8 Steps to Starting a Business
Owning your own business is hard work and will involve long days for the first month or two if you plan on doing it alone.
A profitable business doesn't just happen, it can take time to build a customer base, cover expenses and start putting money into your pocket but with a great idea and work ethic, you can achieve your goal.
Your idea needs to be a product or service that is currently not available and meeting the needs of your ideal customer. If you can provide it, then you are off to a great start.
I have compiled a list of eight area's that you need to implement BEFORE you start trading.
Check the internet for both local and International markets.
Will you be the only one selling this idea?
If you were to search Google for this product or service, what word (s) would you look for?
As above, research and make sure that no-one else has this or a similar name to avoid possible trademark and copyright infringements.
You should also consider whether you may expand in the future and if that name will still fit.
Check the companies register to see if the name has already been used.
Check to see if your business name URL is also available. Don't forget to check the .com, .co.nz or .nz versions.
This is where you assess where you are currently at, your end goal and how you plan on getting there.
Your business plan will need to be reviewed every 3-6 months initially and then at least once per year after the first year or so. Use these times to reflect on where you started and how far you have come.
Download your free business plan template here.
Plan ahead and create a financial forecast. How much will you be selling your product for? What are your expenses? How and when will you pay for certain things?
Keep all of your receipts from the very first cent spent.
You are technically in business as soon as you spend money on the business so discuss your tax obligations with the Inland Revenue Department. They are actually quite helpful and have a specialist that you can have an "In Person" conversation with.
Decide whether you will become a Sole-trader, partnership, company or a non-profit organisation. each one has it's own tax rules.
To register as a company, see the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.
Have a bookkeeping system or software setup that can record your income, expenses and create invoices or alternatively hire an accountant.
The logo, like your name, will represent your business and you will also need to research this to ensure that you are not copying someone else's design.
Check Iponz for further trademark information.
Your logo is a very powerful tool in marketing as if well known, you will remain at the forefront of your consumers mind. Take Coca Cola and Google for example.
Do this as early on in the process as possible. The Iponz website has the information regarding copyright law, legal obligations and the process if you believe someone has stolen your Intellectual property.
Make sure there is enough to meet initial demand, more on the way and if the supplier or manufacturer can also meet the demand.
Take note of any potential Custom Duties if importing from overseas and also check to make sure your product is not on the prohibited list.
Set up focus groups to test your product. Avoid using family and friends as they are not always comfortable being totally honest with you.
Think about where you will advertise. Will it be on Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram? Set these up in order to begin advertising.
For the point of sale, direct your traffic to a website where you have all of your products, information about you and your company and methods of contacting you.
Ensure that you have an ongoing marketing plan. The saying "You need to spend money to make money" rings true here.
Know who your target market is and where to find them. Know what information they are looking for and use it to your advantage.
The option of doing it all yourself is possible however there are some areas that should be done by a professional.
If done right the first time, your plans will work in your favour.
If you need a hand with any of the above tasks, Alleviate Virtual Assistance can tailor a package to suit your needs. Get in touch to discuss your options.