Here are 5 things to get right before starting that business that you have in mind.
1. Business Name
You will want to give a strong consideration to the name of your business. Is the name already taken? Does it reflect something about the services or products that you provide? Think carefully about what you will be naming your company because rebranding can be quite expensive. Get inputs from your friends before you decide on what you will be naming the company.
They might have noticed something about the name that you didn't or could have ideas of their own that you might like better. Pick a name that you can stick to and that will stick in your customer's memories!
2. What Type of Business will it be?
Are you going to be a 'Sole Trader' or is it a 'Limited' business? In a Limited company, the business has it's own legal identity and as a shareholder, your legal and financial liabilities are limited (Limited as in limited by shares). You don't own the whole company and profits and liability are distributed. As a Sole Trader, YOU are basically the company, and all profits, debts, or legal concerns are yours. This means that personal assets such as your HOME may be subject to debt mitigation, so be very careful when you choose the type of business that you will be starting.
3. What are You Offering that Customers can't Get Elsewhere?
So what exactly is it that you will be providing? Are the products or services unique? How many other suppliers are out there for the very items or services that you wish to provide? If the product or service has an extremely niche customer base then you'd better ensure that what you are providing is top-notch and that the customer base has the expendable income and the demand for your product or service sufficient to keep you in business.
4. Check out the Competition
Unless you have found something that is 100% unique, there are others out there who are already providing the products and services that you will be providing. Take a little time to investigate what your competition has been doing. Internet archives like 'The Wayback Machine' can allow you to view years of a companies inventory offerings and show you what things are selling and what things aren't. This can help you avoid mistakes when you are creating your own initial inventory. Learn from their mistakes.
If you've already built a basic inventory and see that some items aren't selling, see if you can offer them at lower prices and still profit. There is always a chance that the items were priced too high but if that's not the case then the lower pricing may help you to get rid of the inventory. That way, you can also make room for the items or services that will.
5. Speak to an Accountant
Accountants aren't just for balancing your own books. Think about it. When someone is running a business, who do they go to when it is tax time or when they need to balance their numbers with 100% surety? That's right, it's Accountants! As such, they will have valuable experience because they have balanced the ledgers of many businesses. Be sure to put aside a good amount of your initial capital so that you can get a top-notch accountant. Don't try to save money by using one of their assistants.
You need someone experienced. It will cost more but the advice of a seasoned professional accountant can be invaluable. This is something that can make or break a business. They can also advise you on how to SAVE money as well and in this way, a good accountant pays for himself/herself many times over in the long run.
We hope that you will take these lessons to heart before starting your business. Prepare, build, and succeed with these 5 things to get right before starting your business. You will be glad that you did!