STEP 1: Know your product or service
Before you go ahead and start a business, you must have a general understanding of what you are going to sell. It doesn’t matter if you create an online store, sell clothes, accessories, or any other material thing (including services). As per Paul Haarman what matters is that this product is something that has demand in the market. The question now becomes; how do I know there will be demand for my product? This can be answered by researching your target industry. Try looking for competitors already in the market; searching on Google (and maybe Bing) for keywords related to the sector would help find people who are interested in what you plan to sell. This is the first step to take if you want to start a business.
Step 2: Create a business plan
In this step Paul Haarman says, you must already research the market and gather enough information on how well your product(s) will fare and what you need to do as far as marketing strategies go. Once this information is together, write it down – put everything together in a document known as a “business plan.” This can be presented to friends or family members to review it and help improve it if necessary. You may also think of investors who would be willing to financially back your new enterprise – depending on how much money you are looking for; these could include government organizations such as SEDA (Small Enterprise and Development Authority).
STEP 3: Raise funds
Before you start your business, save money so that you can use it to finance your idea when the time comes. If this is not possible, try looking for an investor. This could be a friend or family member who believes in your ability and wants to help you out with cash; otherwise, SEDA offers loan assistance to entrepreneurs who require funding.
STEP 4: Get yourself ready
Being well-read upon how successful businesses are run will benefit you immensely during this stage of the process, considering almost all start-up businesses fail within the first two years, having a good understanding of what needs doing starting up is far less stressful. This includes knowing how much money needs to be invested in seeing the business through various stages – how much will it cost for rent, utilities, staff salaries, production costs, etc. It is also imperative that you know who your target market is and what they would want.
STEP 5: Make a plan
You now need to map out precisely what needs doing. Most people don’t break down their business plan into specific tasks – although this does create more work in the long run (it will take longer for each job to be completed), it would make managing your time far easier if you do this during the initial planning stage.
STEP 6: Control your costs
This is very important, and I would like to highlight the importance of it before we continue. Once you have found a place to rent, you should immediately begin making your financial calculations. Consider all of the costs that will come with hiring staff. Such as salaries, paying for rent/utilities, marketing campaigns, and production costs. You need to know exactly where your money is going. As well as how much needs to be made from sales for your business to break even and turn a profit. Paul Haarman says try not to over-estimate potential earnings to avoid disappointment when the time comes, yet do try and set goals high enough so that they appear obtainable.
STEP 7: Produce your product
Now that you have a good idea of what your business plan contains. It’s time to put together a production schedule and stick with it. Remember to set specific goals for each day so that the project is completed within a reasonable timeframe. This step requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Many people fail because they fall behind schedule or miss important deadlines.
STEP 8: Market it!
The last step would include marketing and getting the product out to as many clients as possible. In this stage, the assessment will play a vital role. Ensuring all aspects of the business are up-to-par – if any element needs changing. Now is the best time to make these necessary adjustments.
STEP 9: Repeat and grow!
After your first product has been sold. You will need to repeat the same process for the following product (if there is one) or the services you provide says Paul Haarman. However, this time around, things would be much easier as all of the groundwork has already been laid down; what used to be considered a difficult task should now seem like second nature. As long as you follow through on each step and remain dedicated, success should quickly come your way.