estimated cost. Whichever method you use to assess your start-up costs, be sure to factor in every aspect of your business. It could help to approach someone who has been in the same industry.
Starting a business is about being informed, having the discipline and approaching the market with a great deal of positivity and hard work. If you are not ready to sacrifice, your business will fail. Once you decide to take the plunge, it is essential to note that you will be in for a real challenge. Therefore, make sure that you follow all the necessary steps when beginning can set a good ground for success. Remember that progress is gradual and only determination can sustain it.