Plan Before You Start

The most common issue that business owners present with is lack of planning. They have a terrific business idea, some even have the business name in place, all have the business registered (or so they tell me) but they have jumped straight into attempting to sell the product or service to poorly defined clients or customers.

This article is the first in a series designed to help new business owners design their business, build the infrastructure required and then maintain or grow their business.

Design Your Business:

Way back in the dark ages before the internet and (shock, horror!) mobile phones I embarked on the process of building my first home. My husband and I had just married at the early age of 21 and 23 (as was common then). What was also common was the expectation in the early 1980’s that you moved almost immediately into your first home. This was particularly so as we were up and coming young professionals.

First step was to spend hours every weekend out at display villages looking at what sort of house would suit us. Then hours looking at newspaper classified ads (remember them!) for blocks of land for sale. At night and during the work commute we spent hours pouring over magazines showing how to build a house, how to decorate and what floor plans to consider and how to choose a builder

What we were doing was researching what was then THE biggest purchase we had ever made. Lots and lots and lots of research. What did we  need to know, what would it cost, how would we go about it, what team would we need, how would we deal with unexpected eventualities, what would the future hold for us in the area we built in and the house we build.

Starting a new business is no different.

Before you commence that business you need to research thoroughly so that you understand what it will cost, how you will go about it, what you need to consider and what the future may hold. Without this planning it can be a very rough and expensive exercise. This is not any different with an online business than it is with one that has a physical brick and mortar location. In fact an online business needs just as much design and building as does a business with a physical presence.

To design your business you need to consider:

  • What will you name the business and is that the name you will trade under?
  • What business structure will you use – sole trader, family trust or company?
  • What services will that business offer?
  • Who are your clients, what are their needs and where can you find them?
  • How will you market to these clients?
  • How do you physically deliver your product or service?
  • What on and off line infrastructure do you need to build to achieve all of this?
  • Do you have all the skills required or are you going to need outside support and how will that support be funded and sourced?
  • What will your brand look like – image, colour and logo and how does that branding flow across to the rest of the business?
  • Do you need to approach a bank and what are they looking for in a business plan?
  • How to write a Business and Marketing plan so that you have a plan to follow now and into the future

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