8 things you need to start a business today
- develop a powerful message
- understand your customers
- Find the fund for your business
- hire the right people
- Seek a mentor
- Create a business plan
- know your numbers
- make your way up – We are here to help you
Develop a Powerful Message
A mission statement, your core message, allows you to control communications and build a good relationship with your target audience.
It’s important to convey your point to establish your key message before any engagement with your target audience.
Keep your message short and to the point of keeping enough interest to entice your customers.
- Is it believable, is it supported by strong evidence?
- Is it easily understandable, make your language simple but not condescending?
- Is it giving a positive message and upbeat?
- Does it represent your business strategy?
It may be a dynamic message but are you connecting to your target audience. Review and edit before publishing. It is beneficial to include a piece about yourself so your audience can get to know you.
Understand Your Customers
Understanding your customers is essential to giving them a good service, you must deliver what you promised in your core message. However, giving a good customer service involves getting to know your customers.
- Be your customer, ask yourself what would you want from your business. How will they connect with you; will it be by phone, email, meetings. Are your premises reflecting your business? Do you want to conduct a meeting sitting on packing boxes drinking tea from dirty cups? Probably not.
- Customers absolutely hate being kept waiting, its plain rude. Keep to the agreed time, after all, time is money. To is important to retaining good customer relationships. Understanding your customers and improving your service is a requisite throughout your business platforms. The customer must be left with the feeling that you have exceeded their expectations.
Finding Funds For Your Business
You have put your business plan into place, now all you have to do is finance your venture. How and where do you achieve this?
- You may consider friends and family which may be embarrassing but every little bit counts, so it could provide for the basics. It is advisable to have your business plan ready before you ask. Do make it clear whether they expect the money back, it can cause huge problems if you don’t make it clear.
- Financial institutions are the obvious choice, but you will have to have a watertight proposal with sufficient guarantees to repay the money.
Hire the Right People
You need to be clear about the job description outlining qualifications required, responsibilities and the type of person required; age, gender, and what they expect to be paid.
- Ask candidates for a cover letter as well as their CV outlining relevant work experience. Also, include a description of your company and provide a link to your website. After all its a branding opportunity.
- After the interview stage, you should shortlist a few suitable candidates. If possible ask a colleague or someone from HR to conduct the interviews with you in order to get a wider perspective.
- Having chosen the right person for the job, its advisable to orientate them to your business message and give them further training if needed.
Seek A mentor
- When you are starting a business you may be relatively inexperienced but so it would be advisable to hire a mentor to guide you through the initial steps. You can also review your industry online and see who are the top influencers.
- Engage with them and draw on their experiences, but do give them something in the form of linking their website to your platforms which will increase their target audience.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is used for defining a new business, supporting a loan application and for raising equity funding.
- Do you need a business plan? If you’re approaching a bank they would more than likely require a small business plan to outline where you expect your business to go and what it plans to achieve.
- It may be that you are funding the business yourself, however its best to have one on file for future use.
Know Your Numbers
A business would not exist without making a profit and having capital behind you.
- Having a good cash flow gives an insight of the economic state of your business.
- Net Income is related to your cash flow minus your expenses and is a good indicator of whether you are making or losing money.
- Profit and Loss which shows your business income fewer expenses and allows you to project earnings and make plans for the future.
- Sales are the main reason why entrepreneurs start small businesses and drive them to expansion resulting in bigger profits.