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Starting a Business for Dummies - The Essentials

There are several processes that you need to go through in order to get your own business started.

  • The Idea: You may have had the idea of starting your own business for some time. Jot down some of your ideas. Do you need premises or can you start your business from home? Are you going to work in partnership with someone else?
  • Analyse the market: Gauge the success of your idea. Do some homework. What makes your product different to anything else that is on the market? Why is yours going to be better value for money?
  • Run some samples to test the market: it does not matter whether you are selling a service or a product you need samples and get honest feedback from the consumer. This evidence is also going to be very useful when you start writing your business plan and are applying for funding or a loan.
  • Costings: work out the cost for a single unit (product or service). Be honest with yourself as to the true costs. If you are working from home remember to include the cost of electricity and other utilities that you may use. Also be honest with yourself about the amount of time it will take to produce or delivery each unit. How much do you need to make to cover your own living expenses?
  • Advertising: Even at this stage you need to think about how you are going to advertise your business. Will it be word of mouth, Facebook, twitter, a postcard in a local shop?
  • Business Plan: By now you should have enough information to start on your business plan? You need to include under separate headings all the information that you have accumulated so far. You also need to do a few projections and scenarios that depend on your rate of success. Be prepared to use your business plan as a working document and be prepared to make changes.
  • Advice: Run your business plan past someone who has already gone through the process of setting up their own business. You should also look for support from your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Apply for a business loan: Your bank may have a small business advisor who can look at your business plan and make a few suggestions or changes than you need to make to the plan prior to considering you for a business loan remember that they want you to success and don’t want you to go out of business within the first few months and their advice is based on successful business models.