Are you thinking about starting a new business this year? Here are four things you need to do before you get started.
1. Decide who you’re selling to
You may have a great idea for a new business, but it won’t turn into a success without customers. Selecting a target market for your product or service is a crucial step often overlooked when starting a business. To determine the most appropriate market for your product or service, you need to consider all of the characteristics of the market. Once you start thinking about and researching this, segments of market with similarities and differences to other segments will start to emerge. Although there may seem to be a number of segments suitable for your product or service, it’s important to remember that it’s impossible to serve all of these segments. In order to select one or two segments, you need to ask yourself the following:
- Are the members of the segment similar to each other in their needs and wants?
- Can the segment be measured?
- Is the segment large enough to be profitable in the short and long term?
- Can the segment be reached by marketing communications?
- Do you have the expertise and resources to meet the segment’s needs?
If you can answer with a yes to all of these questions, then you’ve just decided your target market. Now that you know who you’re selling to, you need to figure out exactly what you’re selling and why your customers will buy from you versus the other guy.
2. Establish a point of difference
Find out who your competition is and what they’re doing, then make sure you’re doing something different to them, or doing what they do better. As exciting as it is to come up with a business idea, before you get too far down the track with logistics, you need to make sure your idea is unique. If you find out someone’s already doing something similar, think about how you can improve it to more effectively appeal to your target market. Once you know who you’re selling to and what you’re selling, it’s time to start setting some goals.
3. Set goals
One of the most effective approaches to goal-setting is using the SMART framework. The SMART framework ensures each goal you set will be an effective step towards where you want to be. For more guidance on setting smart goals, check out this blog post. So now you’ve done some solid groundwork on your new business, you need a place to record everything so you can measure your progress and adjust your operations accordingly. This bring us to writing a business plan.
4. Write a business plan
Your business plan is an essential working document that serves as a guide for all of the business decisions you make. Writing a business plan can seem like a tedious task, but there are a number of resources available to help you through it. At NBC, we recommend using StratPad – a web-based tool that will guide you through every step involved in writing a business plan. You can check it out here, or get in touch with us.
If you’re thinking about starting a new business this year and need help actioning anything we’ve discussed here, give us a call on 3862 8777 and one of our business consultants will help you get started.