Here are the questions and their ideal answers – which will determine if you are on the right track.
1. Have I done the best possible survey of the current market conditions?
Before taking any concrete action in starting your business, you should conduct a survey of the market conditions involving your products.
Check the amount of investment needed, the location best suited for your business, sales and marketing strategy required, and also the competition presently in the market.
Failure to interpret even one of these points correctly could spell doom for your small business right from the start.
2. Have I arranged for long term financing?
Your initial investment will probably not be enough to ensure that your business functions smoothly. Regular investments will be required, even after business begins.
Most small businesses fail within the first 5 years of starting not due to lack of customers, but because they fail to have a solid financial plan.
Financial planning from the very beginning will prevent financial disaster from ruining your chances of survival. It is prudent to set aside extra funds to cover emergencies and any unforeseen circumstances.
3. Do I have a business plan and are those plans in writing?
You should plan each move concerning your new small business carefully. The staff that you hire should be a group of well trained, qualified individuals that are able to perform up to your standards. Your business plan should be in writing – and may evolve and change over time.
Any changes must be made smoothly, and only after careful consideration of how doing so might impact your business. Your small business will require all of your energy – and a good plan will ensure that you utilize your time and resources effectively.
4. Is my retail location ideally suited to my type of business?
It is very important that the location of your business be suited to the types of products you sell or services you offer. So, if you are planning to sell industrial products, then your office or store should be located in a similar business district.
If you are planning to sell consumer goods, then you should have your store located in an appropriate retail location with ample lighting, parking, and security.
A location suitable for one type of industry might not be suitable for another, so match your location with your products and services.
5. Have I devised an aggressive marketing plan?
You will need to have an aggressive marketing plan in order to survive in an increasingly competitive business environment. You should set aside a budget specifically for your marketing needs. Doing so will allow you to reach your target audience, so that people are aware of your business’s presence.
Unprepared business owners often find themselves stuck with products they can’t sell simply because of poor marketing.
Start your own business only after going through all of the above questions. By ensuring that you are well-prepared, your small business will face fewer hurdles and succeed in the long run.