Time to Start Your Own Business
The big problem for many of us is that working a full-time job makes it too exhausting to even consider trying to find an alternative outlet. Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs struggled with this when they wanted to start a business for the first time while they still had a day job.
No matter how rewarding your full-time job may be, finding the right side business idea and eventually becoming fully self-employed is even more meaningful than great pay and solid benefits.
How many businesses already exist out in the world, it can be difficult to come up with the right business idea you should be spending your time on. Some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week.
Step by step for the business plans
Brief Executive Summary
This describes your company and its mandate and highlights the main objective. It mainly summarizes your whole business plan. It should stand out and be attractive to the reader and written on not more than two pages. Most funders don’t have the time to read those 100+ pages of your business plan and are more interested in the Executive Summary because this is the face of your business.
Speak for your company, who are you and what do you do? What is your mandate and objectives? To keep it attractive, what are your milestones in business so far? Many founders are interested in already existing projects; so what have you achieved so far and what is lacking? Where is the gap?
Through all of these analyses, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of a company can be identified. Finally, with the help of a SWOT analysis, adequate business strategies of a company will be defined.
- Market size (current and future)
- Market trends
- Market growth rate
- Market profitability
- Industry cost structure
- Distribution channels
- Key success factors
- Key success details
Market analysis strives to determine the attractiveness of a market, currently and in the future. Organizations evaluate future attractiveness of a market by understanding evolving opportunities, and threats as they relate to that organization’s own strengths and weaknesses.
Organizations use these findings to guide the investment decisions they make to advance their success. The findings of a market analysis may motivate an organization to change various aspects of its investment strategy.
This analysis provides both an offensive and defensive strategic context to identify opportunities and threats. Profiling combines all of the relevant sources of competitor analysis into one framework in the support of efficient and effective strategy formulation, implementation, monitoring and adjustment.
One common and useful technique is constructing a competitor array. The steps include:
- Define your industry – scope and nature of the industry.
- Determine who your competitors are.
- Determine who your customers are and what benefits they expect.
- Determine the key strengths – for example price, service, convenience, inventory, etc.
- Rank the key success factors by giving each one a weighting – The sum of all the weightings must add up to one.
- Rate each competitor on each of the key success factors.
- Multiply each cell in the matrix by the factor weighting.
A common technique is to create detailed profiles on each of your major competitors these profiles give an in-depth description of the competitor’s background, finances, products, markets, facilities, personnel, and strategies. This involves:
- location of offices, plants, and online presences
- history – key personalities, dates, events, and trends
- ownership, corporate governance, and organizational structure
- P-E ratios,dividend policy, and profitability
- various financial ratios, liquidity, and cash flow
- profit growth profile; method of growth (organic or acquisitive)
- products offered, depth and breadth ofproduct line, and product portfolio balance
- new products developed, new product success rate, and R&D strengths
- brands, strength of brand portfolio, brand loyalty and brand awareness
- patents and licenses
- quality control conformance
- reverse engineeringor reformulation
- segments served, market shares, customer base, growth rate, and customer loyalty
- promotional mix, promotional budgets, advertising themes, ad agency used, sales force success rate, online promotional strategy
- distribution channels used (direct & indirect), exclusivity agreements, alliances, and geographical coverage
- pricing, discounts, and allowances
- plant capacity, capacity utilization rate, age of plant, plant efficiency, capital investment
- location, shipping logistics, and product mix by plant
- number of employees, key employees, and skill sets
- strength of management, and management style
- compensation, benefits, and employee morale & retention rates
- Corporate and marketing strategies
- objectives, mission statement, growth plans, acquisitions, and divestitures
- marketing strategies
This should clear to the Founders. You must know how your market operates both in and out of season and how you will operate. The location of all your raw materials as well as the outlets of all your produce is critical to managing a cost effective operations and marketing plan. Central to these is how and when you procure your materials, as well as the accountability measures in place?
Business advice and Tips for starting business
- Don’t start a business unless you’ll be doing something you truly love and are good at, or unless you can dedicate yourself to be coming that expert over the coming years
- Start today. The only true way to learn is by doing and you can’t afford to sit around waiting for funding, hoping someone else will come along to help you execute on your idea or complain that you don’t have the time. Making excuses won’t help you start a business and it sure as hell won’t help you create the lifestyle you want for yourself.
- Manage your time and decide which opportunities to pursue will greatly impact your success when starting a business.
- Never stop building meaningful relationships with customers and other people in your industry.
- Launch before you feel ready. If you wait until your product or service feels perfect, someone else will already be doing a better job of helping your customers solve their problems.