Starting a business involves planning, making fundamental financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. There are a number of available programmes that assist start-ups, micro businesses, and underserved or disadvantaged aspiring entrepreneurs. To help entrepreneurs successfully start their own businesses, here are four important steps that you’ll need to take when launching out into business for the first time.
Write a solid business plan
The first step to take when you want to start a business is to prepare a business plan. In short, this should contain your mission, goals and so forth – and how you plan on achieving them. A business plan is like a blueprint for you and other stakeholders, documenting the strategy and forecasts of the business venture. As such, it needs to be prepared carefully, with a conservative approach that is based on sound industry research.
Select a good location
Your business plan will cover the aspect of location, not only of the business per say but also of the spaces where your target market gathers (and all the passage ways to and from these audiences). Your geographical location or online positioning should be set such that your customers can be easily accessed and they can also reach your business and its products/services easily. When you are located where it’s easier for your primary customers to reach and do business with you, your chances of building a strong, sustainable brand are obviously greatly increased.
Secure necessary business finance
Lack of start-up capital is one of the leading factors why aspiring entrepreneurs give up on the dream of one day owning their own business. Many business ideas cannot be implemented without some sort of cash injection upfront. Take the necessary steps to plan and approach the funders, bodies or investors who could provide you with the capital to kick-start your business.
This is why a sound business plan based on a viable proposition is a must, before trying to secure funding and drive the project forward. There are various agencies and incubators, such as SEDA, that aid small businesses in getting off the ground.
Establish the right legal and ownership structure
Decide which form of ownership is best for you. You may wish to start your own business as a sole proprietor, or a partnership may make more sense for your enterprise. A private company (Pty Ltd) is a common choice for many small businesses, especially those laying the platform for growth in directorships as the business expands.
You may consult with a commercial lawyer who can advise and draft paperwork relating to the ownership structures and responsibilities. Your financial advisor or accountant will be able to come in on the financial advisory and tax side. Once the business is legally registered with a bank account and compliant in regards to tax, you are ready for formal trading.
Starting a business involves various preliminary and early-stage steps in order to succeed as well as be compliant. While some of these may be obvious and others less so, it is important to be disciplined and committed to making sure you’ve ventured into the business leaving no stones unturned. This article highlights some of the crucial steps you’ll need when embarking on business. Keep an eye out for more useful write-ups in this informative series.
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