Starting a business is one of the most challenging activities one could come across and all the more rewarding if the input is accompanied by a successful kick-off and subsequent progress and growth. In order to run a start-up business successfully a couple of prerequisites have to be verified and achieved.
- Rethink your business idea(s) and put it down on paper.
- Also have a jotter or notebook in which you will note all and everything (ideas inclusive) relative to the smooth functioning and growth of your business.
- Materialise your idea by drawing up a good business plan specific to the size and goods/services to be offered by your business. Get help from a professional if necessary.
- Secure a reliable source of financing for the start-up business. A good business plan will keep you in sight of your objectives and help you monitor progress. Usually external investors require a solid business plan before offering a loan or funding, i.e. if business is not self-financed.
- Conduct a feasibility study by identifying your customer base, product, competition, business location site, capital/investment, envisaged revenue-expense ratio etc.
- Determine which business structure is suitable and best for you. Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, a LLC., Plc., corporative etc.
- Register a business name and get acquainted with the tax and or insurance system that your business will be subjected to. Equally get familiar with legal steps with respect to personnel recruitment.
- Enquire and acquire where appropriate the required licences, permits, certifications and or registration needed to operate your business at the competent administration that has jurisdiction even if it’s a home run business.
With all these steps met, the start-up business can be launched and the next part is the managing or day-to-day running of the business venture.
Running a start-up business
- Ensure business operates within the confines of the law and regulations in force in the jurisdiction in which the business is run.
- Acquire skills to help you run a successful start-up business. Where necessary outsource or delegate task to certain personnel or consultants / contractors. Hire a qualified manager if running a business is not your forte.
- Employ qualified and dynamic personnel with personal and business ethics. The growth of a business depends greatly on the team supporting it. Make sure they understand the business plan and everyone is working towards achieving a common goal.
- Employ wisely and pay reasonable and sustainable salaries to employees vis-à-vis the cash flowgenerated by the business.
- Master your business, your competition, the product and or services you and your team deliver. Helping the customer make the right choice or decisions is the best way to satisfy that customer. A satisfied customer will keep coming and recommend your business to others.
- As a start-up, get to know your clients or customers. In order to grow one needs to understand the customer’s point of view so as to make the right decision for the businessbased on smart observations.
- Be flexible and open minded in the running of the start-up business. Adapt to the ever changing business market.
- Monitor the digital and technological innovations and revolution within your business scope. Technological advancement is prominent therefore understanding the technology available for your business is crucial. This development in technology could offer extra opportunities and challenges for your business.
- Manage your finances strictly and raise funds to operate for a while because revenue influx at start-ups is usually slow. Ensure contingency funds for emergencies and large commands.
- Conduct regular controls and audits especially financial ensuring that financial obligations like salaries, taxes, purchases, etc. are met and balanced.
- Maintain a simple but accurate filling and record keeping system for all revenue and expenses as well as inventory.
- Maximise profit margin with high profit goods and or quality services.
- Market business and make it known via advertisement and publicity actions with the use of the various communication and social networking media available such as radio, TV, e-services, business cards, brochures, fliers, newspapers, magazines, posters, billboards, etc.
- Invest in ideas and opportunities that will generate revenue or foster the growth of your business. This may entail envisaging adding new products to your shelf or product list; fresh or extra services delivered to clients; and even expanding the businessby opening other branches in different places.
- Oversee and supervise the day-to-day functioning of the business so as to ensure the aims are in a good track to being met.
- Create and run fidelity schemes and or incentive programs such as coupons, product sales, discounts etc. to encourage customers and clients to keep returning.
Regardless of the fact that a business plan maybe well elaborated drawing its inspiration from innovative forecasted ideas, it will all be for naught if the team responsible for its implementation are deficient of the necessary skills, savoir-faire, patience and perseverance to see it through. It does not only require knowing what to do to run a start-up business but equally the way it needs to be carried out, which is also primordial to the successful operation of the business. Constant knowledge accumulation (experience) on how the business functions and how it should grow likewise learning from the challenges encountered coupled with tenacity, endurance and getting ones hands dirty are all interalia ingredients for the concoction of a successful start-up business.
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