5 Things to Consider When Starting a New Business
Business: Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you plan out your new business venture: 1. Have You Taken Finances Seriously? 2. How Will You Operate?
Starting a new business is an exciting activity. It’s also a popular one. From Baby Boomers to Gen Zers, all of the current generations in the workforce share one thing in common: a powerful entrepreneurial spirit.
There’s no doubt that the passion to start a business is there. However, there are several essential considerations that you should take into account before diving into the business-building mindset.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you plan out your new business venture.
1. Have You Taken Finances Seriously?
Finances are the life-blood of a new business. This is an important factor to think through from the get-go. While there are exceptions, nearly all business models require at least some investment. Do you have the financial stamina to keep your business afloat while it finds its sea legs?
This isn’t a generic question. Each business has its own monetary considerations. Do you need to invest heavily in R&D or manufacturing? What about warehousing? Will you have employees? Are you prepared to pay taxes?
The good news is that you can address many of these aspects using the tools of the modern, online world. For instance, in many cases, you can access part-time, outsourced help through freelancers using platforms like Dormzi. This can help you avoid the need to hire too many people when you’re still getting started.
Even for those that you do hire, you can address things like payroll and small business 401k plans using modern tech solutions. The important thing is that you think through these costs, great or small before you get too far into the process.
2. How Will You Operate?
Finances may fuel your business. But even if you have the necessary capital to get things off the ground, you need to think bigger than just the cost. Considering the way that your company operates is also critical.
How do you plan on running your business? This is admittedly an open-ended question. In many cases, you may not be able to make informed decisions until you’re launching the business itself — or even later.
Nevertheless, it’s something that you should think about right from the beginning. What factors about your business idea require proactive planning? Do you need to operate in a lean and mean format by outsourcing activities and keeping your expenses low? Will you have a sizable staff and on-site location, as is the case with a restaurant or retail shop?
Run through the big-picture elements of your business as you’re in the early startup phases. This can help you figure out areas where you need to focus your attention as you get going.
3. What Makes Your Idea Unique?
Another important area of consideration is the idea at the center of your business. This could focus on a product or a service. It could even be something more abstract, such as providing convenience or accessibility.
Regardless of the specifics, you need to have some idea of what makes your business unique well in hand before you start your company. A clear, concise business idea is ground zero for a fledgling brand. It sets you apart and helps create your corporate identity.
Sit down and write up a unique selling proposition — or USP for short — for your company. This is the defining element that sets you apart from the competition. It’s the x-factor that makes you a one-of-a-kind solution for your potential audience.
One of the best ways to nail down your USP is to conduct some research. After all, just because you have a good idea doesn’t mean you’re the first one to think of it — let alone put it into action.
Spend some time researching competitors to see if your idea is as unique as you think it is. If it’s not, what can you do to differentiate it further?
Also, research your target audience. Make sure that your idea isn’t just unique. See if it will actually answer a pain point that they struggle with. This can take some time, but it’s well worth the effort before you get too far into your initial entrepreneurial investment.
4. Do You Have the Support Staff in Place?
Next up, consider what personnel you need in place as you get started. Think beyond obvious employee needs. For instance, if you’re starting a restaurant, you obviously need a chef, a line cook, a waiter, and so on.
But what other roles do you need to cover in order to help you dot all of your i’s and cross all of your t’s? Here are a few questions to ask yourself regarding administratively focused support staff:
Do you need an accountant? Whether they’re on staff or contracted, having sound financial advice on tap is a must for a new business.
- Do you have a business lawyer? There are numerous legal hurdles you’ll need to navigate as you launch your company. Make sure you have a lawyer you can trust.
- What other professionals do you need? Are there other roles that you need to fill as you launch? Do you need a graphic artist to design a logo, a web developer for an e-commerce site? Identify these needs early so you have time to consider your options.
The freelance world has made addressing basic personnel much easier. Nowhere is avoiding the need for full-time hires more helpful than in the startup phase when money is tight and you’re still selecting things like payroll systems.
5. Have You Thought About the Nitty-Gritty Stuff?
Last but not least, consider the nitty-gritty aspects of your new business. There is no end to the small details that you need to attend to as the owner of a startup. Once again, here are a few primer questions to consider to get you started:
Have you set up a bank account that is separate from your personal finances?
What legal activities, such as registering your business and choosing a legal entity, do you still need to address?
Are there any government compliance concerns that companies in your industry need to be aware of?
Do you need to set up supply chains or warehouse space to house inventory in the near future?
By running through these considerations and others like them, you won’t be blindsided by entrepreneurial factors that can slip under the radar.
Starting a business is a big endeavor. It requires a lot of attention to detail. As you prepare to launch your business, keep these easy-to-overlook factors in your calculations. If you can do that, you’ll be in the best possible position to make your business succeed right from day one.