Owning your own business can seem like the ultimate dream. There’s no ‘boss’ to answer too, you can dictate your own rules, schedule, and ideas, and there’s a sense of freedom that comes with it that’s almost irreplaceable. But starting your own business takes work – and a lot of planning. And jumping into the adventure is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
But don’t let that put you off. If you love the idea of starting your own business and you’ve done the research into setting things up; meeting the demands of doing it on your own can be a very fulfilling experience. Both professionally and personally. It’s important to have all bases covered before you take the plunge though. After you’ve developed an idea, budget and obtained all the right business permits; here are a few points you may not have considered yet.
1. Extensive Customer Research
No doubt you have outlined who your customers will be, but how much extensive research have you actually done into them? Don’t just ‘know’ your customers – find out exactly what makes them tick. Identify who these people are that will be utilising your product and service and research everything about them. Utilise online resources to get you started and find out the best ways to reach them to seek possible feedback on your product and service.
Consider how your customers will find your product and service and how valuable it will be to them. There’s no use in investing thousands of dollars into a business idea your customers won’t use. Gauge their interest before you set things in stone.
2. Create a Waste Management Plan
Waste management is an important part of any business. Regardless of whether you’re in the catering and restaurant industry or an office environment incorporating safe and practical waste disposal methods is essential. Most businesses when starting out fail to consider a waste management plan; but by planning steps early in the process, you’ll be able to encourage reuse, recycling and resource recovery.
Implementing a waste management plan can be effective in reducing the amount of waste your business produces. Not only is this great for the environment, but it helps to save valuable dollars within your company and reduces the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill. Cost efficiencies are keen for a small business owner – and cutting corners or sacrificing on quality is out of the question. Opt for a recycling service provider that can offer tailored recycling programs to suit your business needs and help keep waste management costs to a minimum. This will be much more ideal than getting rid of office paper or construction waste through the council, as chances are – your business will generate more waste in a weekly time frame than the local council can handle.
3. Determine What Sets You Apart from Competitors
Once your business is set up, determine exactly what it is that sets you about from competitors. This point of difference should be 100% articulated throughout the entire business process and across all marketing campaigns, website work and when dealing with potential clients or business partners.
Identify the gap in the industry which your service or product can fill and utilise that. It’s vital your customers know what it is that makes your business unique. Define it and practice it as early as possible so you’re able to articulate the differences concisely and clearly.
4. Establishing a Strong Web Presence
Almost every business these days will need a high-quality website. Establishing a strong online presence is essential to building your brand and getting your product or service out there to the right people. Set aside a good budget to create something that is attractive and fully functional. Depending on what your business is, it can be a good idea to run a blog on the website to entice people in coming back.
Research other similar company’s websites to determine how yours can be different. See what they do well, and work out how you can make yours better. Make sure you have all your web content optimised for major search engines like Google too – there’s no use in having a great website that potential clients can’t find!
5. Get Yourself a Mentor
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are in the world of small businesses – there’s always something more you can learn. Having a mentor to can be a smart business decision. Make sure it’s someone you trust, someone that’s been there and done that and a valuable source to talk too about business advice.
This person should be able to give up some time freely to support you in your business steps and can offer sustainable advice for the early setup stages. Having a mentor to bounce ideas off and guide you can be a very advantageous move in helping to avoid those common start-up business mistakes.
Being a business owner is an exciting adventure – but it’s definitely not for everyone. Triple check all finances and decisions and be smart about each choice, and you can be on your way to living the dream.
About the Author
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Instant Waste Management – leading skip bin providers and waste management services for your business waste management plan. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.