Resources for Starting Up
Coming up with a new idea is exciting, and you probably want to jump straight in and make it happen. But before you invest too much time and money, you need ensure your idea is feasible and likely to give you a reasonable return on investment. Obviously, there are never any guarantees that a business will succeed but thorough planning and market research is your best start.
A SWOT analysis is used to help fine-tune your business strategy by examining internal and external factors that may help or hinder your business. Identifying and understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats – that’s what SWOT stands for – allows you to address them and make smarter decisions moving forward.
A SWOT analysis will help you to identify each of these characteristics for your business so that you can better understand what you’re doing well, what you could improve, and which external factors could affect your business.
Here are some of the questions about starting a business that come up frequently.
Q: I’m thinking about turning my hobby into a business. Do I have to form a corporation?
A: No, you don’t have to form a corporation to start a business. There are three basic business structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, and limited liability company (LLC). Most businesses start as sole proprietors, and then progress to becoming a partnership or LLC later.
Document the positives in your business plan to persuade both yourself (the most important person) and stakeholders such as lenders, investors, suppliers and potential customers that your business idea is sound.
1. Your idea has a strong point of difference
To survive in business, you need a compelling point of difference. Period.
1. Generate sales as quickly as possible
Your first priority when you launch your business is to gain some traction in the market as quickly as possible. Some tips:
• Ensure you have a compelling point of difference
• Build and promote your credibility
• Work for free or less than the normal rate in return for endorsements
• Feature customer feedback in all your marketing
• Actively ask for referrals.
The break-even point is the point at which your company makes enough money to cover its costs. Past this point, the company starts to make profit. Finding the break-even point through the analysis of costs is one of the most useful processes an entrepreneur can undertake. It helps you answer questions such as:
FULL LIST OF GUIDES