Have you always dreamed of working for yourself? Owning your own café and serving up mounds of delicious smashed avocado? Or, perhaps, selling more of that beautiful jewellery you love to wear? There can be many advantages to running your own business but where do you start?
It’s important to have a clear vision of your future business to help you stay focused, organised and motivated.
Will my business idea work?
Finding out whether your business has the potential to work requires some research. There is no point pouring your heart and soul into a business plan that has little promise of growth.
- Look into the stories behind brands and companies that are relevant and similar to the vision of your own business. Look into what kind of struggles they encountered in the beginning and what steps they took to overcome them.
- Research your competitors – are there businesses offering what you’re offering in the same area? What would set your business apart? What would make it unique?
- Talk with people who have succeeded in building a business. They may have some helpful tips and advice.
What is my product? Whether it is a physical store, online store, or you yourself are the product, it’s important to be able to articulate clearly what you are selling and why customers should support your company.
Who is my customer? Crucial to a successful business is understanding the needs and wants of your potential customers.
How much will my start-up costs be? Whether it be a website, photography equipment, renting a space, or basic materials, all start-ups will have initial expenses. Draw up a realistic, estimated budget of what is involved.
What would I like to call my business? The name of your business is the first thing people encounter, and is essentially their first impression of your brand.
Use social media
A great way to dip your toe into the world of business without investing too much financially might be to create your own Facebook or Instagram page. This way you can get a sense of how much interest your product or company will generate. It also gives you a great opportunity to creatively showcase what you have to offer, engage with potential customers and to manage any queries.
Look for support
You may be eligible to participate in the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). This is a government run scheme that provides business training and mentorship for budding entrepreneurs for up to a year. They also offer financial support while you get your business off the ground. You can also access free, sample business plans to help you turn your ideas into a reality. Some examples can be found here https://www.bplans.com/sample_business_plans.php.
Remember, Learn Local providers offer many courses that will help you make a start on your small business journey. Find one near you today https://learnlocal1.wpengine.com/find-a-learn-local/