In creating your business, you must formulate a business plan. Although the business plan is mostly for investors and other stakeholders, a clear plan will help you stay on track as the business matures. It outlines everything from business goals, market, suppliers and marketing techniques. These plans can become very elaborate with research. The economic and political climate is an example of the external factors you must consider.
Besides your “Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats” (SWOT) Analysis and other similar research, remember the building blocks of your business:
Find a need in the community
This is a part of your opportunities, any unmet need in your community can produce a business. Instead of looking at popular business trends based on wants, catering to needs last longer. Cupcakes, milk tea, and gyms are examples of business trends that seemed to boom overnight. The increased demand leads to a quick and not thought out expansion. In two to three years these businesses will eventually flounder as new trends emerge. Be aware of trends, but do not jump on the bandwagon without doing your research and adding your own twist.
Finding a need in your community might be difficult. You might have already covered the basics, but when you think outside of the box there a right amount of untapped potential. Kosher restaurants are an example of how you can think outside of the box. They cater to those who have dietary restrictions.
Deliver quality goods and services
After you have considered your need, can you deliver? You need to be able to create a product or service that you are well-versed at or at the very least have the resources to find people who are. If you cannot deliver on the quality, then your long-term business is not feasible. Shift your attention to other needs and markets.
Again, research is integral, primarily since you are not catering to the mainstream. Try to source people who are already in the industry. If you cannot, look for new talent and take the time to develop that talent.
Advertise on multiple platforms.
Never forget that you will not break even after a couple of months. Starting off your business right is making a big gamble, even with excellent product backing and targeted advertising. If you miss the right time to advertise appropriately, your obscurity might lead to more long months without sufficient customers.
Hire creative types and have a branding scheme in mind that addresses your market. Have a mixture of traditional and online advertising.
These three steps are integral to ensuring a smooth start with your business. Being a part of a relatively new or unknown market guarantees your initial group of customers. Delivering your service well allows you to branch out of your initial group. Proper advertising leads you to become associated with your niche service and become a household name.
While business plans cover your contingency and development plans, do not forget that you need to have a solid foundation upon which to build your success.