Build or Start a Business
When you start your small business, you need certain resources to ensure its success.
Do you have these resources needed to start your business now?
This page is a great place to start, along with our guide 17 Point Checklist to Starting Your Own Business. Download it below.
Your business idea will drive everything. Is it really solving an issue or, enough of a unique selling point? It is your idea that sets you apart from your competitors, attracts customers and is your reason for existing. It’s a very important part of starting your business. If your business is not unique enough, or doesn’t have a clearly defined target audience you may well not succeed.
Do you have a business plan? This is essential. A well-written business plan will also provide you with benchmarks so you can check your progress throughout the year. A one page business plan is a simple tool where you can set goals for your business and note down actions you will need to take in your business to achieve these goals.
The one page business plan is simple to use. Once you have completed it, post it up somewhere where you and your staff can see it regularly (the fridge in the kitchen or on the notice board). The goals and actions should be front of mind for everyone involved in the business. Go to the ‘Resource Library’ on our web site and download, ‘How to write a One Page Business Plan – two options’, for you to consider what is best for your business situation.
What’s the best legal structure for your business. Will you be a sole proprietor, have a partnership or choose to incorporate? Investigate your options with a lawyer or an accountant. Financing decisions will be affected by the type of structure you choose. Once your business structure is finalised, you will be able to apply for the appropriate, tax identification numbers and other legal requirements.
Capital is money in the bank or money you can access. You will need a sufficient amount of money to pay expenses until your business becomes profitable. These funds may come from your own savings, friends and relatives, loans or private investor financing. For the majority of entrepreneurs, this money comes from themselves or friends and relatives.
Every business needs customers. They should be the lifeblood of your business; customers and their purchases will determine your ability to meet financial projections. If you are just getting started in business, know who will buy your product, where you can find them and how you will reach them. This market research will enable you to analyse the markets to target with your marketing and advertising tactics.
Do you need a business plan?
A clearly written business plan will include:
- set the vision and direction of your business
- carry out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis
- map out a one-page action plan for your next steps.
What's the one page action plan?
The one page action plan allows you to prepare a summarised overview of the current situation, and assists you to implement the right solutions at the right time to achieve your vision/targets. It's also a practical way to record the outcomes of the planning process.
Elements of the one-page action plan
1. Now analysis:
In this section summarise your current situation. Look to fit up to five points. Which four or five accurately describe your issue right now?
2. Where analysis:
What is your vision? What is your competitive advantage? What are your key objectives? Summarise these elements in this section.
What are the three or four key strategies you need to work on over the next twelve months for your business? These can be drawn from your SWOT analysis that you have done earlier.
4. Action plans:
In this section, list what is to be done. Normally you have about three or four actions. There's no need to put every step into the action plan. Only list the strategically important ones. These actions can be drawn from the outcomes of your Force Field you completed on your key issues/strategy.
Lists when you aim to achieve the result and who is responsible for it. These should be in priority order and are critical for accountability.