Starting a Business


Step by Step Business Start up guidelines

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A surefire way to avoid business failure is to gather enough business information and prepare the groundwork carefully. The following are some step by step guidelines of what you should do before starting your own business.

Step 1 – Find an opportunity.
Your first step should be to identify an opportunity and think of a way of how to satisfy it. For example, a small hotel operator noticed that most of his hotel visitors are the elderly and that most of them time they needed special diets. The hotel owner introduced a specialized menu of low cholesterol and salt food to cater to the elder people. This increased the visitor and the revenue of the hotel.

Step 2 – Identify your market.
There is no point in starting a business if you don’t know your market. You must know your market and this is true not just for a new business but also for the existing businesses looking for expansion in different areas.

Step 3 – Know your product.
Next, you have to decide whether you have the skills, knowledge and abilities to provide the goods and services that the market wants at the quality it demands and when it demands at a price the market is prepared to pay. You must also make a reasonable profit in the process which will pay your salary, your staff salary, cover the cost of the business and allow for investment in development of the business.

Step 4 – Find out about the industry.
It is important to have enough of information of the industry you are planning to enter. Conduct research and talk to as many key people involved in the industry such as the accountants, bank managers, solicitors, business advisers and government authorities.

Step 5 – Gain experience of the industry.
If possible, you should gain experience in the same business you are entering. You can do this by working for somebody else in that type of business. You can also talk to others in the industry and find out what it takes to succeed. You can also talk to the potential suppliers and customers.

Step 6 – Work out the costs.
After gaining enough of information about the industry, you need to identify your pricing structure (what to charge) and the funding requirements (how much money you will need to start the business). You must know if the business is going to be viable.

Step 7 – Work out the legal and practical issues.
Issues like licensing and regulations as well as where your business will be located have to be worked out at this stage. This includes the structure of your business. What type of business you intend to run? Are you going start a sole trader business, partnership business, propriety limited company or a co-operative?

Step 8 – Develop your management skills
One of the main criteria that make a business fail is poor management skill. Do you have the skill and knowledge to manage the business you are planning to start? Having skill to make the product or give the service does not necessarily mean you have the skill to sell it, manage the finance and employ, train and supervise staff. Managing the business requires you to plan, organize, make decision and control others. These abilities are the key factors influencing the success of a business. You have to learn and develop these skills.

Step 9 – Develop a business plan.
Finally when you have all the necessary information at hand, you can now decide how you will go about establishing your business. This process is known as developing a business plan.

Mission Statement
A mission statement is a key tool that can be as important as your business plan. It captures, in a few succinct sentences, the essence of your business's goals and the philosophies underlying them. Equally important, the mission statement signals what your business is all about to your customers, employees, suppliers and the community.

The mission statement reflects every facet of your business: the range and nature of the products you offer, pricing, quality, service, marketplace position, growth potential, use of technology, and your relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and the community.

"Mission statement help clarify what business you are in, your goals and your objectives," says Rhonda Abrams, author of The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies. Here are some tips to make your mission statement the best it can be:

Once your mission statement is complete, start spreading the word! You need to convey your mission statement to others inside and outside the business to tell everyone you know where you are going and why. Post it in your office, where you, employees and visitors can see it every day. Print it on company materials, such as brochures and your business plan or even on the back of your business cards.