PROGRESS: Business growth in the Coffs Harbour City Centre. Picture: Keagan Elder
Starting your own business is a rewarding and challenging career option.
However, a high percentage of new businesses fail in their first year due to poor planning and management.
Following the seven steps in the checklist below will help improve your chances of success.
Consider your suitability – ask yourself if you have the right skills (you may need to do some training in a few areas), knowledge, experience and energy to operate a business.
Consider your idea – ask a wide range of people (not just your parent or best friend) what they think about your business idea and determine whether people will be willing to pay money for your product or service.
Consider your market – identify your target market and develop a way of attracting them (make a list of characteristics of the people who will buy your product or service).
Consider your competition – Google the level of competition to help determine your competitive advantage: why would customers buy your products or services and not your competitors’ (price, quality, experience, customer service, location).
Consider your finances – determine your start-up costs, daily operational costs and pricing strategy: be realistic with expected costs and conservative with projected income. If you need extra finance, you must develop a business plan for your lenders or investors, complete with a cash flow projection.
Consider your start-up – consider the necessary legal requirements and resources you need to start your business. Have you considered what business structure you will use (eg sole trader, partnership, company)?
You should seek professional advice before you decide. Find out what licences, permits and registrations you need to operate your business (eg council requirements).
Consider your network and environment – understand the internal and external factors that can have a potential impact on your business.
It is crucial for any business to be involved in the community and more specifically the business community.
Your credibility will increase, people will start to know/remember your business name, you will find your clients and suppliers, you can talk about business topics with like-minded people etc.
The Coffs Coast has several great initiatives that are interesting for new businesses, including the 2018 Startup Coffs Coast Pitch Competition.
This is an opportunity to showcase and be recognised for innovative business ideas. Check the website startupcoffscoast.com. Deadline for entries is May 4.