While setting up and running your own small business practice can have many rewards, it can also be fraught with many risks. In order to minimize these risks, it is a good idea to devise a plan before committing yourself.
Think of ideas
What kind of business do you want to start? Thinking of business ideas is an inherent part of starting a business. For example, you need to think of a business that you find interesting, which will therefore motivate you further. Or, you could check out the business ideas others have thought of, and adapt one you find interesting, making it different from other businesses.
Some of the most valuable skills involved in setting up and running a business is being able to disperse the risk, extend the span of life of a product or service, promote growth, and adjust to an evolving marketplace.
Make a business plan
In fact, before breaking away from your current employment, you will require a number of different plans such as a business plan, a plan for relocation, a plan for acquiring the resources and training you will require. However, your business plan will be the core of the matter. Setting up a business without a plan is akin to driving through an unknown country without a map. Without a business plan, you will have no idea where you are heading for and whether the path you have taken is the right one.
Business plans focus on various essential areas like: what your business is about, what or who your market is, how you will go about getting the funding, what the sources and projections of your income will be, where you will be located and why, and how you will go about marketing your product or services.
Get a handle on the logistics
Select the location of your office carefully. If you are going to have foot traffic, ensure that you have free and adequate parking. Make sure that the location you choose has provisions for the telecommunications that you will require such as multiple telephone lines, high speed internet, cellular connectivity, and so on. A good short-term solution would be a home office or an executive suite.
Once you finalize the location of your office, you will need to furnish it. Find resellers of discount furniture. New furniture is just too expensive. Expensive equipment like computers and copiers can be leased.
Hire competent advisors. If you do not have a tax advisor or a business attorney, this is the time to begin looking for them.
Decide on the form of your business, whether you want it to be a corporation, a sole proprietorship, an LLC, etc. This is where you will require the expertise of an attorney and accountant. Have the attorney draw up all the paperwork of the business, and get a tax professional to deal with your taxes, filings and books.
Devise a marketing plan
Without a market, you will have no business. Product, promotion, price and place are the main elements of marketing. Does your business idea have a market? Have you identified your customers, and what their numbers are? Will your product or service be able to attract more customers down the line? Have you determined who your competitors are, and why people should opt for your product or service instead of theirs?
While your financiers will certainly want proof of the markets existence, in order to find out for yourself whether your business idea is a viable one, you will have to conduct market research and even have the framework of an order book.
Ascertain your financial viability
Find out if your business idea is feasible financially. Many good business ideas simply remain that good ideas. They just dont take off as viable businesses. You can only determine whether your idea is financially feasible by making a plan. Your financiers will require a financial plan, but even if you do not require any financial backing, you need to check to see that your business idea is not a waste of time and money.
And lastly; if you are planning to get into the business with an acquaintance or friend, it is vitally important to get your lawyer to draw up a partnership. The days of Gentlemens Agreements are long gone.