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So You Want to Start a Business...



Creating something from scratch is an admirable feat. We, along with many others, are still impressed when we are able to bake a cake that requires more than just adding eggs and milk. If you are someone who is ready to pursue your interests full-time and make a living out of your passion pursuits, we at Mentor Her want you to know how much we admire you. So here are a few things t think about that might make the road a bit more accessible. Take a look at this go-to guide for when you are thinking of starting your own business.


The Concept



When laying the foundation of any new business the most important step is of course, coming up with an idea; what is it that you are trying to sell, do or promote. If you are here you probably already have some sort of plan as to what kind of business you would like to start, if not, you can begin by analysing the wants, needs, and pain points of your potential customer base. In this step we recommend outlining a solution for a specific group of customers with specific limitations and purchasing power. What can you do to better the lives of other individuals, what are they missing or what can be improved?


Once you begin toying with a specific idea, you need to keep the ball rolling. In this case, being fearful that your idea will be stolen, can lead you to internalise the process, however it is with the feedback from the people around you that you might be able to truly build something. By bouncing around your concept (with trustworthy individuals) you will be able to better observe the strengths and weaknesses of your project.


The people who you decide to talk to will after all be your first test audience and potential customers. Be keen to push for proper feedback and be aware that although sometimes responses might come across as criticism; this although a bit un-motivating can lead to improvements and the development of something great.

Assets



Another important thing to take into consideration before starting a business, your starting point. This is to say that you begin to evaluate the resources that you have and can invest into a business. For example, what can afford to invest in a business at the moment; this is an important step as each asset will demonstrate the capital that can be invested and in the end outline what type of business you are able to start.


A good way to do this is to start by pinpointing and applying your strengths and weaknesses in terms of money, time and skills. Not just what you have but what you are willing to put in. In order to explore this step it might be helpful to make a financial plan that dictates your expenses for the next six months to a year and see how you can not only sustain yourself but also a business.


The time aspect is not only dictated by what you need to do in regards to the business plan but also how you will fit it into your life in relation to another job, family and additional responsibilities. Ask yourself: do you see yourself being able to stay up all-night and fit in meetings and planning? How long can you do this sustainably and still prioritise your well-being. Are you prepared for the amount of effort necessary and a long road ahead?


Another asset you can bring into your new undertaking is your skillset. What skills are you able to bring into your new business? Maybe you have done some freelance work and can use the starting client base that has provided. Or you can merge the duties and experiences from other positions that you have held (i.e. creative, technical, soft skills) and apply them into your new project. Even having an established network of individuals in the same/ similar field can help give you a leg up when starting a business.


Assets are not always monetary, YOU are your most valuable tool.


Research



Once you know what you would like to do, the next step would be to begin feeling out your idea. Try to place your business or product in relation to your competitors. Figure out what your selling point is. This is where the research comes into play. In order to develop a good business plan, you must first have analysed the market and find out if / how your idea can fill a gap that will not only set your business apart but also better serve your customer base. Take into consideration the customer's wants, needs, and burdens.


Another important thing to evaluate is the industry's profitability and whether or not you are able to develop a profitable product or service. Passion and initiative are great but consider if it is doable and worthwhile?


Here is also where we begin to develop a business plan. It is important that you begin to take notice of suppliers for materials that you will need, how you will source your labor and how your product or service will be delivered; as these things will dictate the profitability of your business.


Know Your Drive



When starting a business, one of the most important things to have is a well established understanding of what drives you, will be essential in keeping you going. This can be anything from your great idea, you wanting to build a better future for yourself or your loved ones or even something like dislike for your current job or position.


It doesn't matter what your drive is as long as it is strong. This will be what will motivated when the nights are long and the prospects seem bleak. By being conscious of your motivations you will be more likely to keep going. Remember, you believe in this, and we believe in you!


Need more? Check out our Ultimate Business Checklist.








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