Let me speak from experience – mine and so, so many of my clients’.
Once you have started your business things can go from start to full-scale crazy town really, ever so quickly.
You don’t want to be falling in a messy puddle before you’ve even had a chance to drink champers to your first year of business.
Here are 5 essential steps before starting a business
Creating a plan of HOW you are going to grow and develop your business is the number one area people get stuck on when starting their business. If you are going to create a business around selling widgets (random fact: I love the concept of widgets they are such a versatile and marketable product) there is more to it than just announcing to the world “I am now selling widgets.”
What is your end goal for your business (besides being rich!?)
Do you want to be the world’s biggest distributor of widgets or more of a boutique high-end widgets business?
Set down key goals and create a plan on how to reach each of them, but ensure it is a plan that you have consulted experts on and one that you and your team are comfortable with executing.
Systems make businesses thrive. I know some of you are playing a shots game by now where you drink every time you read the word “systems” on my website. That’s OK, I don’t mind saying it regularly – because it’s true!
If you don’t have systems in place on how you are going to run your business? By the seat of your pants? With luck and crossed fingers?
Systems will enable you to grow a strong thriving business quicker than if you stay in a hot mess of paperwork and chaos. Systems keep you on track for success without overwhelming you with hundreds of decisions to make. Systems also mean that prioritisation can be built into the processes themselves, and that frees up valuable mental real estate that you need to get your business off to a good start.
It takes money to make money. So work your money for you.
Make sure before you are setup that you have spoken to your accountant about how you are going to grow your business (Remember point 1!) Then setup your business structure to enable you to do this.
Get a bookkeeper and read your reports monthly. This will help you identify which aspects of your business are in need of more funding support and which parts are not paying off dividends which may mean you have to restructure a bit to ensure every penny is well spent.
Notice that there is a Legal notice at the bottom of my pages. It’s there because legally it needs to be. You are the boss of your business and therefore YOU need to make sure your legal behind is covered. Don’t know if you are then seek REAL legal advice.
Real legal advice is given by a lawyer, not a web developer, not your PR lady, not someone who told you in a Facebook group something would be OK.
“Mary Smith in Soul-Driven Business From The Heart Facebook Group told me it was OK” won’t cut it in court.
There are services in each state and territory that can refer you to appropriate lawyers or law firms, depending on the type of counselling you need. Some states and territories have free or subsidised initial advice services that you can take advantage of if you’re just starting out.
Branding and Message
Your brand is more than just a logo.
SO much more.
It’s more than a pretty WordPress theme and a good profile shot.
What message are you trying to say about your business?
Choosing how you want your business to be perceived both visually and verbally will enable you to grow a clear voice from get go.
The way to do it is to review the product or service your business offers, identify the space in the market it occupies and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your customers. Then, get professional advice!
Branding involves visuals and message – so a branding specialist, graphic designer and copywriter are a good team for branding.
This will help you build a brand that promotes your business clearly, connects with your customer base and differentiates you in the market from the very start.
If you’ve just read through these points and are panicking about any one of them because you’ve already started, it’s not too late. Backtrack a little and fill in some gaps. You’ll be glad you did down the track. Potholes are never pretty.