5 Steps to Starting a small business
Starting a small business is a big decision, one that comes with key planning, organization and processes. Regardless of the business you are trying to build, kicking things off can leave you wondering why you even resolved to start in the first place
However, taking key factors into consideration can help you position your business towards a good start and definite goal, instead of total collapse.
WHAT TO DO FIRST
One of the Key factors to starting a business is firstly understanding the why, what, how and where.
Why – Think about why you want to start the business, why you are zealous about it, your intentions, the passion behind it and the motivating factor.
What – Think about the type of business you want to start, this should be accompanied by understanding the basics of the business you intend to start, the industry and if you have any knowledgeable ground to work with
How – A lot of people start their business without thinking of how to go about it first, so they get on with a process they are not acquainted with and fall in the middle when things get hot. Think about how you intend to start, grow and scale before beginning anything.
Where– One of the important decisions you need to come to terms with is the location of your business, sometimes when people decide to start a small business and need a physical location, they neglect the importance of a location that serves as a connector to their target market audience. Your location goes a long way to helping you connect to your target market audience especially when you are keen on doing physical shops.
In the case where you want to start your small business but do not have the immediate resources to get a physical shop where you could sell these products, starting with an online channel can be also very beneficial particularly because of the types of channels you have implored to using in order to sell your products.
The SellHustle E-commerce platform is a go to place for you, you can sell products of any type for free, it automatically creates a free website that allows you create your store, upload pictures of your products, customize orders, provides beautiful coupon codes, invoices and most importantly, get paid directly to your account.
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Steps to starting a small business
- Identify Your Target Market Audience
Starting any business or launching any product comes with its low and high risks, however understanding your market helps you avoid certain failures from the instant, it also helps in channeling your focus to the strategy of your business. Identifying your target market audience is a very important part in starting your business, developing a workable brand strategy and growth mechanism.
What is a target market audience
In simple terms, a target market audience can be described as the groups of people who could take interest in your products and buy them. They also consist of the people who you created the products specifically for. Understanding this helps you in the advertising aspect of your business and propels you to a particular audience and demographic.
According to Databox, target audience research was very helpful to areas such as content marketing, social media marketing and SEO optimization.
Knowing your target audience helps in creating the ideal type of content for your business; whether on social media via the various social platforms or through any other kind of digital advertisement that you may choose to use. So, whether its Instagram or facebook or twitter or Pinterest or linkeldn or any other social media platform that there is, you can build a community of loyal customers when you know who to focus your content marketing on.
In order to find the right target market audience, you will need to conduct market research on your proposed business idea, this includes demographics, industry, competition, new trends in the market industry, how customers buy; when and why, economic flow and change, personality traits amongst others.
Knowing the needs of your customers is very important if you wish to solve a problem with your products, but will you be solving this problem?
Some pertinent questions that you need to ask yourself in identifying your target market audience are;
- Who you wish to sell to?
- What do they want and why do they want it?
- Which problem do they wish to solve with a product that looks like yours or has the same kind of features?
- Why should they choose you?
Always remember that there exist a large number of people who will buy your products, your customer database or prospective outreach exists but they must be found, so in the case where you are running through circles without any valuable input and sales, re-strategize and find your target market audience
- LOCATION – PHYSICAL / ONLINE SHOP
Remember the ‘where’ aspect of what to do first when starting a business? Starting a business without contemplating the location of the business means that you have not followed the first step which is to identify and conduct market research.
Physical Location – The location of your business plays a serious role in attracting customers for your business and is definitely something you cannot afford to be clumsy about or overlook. The choice of your business location can determine the sales and income of your business, how accepted your products will be to your target audience, visibility and future growth.
You will need to make the physical shop very accessible to your target audience and convenient for people to locate. If your location is in a very hard to find lonely street which could even get customers scared with the apprehension of “I hope I don’t get robbed” then the chances of finding people who would be willing to visit your store is very slim. This equally means losing out on potential customers and significant sales.
Another reason why you should consider finding the right location is because of your suppliers’ reachability to you. If you are located in a good accessible place, you won’t suffer from disappointments from your key suppliers.
Your location can also determine the amount that you sell your products, in the case that you choose a great location with accessibility to people, making an extra amount because you are at the center and not hidden can be also profitable.
Lastly, do you really want to open shop in an inaccessible area or at a good location where all your competitors are getting on in the game? If your answer to the latter is YES, it will help you understand what your competitors are doing, how to strategize and stay in business, when new market trends and opportunities within your industry come to light and keeps you focused.
Bad location can run you out of business, so before you start, make the right decision.
Online shop – Having an e-commerce store is as good as ticking off a vital part of your bucket list to having great visibility, sales and productivity. You could ask yourself why almost everyone is going online to sell their products, but firstly ask yourself why people love shopping online.
In 2021, the number of digital buyers was stated at 2.14 billion people which amounts for 27.6% of the whole population of the world according to https://ng.oberlo.com/statistics/how-many-people-shop-online. Also, according Cloudwards, global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $5.5 trillion in 2022. Still doubting the magnificent power of e-commerce?
Here are some reasons why you should make moves in getting an online shop;
- Online shops help you sell to anyone in any part of the world, there are simply no restrictions with the e-commerce world
- Super convenient for you and your customers
- Helps in saving time for you and your customers, you can do various things while selling online, even if you have a 9-5 job
- There is no closing time with the online shop. Equals more sales and more money
- It is cost effective, you don’t need to have a huge quantity of products to start or get going, you only need samples
- With an online shop, prospect buyers can see specific product features without buying first, this helps them in making good decisions
- It automatically creates a community of loyal customers and helps you get in-touch with prospect buyers
- It is a great way to get reviews and feedbacks from your customers
- Good professional outlook. Imagine selling through a website and a professional one at that.
Remember that with SellHustle, you can start selling in minutes for free, your website will be created for free and you can upload products to you store, customize and beautify to your preferred choice with the awesome templates available, generate unique discount codes, invoices and most importantly get paid directly to your account
- Business Plan – Pick a name – Register legally – Get Tax Id and Bank Account
Business Plan – Your business plan is just like the google map you use to find a location when you are lost or need to locate a destination. It is the navigator that helps you through each stage of your business. It shows the structure and key elements fundamental to your business startup and growth. Your business plan should typically show;
Executive summary – This is where you tell your reader what your company is about and why it will become successful. This aspect of your business plan should show the basic information of your company, mission, employees, leadership structure, product and location.
Company description – This is the aspect where you provide the necessary information regarding your company, it is where you show the solution your product is offering, you can also mention your target audience and brands you look forward to serving and collaborating with. It should also show that you have duly conducted your market research and competitive research, which will help you know what your competitors are doing right that you can learn from and what they are doing wrong that you can use to your advantage.
Product Description – This is the area where you describe the product, the features, benefits and what they stand to gain from it.
Marketing Strategy – You should also talk about your marketing strategy and ways in which you intend to attract your target audience and move them from prospects to actual buyers.
Funding – This is where you talk about how you intend to fund the business, what means you have started with in raising the required amount you need, specifying where these funds will go to and what your budget looks like.
Future projections – Talking about your company’s future helps to speak volumes about the longevity of your company, being that no one wants to invest in a company that may crumble in few years. Talk about where you see your company and the limits you may have surpassed in 5-10 years from now.
Picking a name – Picking a name is not really as easy as it sounds, but you will want to go with a name that captures the idea of the brand and is easy to pronounce, not stressful to say and has not been used by someone else. You may also need to get a catchy name that draws the attention of people to your brand automatically. Names that are hard to pronounce destabilizes the chances of word-of-mouth referral because people will often give up trying to say a difficult name before biting their tongues. So, when choosing a name for your business, write a list of 1-10 names that reflect the concept of your brand, nothing vague but purely intentional and unique.
Registering your business – You can register your business name if you are using any name other than your real name to operate as a business. To register your business name here in Nigeria, you will need to go through the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and do the following;
- Choose and reserve a name
- Complete the registration form (Approved name of business, General nature of the business, Address of the business, For the Proprietor(s); name, occupation, address and details, Signature)
- Payment of CAC filing fees
In the case that you wish to open a limited liability company, you will need to register with the corporate Affairs commission (CAC) the requirements are;
- Get a company name
- Prepare the memorandum of association (MOA)
- Fill the registration form
- Pay the stamp duty and filing fee
- Prepare the scanned copy of your documents
- Submit the original document
Tax Id – To get your tax identification number, you can go to ;
Bank Account – You can open a bank account for your business in your preferred bank. Remember that using your personal account as your business account is not an option as it validates and attracts failure and total business collapse in the long run.
Start prepping early – Ripple Effect
Starting your business planning early not only saves you future time and effort but also helps you in avoiding certain failures and disappointment’s. It helps you confront situations that may stand as a hindrance later on and gives you time to strategize. Early planning exposes you to a whole different world before starting your business properly.
Ripple Effect – Guess you heard about a business or new product once or twice because many people were talking about it? Yes, that is what the ripple effect does. Even before the launching of your business, getting the internet and social media busy over it and anticipating can skyrocket your business to plenty opening sales and subsequent patronage. You can make use of influencers that have a community of loyal followers between 5-10k on the various social media channels, depending on the availability of funds you have mapped out for social media marketing for the pre-launch hype of your new product or business, you can opt for using high in-demand influencers to help do launch give-away and discount sales.
If you do not believe in your own business, many people are less likely to believe in it. Being passionate gives you the edge to stay on top of your game and the determination to keep doing better.
It helps you dedicate time and effort to work. Selling a product, you are less passionate about is more or less like forcing a toddler to drink from a bottle. Your passion reflects strongly on your business, so getup and start adding the right positive energy to it.
Conclusion – Starting a business is definitely not an easy task, each day you wake up to new trends and economic hassles. However, knowledge is the reason why everyone knows something, so value it, search for it and keep going.