So you’ve come up with an amazing idea – something unique and different from all the rest out there – but how do you get your business going? Start Ups need luck and talent in spades but they all begin with an idea and entrepreneurial ambition, with the aim of seeing the business grow quickly.
Starting any new business is a big challenge and requires a lot of commitment and hard work but can also be hugely rewarding. Here are five tips to bear in mind:
1) Understand markets – When you are beginning your venture into the world of business it is important to have a good understanding of the markets and how they work. Find out about key terms that are used such as Forex, CFDs, and “going long”. The markets might well be the place you turn to to make investments to help your business grow, but even at a basic level they offer a snapshot of the health of the market you’re operating in too.
2) Research – Base your idea on thorough analysis of your potential customers and the competition that you are up against. Do plenty of market research to find out what your rivals are doing and what they are offering. It doesn’t matter if your concept has been done before, as long as you improve on what is already there in some way. Make it better, cheaper or easier to use/access. You also need to study your customer demographic. Find out what they want and what they are willing spend money on. Carrying out surveys and getting together product testing groups to gain feedback from real people is essential for delivering to the needs of your consumers.
3) Get the basics right – First of all you need a name. You want it to be catchy and something that your customers will remember. Make sure that the name you choose hasn’t already been used by someone else even if they are on the other side of the world! You can check the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for details of company names and always check domain names so that the right one for your business is available. Once you have selected a name then you can start creating a company logo which embraces the feel of your business. Your name and branding can often convey the whole image of your business in a short and effective way – get it right to give yourself a good chance of success.
4) Get connected – Setting up a website and an online presence for your business is crucial. You’ll need to be proactive and regularly update and check any social media that you are on. Your future clients will want you to know what the latest developments are and, of course, the quickest way to build a business is through word of mouth. Don’t forget to make sure your website is mobile friendly to cater for the sheer number of people accessing the web through their smartphones.
5) Don’t panic – Your first year is all about surviving. The majority of businesses in their first year don’t make money and often have lots of debt. Your start-up costs could be the reason for this. Look carefully and analyze your finances and you’ll probably see that you’re spending income on items that you won’t necessarily need even in the second, third and fourth year. Lean and mean is best at the beginning of your business life.
Jessica Foreman is a Durham University graduate specialising in business and lifestyle based writing. She has developed her skills on projects surrounding The British Broadcasting Company, and running a print and online based magazine whilst at university. She is currently looking towards starting her Masters in Mobile and Personal Communications as well as broadening her horizons through travelling.