Starting a business can be an exciting yet daunting task. As a small or medium enterprise business owner, you want to ensure that your business game plan is in place to ensure your success. Your game plan is the roadmap that will guide you toward achieving your business goals.
The Basics of Starting a Business
- Address the needs: Are you addressing the needs of your customers by solving their problems and what benefits do you bring to your customers are the crucial processes.
The first step in starting a business is to identify what product or service you will offer. Determine the unique selling proposition of your product or service and how it will benefit your target customers. Conduct market research to understand the needs of your potential customers and what they are willing to pay for your product/service.
- Customer Avatar: Identify your target audience and understand their needs and preferences.
Refine your target audience segment by developing a customer avatar that includes demographics, psychographics, and other relevant factors such as buying behaviour, motivations, and pain points. This will help you tailor your product or service with greater chances of success. Our market has become more complex and filled with competition. Being able to identify your customer’s persona and cater to a specific group of people is vital.
- Competition: Identify your competitors and how you can differentiate yourself from them.
Analyse your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify gaps in the market and how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. A unique value proposition can set you apart from your competitors and appeal to your target audience.
- Delivery: Decide on how you will deliver your product – online, brick-and-mortar or both.
How would you offer your product to the market? Do you sell online or, through a physical store, or both? Consider the costs and benefits of each delivery method and how it will impact your business operations. Not all businesses need both channels. Work around your audience buying footprint to determine where you should focus first.
- Supplier Chain vs. Investment Cost and liability: Determine where you will source your supplies and the costs associated with them.
Consider your supplies’ quality, availability, and cost and how they will impact your profit margins. Additionally, determine the investment cost required to launch your business and plan accordingly. Deciding whether the company is registered under sole proprietorship or as a private entity is important. Either one has a different implication for you as the company owner. The latter protects your assets when things don’t work out. Do have an understanding of your legal liability when you register your company.
- Marketing Strategies: Develop a marketing plan that includes your target market, channels, and budget.
Develop a marketing strategy that outlines your target market, channels, and budget. Determine the best channels to reach your target audience, such as social media, email marketing, or paid advertising. Some businesses need both physical outlets and eComm. Do not shine off outlets as they have the advantage in transaction buildup. Establish a budget and measure the ROI of your marketing efforts to ensure that you are reaching your target audience and achieving your business goals.
- Budgeting: Determine your startup costs, expenses, and revenue projections.
Determine your startup costs, including legal fees, licences, permits, equipment, and other expenses. Develop a budget that includes your operating costs, including salaries, rent, utilities, and other expenses. Finally, project your revenue and monitor your cash flow to ensure that you have enough funds to sustain your business operations.
- Customer Service: Develop a customer service plan to ensure customer satisfaction.
Develop a customer service plan that ensures customer satisfaction and loyalty. Train your employees to provide excellent customer service and resolve any issues that may arise promptly. Collect customer feedback and use it to improve your product or service and enhance the customer experience.
Having a Game Plan- Knowing the steps in starting a business is not enough, you need a road map that shows you where you are heading.
- Start with the End in Mind – Set clear business goals and objectives.
To create a successful business game plan, you need to start by defining your long-term goals and objectives. Determine what you want to achieve with your business, and then work backward to identify the necessary steps to get there. Set specific, measurable, and achievable goals, such as revenue targets, market share, customer acquisition, and retention rates. Ensure that your goals are realistic and aligned with your values and vision.
- Set a Timeline and Funding needs – Plan for the short-term and long-term goals and the funds required.
Once you have defined your goals and objectives, you need to develop a timeline and funding needs. Determine the resources and budget you need to achieve your goals and the timeline for each phase of your business growth. It is essential to be realistic about your project funding requirements, which will help you to avoid unexpected expenses and financial challenges. Many startups couldn’t survive during crucial times due to poor financial management.
- Know Your KPIs – Identify key performance indicators based on local benchmarks and competitors.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics that help you track your business performance and measure your progress toward your goals. Identify your KPIs based on local benchmarks and competitors, such as customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores. Knowing your KPIs will help you focus on your business’s critical areas, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Resource Management – Plan your supplier chain and investment channels.
Effective resource management is essential for the success of your business. You need to plan your supplier chain, including sourcing and services, logistics, and inventory management. You also need to determine your investment channels, such as loans, equity funding, and how you will manage your cash flow. If your work is settled by cryptocurrency, it might be wise to turn some into real money for practical reasons.
- Plan for Challenges – Identify potential challenges and develop strategies to overcome them.
Running a business comes with its challenges, including competition, economic downturns, regulatory changes, and supply chain disruptions. Plan for potential challenges by conducting a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Develop contingency plans and risk management strategies to mitigate the impact of these challenges on your business. By being proactive, you can minimise disruptions to your business and maintain your competitive edge.
In conclusion, starting a business requires a game plan to ensure success. By understanding the basics of starting a business and developing a game plan, you can set clear goals and objectives and work towards achieving them. Remember to stay focused and adapt to changing circumstances.
- Understand the basics of starting a business
- Develop a game plan that includes clear goals and objectives
- Plan for short-term and long-term goals and the investment required
- Identify key performance indicators based on local benchmarks and competitors
- Plan your supplier chain and investment channels
- Be prepared to face challenges and develop strategies to overcome them.