Where to Begin? How to start your business

Lasting success comes from a series of well-planned steps, not a flash of inspiration.

Many people dream of starting their own business but they don’t always plan ahead before taking the plunge. Planning is a key element in establishing a successful business and it pays to research the desired market.

Market research will provide information on your product, pricing, costs, competition and suppliers, and it will also help to determine the feasibility of your business idea. This information is crucial to preparing a business plan. Going though the planning process will clarify your business goals and lead you through SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of your product or service, customers, the industry, the competition and business environment. Your business plan should set down the strategy for achieving the goals and the finance for operating the business. It is the document requested by prospective lenders if they are approached for business loans.

Once satisfied that your business idea is viable, you should then consider the most appropriate operating structure. Factors such as taxation, asset protection, flexibility in the distribution of income and capital to family members and estate planning, should be taken into account when deciding whether you should operate as a sole trader, partnership, company, or trust. At this stage, you should consult Melanie Jenkins. If legal contracts such as partnership agreement, trademark registration, or franchise agreements are required, you should seek counsel from a legal adviser.

The next step, deciding on the location of the business premises, will depend on your target market, product or service, space requirements, and budget.

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