Why Start A Business In 2019?
So you’ve got a new business idea or a great service to provide, and it’s time to start a business!
No matter what your idea is, you need a plan so when things start moving ahead you’ve got a structure for your small business.
Starting a business is hard work, there’s no quick or easy way.
To start a small business in 2019 and be successful, begin small and build up from there. You don’t want to go too hard too fast, so we’ll break it down to make it simple.
Illustration: Your business is like a tree which you need to plant and keep rooted in the ground. You must maintain, water and look after your tree. But you haven’t planted it yet, heck, you don’t even know what seeds to buy or where to buy them. So let’s figure out what seeds you need and how to plan how to grow your tree.
Start with a Simple Statement
This is the elevator pitch, the 30-second summary, the family dinner spiel.
Let’s begin with a simple motivating sentence that sums up your business.
Answer: “What’s the point of my business?”
Example: A personal trainer might say: “We help our clients lives by promoting hard work and health.”
The statement needs to be:
- Easy to read
- Easy to say
- Easy to remember
This is what should come to the top of your mind when someone asks you “What does your business do?”
Need Help? Write down all the things you want to achieve in your business and ask yourself “What do they all have in common? What’s a simple way to sum it all up?”
Now we’re on our way to starting a successful business in 2019.
Write A Brief for Your Business
One sentence down, now let’s expand it.
Goal: You’re going to be writing one or more paragraphs built from your statement
Answer: “How will I run my business?”
There are two areas to start with:
This is your business structure.
There’s more than four, but let’s keep it simple:
- Sole Trader
- Non-Profit Organization
A Sole Trader is a one-man band, the jack of all trades who will wear all the hats in the business. This means you are your business, any debt or liability falls on you.
A Partnership is an agreement between two or more people who have ownership over a business and its responsibilities.
A Company is a separate entity. This means your business has the same rights as a person, you then would be a member or stakeholder in the business.
A Non-Profit Organisation is a charitable business operating on donations and funding.
This is your type of business.
There are three options:
- Product Based
- Service Based
- Hybrid Based
If your focusing on selling digital or physical goods, then it is product based.
Example: A clothing brand sells their t-shirts and other apparel via their website.
If you are offering time in exchange for money, then it is service based.
Example: A commercial cleaning company offers window and general office cleaning to other businesses.
A combination of selling products and offering a service.
Example: A local tyre repair business offers their service and also sells products in-store.
Note: You can start as a service-based business and grow into a hybrid based one.
This is the category of your business.
Example: A startup company developing a new teaching app would be in the I.T Industry and the Education Industry.
Note: Your business might be in more than one industry
Some industry examples:
- Information Technology
- Trade or Construction
This is your perfect customer, either a person or company.
Answer: “Who is my business for?”
It’s true, there’s not just one customer out there but focus on the one you want to find.
Choose out of these two:
- People a.k.a B2C
- Business a.k.a B2B
Business to Consumer (B2C)
This means your business will sell to individual people.
Answer: “Who is my ideal client? How do they spend their time?”
Example: An education organisation offering cyber-security courses online would say:
” Jack is 18 years old in high school looking to expand his education after his current studies. He’s well respected among his friends and family with good grades. He’s interested in technology and is studying computers. “
Goal: Be able to picture your ideal client as if they are sitting next to you.
The decisions made in your business will always be centred on your ideal client.
Business To Business (B2B)
This means your business will sell to other businesses.
Answer: “What companies need my business?”
- Business Problems
Goal: Be able to list real companies who would use your business.
Your brief should be two or more paragraphs that include:
- Ideal Client
Need Help? Use your mission statment to help keep a simple brief.
The business will be structured as a Partnership between Trudie J. & Lara T. It will be formed as a Hybrid Based. The business will be in the service industry with a focus on simplicity and ease of use for our customers.
Our ideal client is Stacey, a mother of two girls who is hard working and loves the outdoors. Stacey love’s our business because of the family-friendly atmosphere.
Set Some Simple Goals
Goals are important to keep moving forward.
Let’s look at two-goal categories:
- Short Term
- Long Term
Goals that can be achieved in 12 months or less.
Answer: “What are some small milestones I want to achieve?”
Earning $500 per week.
100 weekly website visitors.
Goal: Set five simple goals, start small.
Try: Putting a timeframe next to each goal. 3 weeks, 4 months etc.
Goals that can be accomplished in 5 years.
Answer: “What are my big dreams for the business?”
Earning $2.5 million a year.
Developing the next big Uber app to the market.
Goal: Set five ambitious goals, go big.
The one achievement you want above all.
This isn’t the end of your business, rather it’s what success means to you.
Note: It’s a big task, you might not know it yet, and that’s okay, come back to this if you need too.
What A Business Needs
We all have needs, even businesses do.
Answer: “What does my business need to achieve my goals?”
Now it’s about action, planning to do.
In business, it’s important to be calculated, only plan for what you NEED… not want.
Let’s look at two categories of needs:
- Must Have’s
- Might Have’s
The needs every business must have to operate:
- Registered Business Name & Legal Documents
- Contracts and Agreements
- Insurance (Public Liability)
- Accounting Software
- Bank Account
- Business Cards
Note: Don’t get overwhelmed if you’re unsure about some of these. Be aware that they exist and you’ll need to have them.
Disclaimer: I’m not a legal professional, so please seek the proper legal advice if needed.
The needs tailored to your own business.
They might include:
- An Office space
- Industry equipment
- Employment contracts
- Support ticket software
- Membership website
Note: You might not need these areas right now, but you might down the track.
Start looking at other businesses in your industry for inspiration.
Your Long-Term Goals can also help.
The Full-Fledged Plan
This is the real deal, the plan on a page, your business from start to finish.
Start by summarizing the business and include:
- Mission Statement
- The Brief
- Short- & Long-Term Goals
The Coffee Business:
Making coffee simple to everyone, with easy technology solutions deployed at everyone’s fingertips. The Coffee Business makes getting your daily dose quick & easy. By achieving a steady subscriber base, in the beginning, to grow into a high-level number of followers. The Coffee Business will need an extensive marketing strategy with modest investments to raise enough budget.
These are the principles your business strives to achieve, like a code of conduct.
Answer: “What feeling do I want to give people?”
A company that manufactures cars might say:
“Our core values are finding the balance between style & comfortability while always with safety in mind”
My website, the one you’re on right now, my core values are:
Simplify The Non-Simple. Make It Relatable. Always Honest.
Core values are like the backups to your mission statement.
Answer: “What’s important to me and my business?”
Pro’s & Con’s
This is the strengths and weakness of your business.
Answer: “What positives does my business have? And what negatives will I come up against?”
Example: A business that provides the hire of party equipment could write:
- Little competition from other local companies
- Previous experience in the industry
- Strong starting clientele
- Government grant for future expansion
- Rise of cheaper online options for hiring
- Holiday peaks in hiring
- Limited storage space for equipment
Answer: “How can I emphasize my strengths and minimise my weaknesses?”
Goal: Be honest with yourself here to spot problems early and grow faster.
Now write a summary and focus on opportunities.
This is how you plan and action your business expansion.
Note: Writing this can be difficult, so take your time.
Remember: The growth plan will help you with your branding & marketing.
We’re going to break this down:
- The Competition
- Target Market
- Products & Services
Other businesses in your industry targeting the same or similar customers like you.
- 3-5 big players in your industry
- 5-10 local competitors near you
- 10+ businesses that relate to
Need Help? Start with common businesses in your industry and find the most popular. Then find other smaller businesses.
This is a broad look at your ideal client, the other customers you’re targeting.
Let’s look at these options:
The physical and digital location of your customers.
Answer: “Where are my customers?”
Here are four options:
Need Help? Go back to your ideal persona and think about them, where do they live? – Visualize the place.
The earnings of your customers.
Answer: “Are my customers earning a lot of money or enough to live?”
Example: A roofing company has a target market of other small businesses in the inner-city suburbs. Their customers have an average income.
Let’s think about the occupations or business types of your target.
What jobs do your customers have? Or what type of businesses are your ideal clients?
Example: Your ideal client might be cyclists as you have a new invention in the cycling industry, most of your customers are in the city working as lawyers or accountants who ride before work or on weekends.
Okay now let’s think on buying habits. How are your potential customers spending their money?
It’s important because it can help you make informed decisions.
Example: A Zoo Keeping business might have young families as their target market. Young families are generally spending their money on their children. So, the Zoo might promote their attraction to get the attention of the kids by colourful advertising and toy materials.
What’s important to your ideal client? What’s their background? What is their general lifestyle like?
Example: You might have a new English course for foreigners you’re running in a local community centre. Your ideal customer is local foreigners who are looking to secure jobs and need a native language ability.
Need Help? Start thinking about the location of your ideal client, what are they doing there?
Products & Services
So, what is your business actually doing for your ideal client? – Let’s talk about your product or service.
It should be pretty clear what you want to offer your customers as we picked your foundation, but we still need to explore in more detail.
Let’s break it down:
This is where you need to be specific with your offerings, if they’re products, list all the products your business will sell. If you’re providing a service then list all the services you’re going to offer.
Write out a list of all your offerings and if possible categorise them.
Example: A small marketing agency might have
- Web Design
- Lead Generation
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Business Coaching
Now think about bundling, packaging your products and services to simplify your offerings.
Example: This marketing agency has a range of services. But to simplify their offerings, they bundle them into 3 packages for their clients.
- Starter Bundle – Small Website & Lead Gen.
- Progress Bundle – Medium Website w/ SEO & Lead Gen.
- Premium Bundle – Large Website w/SEO, Social Media Marketing, Lead Gen. & Business Coaching
Note, that each bundle offers more services and value to the client.
Research: Look up your competitors to see how they are offering their products and services.
Now to start thinking about how much your business is going to charge for these services & products
The goal here is to use the research and work we’ve already started.
Use your competitor research to see what the competition is pricing products at, this could be a good baseline.
Have your ideal client in mind and the target market, what prices are the expecting to pay?
Example: A tutoring partnership is assisting home school students and after researching other tutoring businesses work on average for $40/hour. They notice that on their competitor’s websites, they offer simple payment options.
Research: Different pricing structures and plans that businesses offer. Subscriptions based plans are very popular and might work with your business.
Alright, now how are you going to get your business in front of your ideal customers? – Let’s Brainstorm
You know your ideal client, you can see them, right? – If not, go back to the Target Market.
You need to create a journey for your clients, imagine yourself as your ideal customer through this process.
Let’s list the top ways to market your business:
- Social Media Advertising
- Listing Websites
- Brand Identity
The look & feel, the visuals of your business, what do people think when they remember your business?
As you create your brand, remember the ideal client. Your businesses brand is to attract them.
Let’s create a compilation of images, words, colours, websites & whatever else you can find.
Use your competitor research to start with, note likes and dislikes.
What websites are you drawn too? Why do some colours work well over others? Notice the typography used, are they older, traditional fonts or younger, modern styles?
Research: Look up the colour meanings and how the effect of colour works on people and in business.
A set of rules on how to use your branding visuals.
Outline these areas:
- Document Templates
- Logo Instructions
- Colour Combinations
- Language & Messaging
Example: A business providing violin lessons has used an illustration of a violin as their logo. They have a purple/pink colour for their logo that can work well on either dark or light backgrounds.
The title to your business.
Answer: “What’s going to be easy to remember?”
Make your business name simple, as people need to search it, say it and spell it.
Goal: Sum up your business for your ideal client.
Your tag-line to your business.
Goal: Add clarity to your business name.
Set a reminder for every 4-6 months to check back on your business plan & revise it.
Your business is going to change, your industry will change, so make sure you’re willing to grow with it.
Use your plan to create a timeline for your business and include:
- Launch date
- Pre-launch tasks
- First-year objectives
- Next five-year objectives
Enjoy the journey, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes… a lot. It’s okay, everyone does, don’t fight it, learn from them and grow from them.
Remember the goals, look back and learn, look forward to dream and most of all, find your own version of success. – Ash