Many of us think about starting a business but we become overwhelmed at how complicated it seems. The basics of business are surprisingly simple. Here’s how you can transform your idea into action.
Starting a business sounds scary and well, difficult.
· What do I have to do?
· What will I sell – a product or a service?
· Who will make up my target market?
· Where is the best place to base my business?
· How do I know if I will make any money?
· Where will I get my initial funding?
These are all very important questions, but they should not stop you from getting started or being excited about your idea. A good entrepreneur asks all these questions, and it is through discussion with a mentor or coach that you can come up with a plan of action.
This plan is your blueprint for success. It is called a business plan, and will be your tool to manage your enterprise.
The key is to break down your big goal into smaller tasks, and then to take one step at a time. Over the next few weeks, The Springboard Academy will address the above questions, and give you guidance on how to get going.
Let’s start off by looking at the ins and outs of a business plan. Imagine you were heading to Durban on a five-day vacation. What would you do first?
1. Work out when you are free to travel.
2. Check whether there is affordable accommodation matching those dates.
3. Decide whether to drive by car, fly or take the bus, as well as the safest route.
4. Research which activities and day trips are available.
5. Calculate the total cost of the transport, accommodation and activities.
Can you afford to go on the trip? If not, will you be able to borrow money to go on the trip anyway? Better yet, could you change the details of the trip to suit your budget?
A business plan is pretty similar to a holiday plan, except you are planning the route to achieving your business goals.
1. Decide on your vision, know your mission and set your short and long-term goals.
2. Know what you are passionate about, and have confidence in your skill set.
3. Analyse the needs in the market.
4. Find a solution to a need in the market - one that you can deliver.
5. Plan how to satisfy that need.
6. Work out what equipment or raw materials you will need to make the product or provide the service.
7. Work out what funding you will need to get started.
8. Decide where you will operate your business from, be it your home or a rented work space.
9. Think about how you will you keep track of your business’ progress.
10. How will you know when you start to achieve your goals?
There are many tools to assist you with your business plan. Take a look at SME Toolkit and register for free.
**The same topics we touch on in our blog posts will be explored in a bit more depth in our weekly Zoom meetings.
The starting dates will be announced here and on Facebook.