When looking to start a business you need an idea, the will and resources.
Three questions to ask yourself when looking at any business venture:
Do I have a viable business idea?
Do I have the desire to do what it takes to succeed?
Have I got the skills and money to start your business?
Where do business idea's come from?
There isn't anyway one-way to come up with business ideas, these can come to you in a dream, whilst you're struggling with doing something or overcoming a problem or it could come from your work experience.
Some entrepreneurs have the 'eureka' moment and decide to bring their invention or idea to the market. Some may have experience in working in a business they feel they can set up themselves or they may decide that, whilst they want to work for themselves, they would feel more comfortable taking that step by buying a franchise and benefitting from an established brand.
Do I have a viable business idea?
Before you even consider starting-up, you must first thoroughly test the viability of your business idea. Only by doing thorough research can you then be reasonably certain that sufficient customers will buy from you at the prices you need to charge so that you can generate enough profit.
Market research enables you to gauge the response to your business idea. You will have to communicate directly with potential customers to find out what they think about your products/services and prices. The more customer feedback you have, the better, try to avoid just focusing on friends & family but don't ignore them altogether because they wont want you to fail so they're less likely to tell you what you want to hear.
As well as looking at your potential customers you will also need to scope out the competition. By finding out the level of competition you face, you'll be able to decide how you can gain a competitive edge by offering better or more benefits to customers. If you can't better or even match the competition in the market that is already well served, you need to reconsider whether your business idea can succeed.
Gathering information about your market and using it to produce your business plan before you start trading is crucial. It enables you to improve, change or scrap your idea altogether. Acting on market research - either with major or minor changes - enables you to improve your chances of success.
What are you good at?
If you and your start-up business is to do well, much will depend on your actions and commitment. Your experience, knowledge of your sector, market and running a business, personality, attitude and commitment will have a great bearing on your chances of success.
So what if you are lacking skill or experience? Having natural ability is hugely beneficial, but with time comes knowledge and experience. You can also educate yourself using self-help content or seek training. There's also plenty of advice, support and practical resources for new businesses - if you look in the right places (such as that from Purple Yak).
You can overcome lacking in ability and experience, by excelling in other qualities that are more important when running an SMB such as passion, drive, ambition, commitment, resilience, self-confidence, belief, organisation and discipline. In business, these attributes alone separate the winners from the losers.
Can you afford to start a business?
A huge risk of starting-up a business is run out of cash before you've even become self sufficient. Owners simply don't have the money to settle their bills when payment is demanded.
You need to ensure you have enough money to set up your business and that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses until your new business starts generates enough money to pay you a basic living wage (the amount you need to live which should be calculated before you start). You might have to wait longer than expected to earn the amount of money you'd hoped for, don't worry this is common for new businesses. Overnight success stories are extremely rare.
Need help in starting?
Purple Yak offer free start-up advice in our blogs and also provide a service where we can help you scope out your business idea, make sure you're ready to run your own business and generally help you take your first steps into your new business.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.