STARTING A BUSINESS
A good business venture starts with a good idea. A good idea doesn’t need to be totally new, but it has to be different or better than existing product or service offering and offered at good value to make your venture competitive. It has to be innovative, relevant to consumers’ needs, affordable, and of course, profitable.
Know your market. Conduct a competitive analysis of your market and industry, trends, specific consumer insights and needs, products/brands that address those needs (if at all or maybe partially), their pricing, quality, promotions, distribution, service. Be aware of the outside influences that affect your business.
Create a business plan. You must be able to clearly identify your target market, product differentiation, product positioning (or the unique selling proposition) why the market should buy your product, your projected sales volume and revenues, your distribution channels, your costings, sources of materials, labor, capital, your expected profits, and project this year-by-year. Many good ideas fail as businesses because aspiring entrepreneurs overlook the nitty-gritty of starting a business.
You might find it useful to prepare a business plan before you jump into any business opportunity. A business plan serves to:
- outline your foreseen company's finances, management team and marketing strategy,
- present plans on how your idea will be commercialized, and
- prove your ideas’ financial viability.
If you are to avail of loans and other financing options, a business plan tells the lender why and how your business will be able to earn enough money to repay them within their terms. Writing down your ideas and plans also takes out the guesswork. Consider the following questions:
- Which consumer need/s will your service or product address?
- Who are your potential customers and why will they purchase from you?
- How will you reach your potential customers? How will the idea be transformed into a viable product and brought to market?
- Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?
A rock-solid business plan does not only convince a lender that your idea can do well; as you develop it, even in writing, it teaches you a lot about the business you’re going to go into along the way.
Consider franchising. If you still can’t come up with a good business idea, franchising is an option. Franchising is a business model where a person buys the license to do business under an existing business’ trademark and methods in exchange of a royalty fee. We do recommend that you choose your franchises very carefully. It would be best to select from accredited franchises that belong to reputable franchise associations. Learn more about franchising opportunities.
Still don’t know where to start? Browse through the materials below for tips and advice on how to start a business.