2. Before you begin a startup or small business it’s time to THINK about:
Your market: is your idea viable. Find out about similar ideas to yours: who is buying what, where and how to help you understand if your idea will work as a business proposition.
Your Support: family, colleagues, friends… success relies on all sorts of networks and connections. There may be someone you don’t know but who could potentially help you. Now’s the time to get introduced.
Your Money: full-time job? Studying? stay in your full or part time job (for now). Starting to work on your idea while you are employed or in education can give you security and if you can put some savings aside that helps too. Think what money you need to start: what equipment and resources you will need. Could your city or regional business support with grants and loans?
Your Plan: set out a plan to achieve your business goals. It can help to stage it: 6 months, one year, five years. Expect this to change but get it down as a road map and a reminder.
Your responsibilities: check the tax and legal requirements of your sector. If you are not sure, get advice from local business support and find a good accountant to talk it over with.
Yourself: there’s not time like the present to be the professional you want to be. Think about your ‘brand’ and walk the talk. How do you want to be seen – smart, professional, courteous? Find a domain name that reflects your business for your emails, get some business cards and treat everyone as a potential customer, with respect and curiosity.
Your customer: begin to build a customer base. This might be beginning a blog or simply talking to your support networks and actively seeking to meet others who could support, invest or buy from you.