For every entrepreneur, starting a business is an exciting and daunting prospect. Even before the official launch of your business, you’ve already put in hours and hours of work behind-the-scenes. From the very beginning, when you were still fleshing out your big idea to now, when you have a name, a logo and a website ready to go. However, before your quit your day job and press publish on your website, here are 5 things to consider.
1 Have you worked out a launch plan?
Before you take off into the wonderful world of small business, you need to work out a plan. It can be easy to think the moment you officially start your business that customers will come flooding through the doors or online orders will start pouring in, but the truth of the matter is, people need to know about you first. You need to work out how best to reach your target market and then formulate a marketing plan for your launch.
2 How do you compare to competitors?
Due to the initial excitement of starting your own business, it can be easy to forget about your competitors. But before you launch your business, make sure you do a thorough survey of the market. How does your product/s compare to others? How do your prices fair? What do you offer that your competitors don’t and visa versa? You need to figure out how you will encourage potential customers to choose your product or services over others.
3 How will you manage your finances?
As a sole trader or small business owner, your finances will start to get a little more messy. Instead of your employer doing all the hard work for you, you will have to be on top of your expenses, your invoices and sorting out your taxes and super contributions. If you don’t have cloud accounting software, like QuickBooks, ready to go, it’ll make it harder in the long run when business ramps up. Get your processes in place now.
4 Is this the best time to launch your business?
Timing is everything. Do your research before you launch your business to work out when is the best time. Is your business time sensitive? Is it weather dependant? Is your product seasonal? For example, If your business revolves around an ice cream product, launching near summer is going to be better, than in the middle of winter. Think about public holidays, such as Christmas and New Years and worldwide events. Also keep an eye on competitor activity – you don’t want anything or anyone overshadowing your launch.
5 Do you have a back-up plan?
What if business isn’t as profitable as you were hoping? Do you have another product or service you can provide? Is there a way you can reach more people? How will you support yourself financially if business is a bit slow? Starting thinking about your contingency plan if things aren’t so rosy in the first 6-12 months. Remember that it usually takes years for a business to grow into a profitable endeavour.