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10 things to consider before starting your own business

Standard Chartered Bank

Starting your own business is more often than not a stressful and risky proposition. To start your business right, here are 10 suggestions that may substantially assist you in your entrepreneurial endeavours – and may just be enough to keep your business afloat, through both the good times, and the bad.

UNDERSTAND THE ‘TALK’

You must take time to understand the business talk or language. Business owners are expected to understand various terms, jargon, financial information and legal information.

You MUST know what your liability level is, should your finances take a turn for the worse. Learn more about what makes a business work. The Internet is a great resource here – so use it, and gain the knowledge necessary to advance.

RESEARCH

Make sure you have enough research behind you to prove that your business model can be successful. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they get all excited about the prospect of owning a business, and hastily rush into things. If you don’t know the statistics, industry trends, and consumer behaviour surrounding your area of business – how can you possibly sell your products or services?

SORT OUT THE LEGAL ASPECTS

Make sure that your business is not going to give you legal issues. Legal issues cost money and time, and will very possibly lead to business failure if you get caught up in one. Know the rights, responsibilities, and obligations you will be taking on and focus on your own business.

ANALYSE THE MARKETPLACE

Understand the marketplace and what your industry is really like. Who are your target audience or customers? What quality and service standards are expected in this area of business? Are you able to provide that standard or higher? If not, take a serious look at your business plan, and try to determine if the idea as a whole will be appealing to the market.

FIND AN ACCOUNTANT AND AN ATTORNEY

Have an attorney and an accountant. This is a necessary step in any strong, forward looking business. Get these two sides of the business sorted early and you will have a lifeline on hand, should it be needed in the future.

READ PAST SUCCESS STORIES

Have a rough idea of how others succeeded before you. Remember – unless your business is highly unique, you’re probably not the first person to have had the idea. Consult business journals, look on the Internet to find related business stories, and see what key attributes and features defined failure from overall success.

WORK OUT WHO YOUR COMPETITORS ARE

It is always useful to understand and know your competitors. Putting together a SWOT – Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats – analysis on your competitors will be greatly advantageous. Be it a small café or a convenience store, you need to know if there really is going to be enough demand out there to generate more profits and enough share of the pie for you.

GET THE RIGHT TRAINING

Get training to be an expert in your area of business. Anything less than expert knowledge will leave gaps for other people to steal away your market. Just imagine a potential customer rings you and asks a somewhat complex, yet relevant question – which you are unable to answer. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and imagine how you would react.

DETERMINE THE REAL DEMAND FOR YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE

Make sure that people will buy or want your goods. There is a big difference between what your opinion of your own product/service is, and how the rest of the public feels. Just because you believe your product is a wonderful and useful thing, this doesn’t mean that other consumers will.

Quiz people as to whether they would be interested in your goods, find faults, make improvements, and when its time – take the best possible product to market.

MAKE A SALE OR TWO

Have solid proof you can run your business successfully. Have you made any efforts to sell the product in the past? Do you know the demand for your product? Have you done your market research? Make sure you are equipped with all possible information to help you make your business work for you.

Be careful, logical, and practical. Ensure you have the skills, resources, and energy to get things off the ground and you may be the next success story just waiting to happen.

This article is for general information purposes only and while the information in it is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by us. You are advised to exercise your own independent judgement with the contents in this article.

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