Four things you need to do before setting up your own business

Planning to launch your own business? Here are four things you need to do first.

Starting a business, no matter how tine ip may be, is no small feat. There are so many decisions to make – from financing it to attracting the customers you want.

Globally, millions of new businesses are created each year. Yet an estimated 90% of these startups fail and close shop at one point or another – with only a handful of startups, surviving the test of time and becoming successful.

Although there may be different reasons behind the failure of different startups, there are some basics to do before starting a venture to ensure it succeeds. Here are four.

1) Understand the market

Knowing the kind of business you want to enter or the kind of service you want to offer does not mean that you understand the market. So take time to study the behaviour of your potential customers and look for what is missing or what they’re demanding.

Understand the characteristics that define the various demographics, as this will help you design your product or services in a way that ‘speaks’ directly to your targeted consumers. Not knowing the market could result in spending a lot of money advertising to the wrong people.

2) Have a business plan

It is almost impossible to succeed in any field of business without having a well-crafted business plan. Your business plan will not only outline your business module but will also contain the strategies that you will adopt in achieving your goal.

A good plan will also include a strategic marketing plan that will take the lessons from your understanding of your market into consideration.

A good marketing plan, meanwhile, will help you decide whether it is a good idea to (for example) opt for ATL (above-the-line) advertising, or social media advertising, or both.

3) Prepare for an online presence

Nowadays, the internet seems to be the place where a lot of business is being conducted. And no matter your industry, failing to establish an online presence for your business could make it very difficult to gain the exposure it needs to reach a wide number of potential clients.

Creating an online presence includes having an engaging website that will provide every information your potential clients need to know. In this case, you will need a managed IT security services provider to protect your business from cyber risks and attacks.

Having an online presence also includes creating social media pages, blogging and taking advantage of SEO tools.

4) Have an emergency fund

For most startups, it could take months or even years before the business begins to break even – not to talk of recording some margins of profit. Thus, it is very important to have an emergency in place that you can rely on when the unexpected threatens the financial stability of your brand.

Aside from an emergency fund, it is also prudent to have another source of funding that your business can rely on during those months, or your business may struggle to make profits or even break even.

Photo by Andrew Neel