You've got the idea. You've got a bit of cash. You've got a plan. So you think you're ready to start your small business? The business part may be OK but before you proceed, many of the key factors for success are not found there but in yourself. How do you stack up?
Do these three things before starting your small business:
1. Get to know your Products / Services
If you're making your own products you should know everything about what is needed to produce the products, where to source what you need, who makes it, what the markets for your suppliers are like and, of course, everything about the production technology.
Whether you're making your own products or not, you should know everything about the products, every characteristic, how the characteristics are defined and measured, how they are improved, why they are important and where the limits are. You also should know how your product is normally shipped, how it can be shipped and how much it costs to ship different ways. You should know about its packaging and how much insurance costs. You should be certain that you will not have any surprises.
2. Get to know your market
Most small businesses have their focus on their products and their business. It should be on their market. You should know who is going to buy your products and how much the products are worth to them. You should know what your customers value about your products, what they dislike and what they don't care about. You should know why they are going to buy your product and not someone else's and you should have a plan to keep good customers while looking for more. If you don't know these things, chances are you're going to find out when you start running your business and you'll find out that what you're doing is wrong. It's not that hard to find out about your potential market – just ask potential customers before you start.
3. Get to know your competitors
Everyone thinks they are going to do everything better and make more money than the people who are already in the business. Wrong. You're going to be lucky to do as well as an established company unless you find niche markets which are not being served well rather than going head-to-head. Once you own those markets and are solidly established, you can challenge on the competitor's home ground.
To start your business, find your niche markets and then challenge your competition, you have to know everything about your competitors. You should have an idea how much they pay their suppliers, their staff, how much rent they pay, how much business they do and how much profit they make. You can find out a lot of information before you start your business by asking for quotations from suppliers, pricing from real estate agents and during interviews with potential employees.