By Rocio Encarnacion
Plan your business to manage and reduce your risks. It provides a clear guide in your path of creating a new business. Here are some information to consider when planning your business:
- Evaluate Yourself
Having your own business is very rewarding. You are your own boss, and you get to do something that fullfills you. However, it is also hard work, especially in the first few years where you need to establish yourself in the market. You are taking risks, not only on the money side, but time not being spent with your family, it is more than a full-time job. Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?
o The Small Business Administration (SBA) has 20 Questions Before Starting that will help you evaluate if you have everything that you need in place to become an entrepreneur.
o SCORE has Simple Steps for Starting Your Business: Module 1 – Startup Basics This module will provide you with basics about entrepreneurship.
- Research the Industry, Market and Competitors
Research will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of the industry; and identify your risks and opportunities. By researching you prevent going into an industry blind folded.
By researching you will:
o Learn about your industry, whether it is new, expanding, stagnant or dying
o Find barriers to enter; one example can be the barrier of government regulations
o Learn demographics of customers and consumers
o Identify your competitors, find out prices for products and services, and what makes you different from them
o Understand if there is a need of your product or service for your target market
- Write a Business plan:
A plan is a clear road map of your business. It will describe goals, mission and vision. Showcase how you will achieve your goals, resources to use, and key people involved. In addition, if you seek capital from investors or a bank you will need a business plan.
Resources to develop your Business Plan:
SBA’s Build Your Business Plan
Kutztown University Small Business Development Center Online Learning
- Get Training
Knowledge about your services and products are crucial, which is why you are opening a business. But it is also important to know how to handle customers and employees. Remember, you always want your customers to return; and you want to retain your employees. There are resources that will help you gain knowledge about these two important assets in your business.
Resources for Customer Service Training:
SBA’s Customer Service
Resources for Managing Employees:
- Get Financing
You will need access to capital to open and operate your business. You need to estimate your startup cost, this will be your spending for the first months. You can obtain financing through loans, investors, grants, and venture capital.
To learn more about Startup Financing visit these pages:
SBA’s Finance Your Business
Kutztown University SBDCOnline Learning