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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

A Five Step Strategy to Starting Your New Business


Starting a business is an exciting adventure, but doing it wrong can easily turn it into a financial disaster. That is why you need to strategize effectively and know how to move your business forward for success. The more you plan before you launch, the better. Success comes with knowing which steps to take and what to do to move forward. That is why being prepared is your best friend. To help you be prepared, follow these steps:

1. Create a Comprehensive Business Plan

The first step anyone looking to start a new business needs to do is to create a business plan. The more comprehensive and detailed this business plan, the better. To create this comprehensive business plan you should first research your competition. Learn what your successful competitors are doing right, and more importantly how your unsuccessful competitors have done wrong. You should also know industry trends, technologies, and systems that are popular, and more importantly know what the predicted trends are going to be.

Tip: You don’t have to include every tip or trend you find, but instead pick and choose which trends will benefit your business.

2. Acquire Funding

Once you have a comprehensive business plan that details your road to success, you can then seek funding. Funding can, of course, come from your friends, family, from yourself, or even from crowdfunding, but if you need a substantial sum the best place to go is either the bank or investors. For these latter two options, having a great business plan will be incredibly important. Banks and investors want to know that you have a solid plan and that they can expect a return on their investment.

3. The More Work Before Launch, The Better

The more work you put into perfecting your systems and your business before you launch, the better. While you won’t be able to plan for every eventuality, you can be prepared. This means having all your systems up and ready, having all of the insurance, certificates, and legal requirements met and the papers ready, and more. This could mean having and working on a website, so that by the time you launch you have already attracted the attention of your community, or it could mean trialing your products in other stores before opening your own.

4. Ensure Your System Are Ready

One of the most important areas of prep are your management systems. Having a professional management system will save you time and effort down the road. The better your data is stored, the more easily you can access it, understand it, and use it to improve your company.

5. Keep Your Records Like a Pro

Every piece of data has value, especially as a business. For instance, you don’t want to be caught up in a tax audit by the government without the proper records. That is why you need to ensure that everything is catalogued and stored. It means using a check stub template so that all of your employees have accurate records, and it means ensuring that all your accounting is stored in an easy-to-understand manner. That way the audit can go smoothly, and you can continue with ease.

Once these five steps are ready, you can finally launch. The more press and more buzz you create before you launch, the better, but having a fully operational business is far more important. When customers buy from you or use your services, they need to be wowed. You cannot use the excuse that you are new, you need to get it right from the start.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Starting And Running Your Own Restaurant

Do you want to get started in the hospitality services? Whether you’re operating out of a catering van or you’re running a restaurant, it’s a dream a lot of people can afford to do nowadays; years of family recipes being passed down through the generations and you’ve got yourself a time honored tradition that people love to indulge in. If you think it’s time to make money off Grandma’s mashed potatoes, here’s a couple of tips on getting started in the food business.

Make Sure You Love to Cook

Running a restaurant means you need to know your craft and know it well. If you don’t like the ins and outs of cutting up a chicken or frying off your vegetables without getting them brown, and you know inside you’re not willing to learn, this maybe isn’t for you. Of course you can bring in talented chefs and let them go to town with their skills, but if it’s a family run business you need to be personally invested.

Similarly, if you’re not invested in what you do, it’s very unlikely you’re going to be able to grow in the potential you should. You’re less likely to be on the lookout for opportunities, and you can more easily get bogged down.

Find a Good Place to Start

Location is everything in the food business, especially when you’re running a themed restaurant. You need to be able to attract people to your business and have free advertising from your shop front. Thankfully people like to eat, so this usually works in your favor.

Individual growth is also important for an ever growing market sector. Shop around for somewhere affordable that you know you can do something with. You may need to expand a seating or kitchen area at the end of the day, when you’ve drawn in enough customers and got yourself a good following. Plan for this from the beginning and you won’t be able to disappoint yourself or your clientele.

Know Where to Find the Parts

If anything goes wrong in your kitchen, you’re going to want to know what you can do to quickly replace any faults. The cooking area is your livelihood, so if that goes down, so does business! Don’t let yourself panic by doing a little preparation before you get yourself up and running; planning ahead is always the best way forward.

Let’s run through a quick example: for your cooking vats, or any part of your system that takes away waste oil and water, your waste storage systems are a very important part of your working life. Look into something like Simplex Pipeline Strainers when these stop doing their jobs and you notice a difference in the cooking ability of your oil.

Whilst food is serious, restaurants are lovely businesses to start and run, as you’re making good food for a mostly appreciative customer base. It just makes it all the sweeter if you can specialise on your local culture and climate as well.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Strategies for Recruiting the Talent You Need When Starting a Business

You know going in that starting a business is no easy feat. Unfortunately, unless you’ve ever started a business from the ground up, there will be a number of things you simply aren’t prepared for. Finding the right talent to work with you is something you probably hadn’t considered. If that is the case, you may not even know exactly what you need in terms of staffing various departments. Here are some strategies you can use when looking for the top talent you need to launch your startup.

Define Steps to the Endgame

Obviously, the endgame is running a successful business. However, what will it take to do that? Are you going to be manufacturing products for sale, offering services or selling products made elsewhere? Perhaps you’ll be starting a distributorship or a restaurant or even a car dealership. Before you can run a successful business, you need to look at how many departments you will need to efficiently organize and operate a company.

Define Job Classifications

Now that you’ve outlined the various departments you need to staff, what are the job classifications within each department? For example, in accounting do you need an accountant or are there other professionals who could balance your books? Perhaps a bookkeeper or office manager could do the routine day to day tasks, necessitating an accountant to periodically go over your books quarterly and, of course, at tax time.

If you are totally unfamiliar with the workings of a department and you aren’t sure what kind of talent to employ, check out sites like jobdescriptionswiki.com. There you will find job descriptions, what it is they do, what they expect to be paid, and the education or experience necessary for the job.

Network at Trade Shows

If you know the positions that need filling but you are reluctant to simply put an ad online or in the classifieds, why not network at trade shows. They don’t even need to be local trade shows because recruits are often aware of the fact that they may need to relocate to get that once-in-a-lifetime job with a startup that has major growth potential.

Whether you pull the top talent from another business or find recruits looking for placement, if you know what you are looking for, trade shows offer one of the best ways of grabbing great talent easily under one roof.

In the End, It Is All About Knowing What You Need

The key to recruiting the talent you need when starting a business is to first define how your company will run and what departments you will need to set up. After that, it’s a matter of looking at the types of staff you will need in each department and then you can begin to look at what each job classification entails.

Strategies are dependent on understanding what you hope to accomplish and why it’s so important to have a good working knowledge of each position to be filled. Get this done right and you will be off to a good start. Remember, you can’t do it alone so choose the team you can work with and the rough going at the beginning just got that much smoother.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Starting A Business? Utilising Experts Can Help!

When you start your own business, you are putting yourself in a position of ‘jack of all trades’. As a one-man-band, you are effectively doing it all yourself until you get enough traction in your company to bring in more people to help you with your business growth. Not every business owner wants to handle every area of their business, and contrary to popular belief, this is okay! It’s not a failure to want to concentrate on your own strengths and to do this, you need to know where the experts are. Part of your business plan will include a portion on expansion and to be able to facilitate this, you need to be able to focus on the areas of your business that are strengths for you. It’s not a bad thing to know your weaknesses as a business owner, but if you don’t own those weaknesses from the beginning you could find yourself drowning before you’ve even begun.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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The best way to ensure that your company doesn’t fall at the first hurdle is to explore outsourcing. Most entrepreneurs are aware that they have a plethora of talents, if they didn’t they wouldn’t have what is required to get a business off the ground. However, this doesn’t mean that you have every single tool at your disposal to make your company a success. You may not be at the point yet where your company is ready to expand, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have the budget to pay the experts to help you! The hard work of starting a business doesn’t end with a successful launch, it only starts at that point. Not being able to do it all in your company means you need to know where to look to find help. There are many pieces of a business that get outsourced, and the most common are IT, marketing and human resources. If you aren’t aware of how you can outsource, you can read this more in-depth article for more information.

When you start a business, you have to take in as much advice as possible so that you can be a success. Business growth starts with asking for help and it’s that help that can keep your business afloat. When you get advised to outsource some of your business processes, you can feel like some of your company is being taken off of you. Taking steps toward outsourcing can be a long process while you decide how to manage your business. As a progressive entrepreneur, playing to your strengths is the smartest business strategy you can implement. The thing is, to be able to concentrate on your strengths you have to allow outsourcing to happen.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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Knowing when you should outsource your daily, time-consuming activities is difficult. If you have a team in-house who are ready to take on the work, timing your outsourcing will centre around you and your staff being unable to continue with the workload. You want your business to grow, but if you have no time left in the day to pursue the growth, then consider outsourcing. You don’t need to have absolute control over everything in your business, so read this article here and learn how to delegate tasks effectively. There is a lot of advice online that can tell you when the optimal times to outsource is, but popular advice says that outsourcing from the very beginning is the best idea. You could start by outsourcing your payroll processes to an external accountant or finance company, and grow into other ventures from there.

We mentioned earlier that IT, human resources and marketing are the most common business elements that are outsourced and the chances are you are already outsourcing your finances. Any task in your business that you haven’t got the time to dedicate your attention to can be outsourced. Using a digital marketing agency to handle your campaigns instead of managing them yourself can be hugely beneficial and money very well spent. Marketing is such a big deal for businesses, as you have the choice of print marketing, digital marketing, email marketing and mobile marketing at your fingertips. You need to spend time on business growth and all of these marketing elements are going to be a big part of that growth. If you hand over your marketing campaigns to an outside company, you end up with a whole team of people working for you that you have allocated your budget to. The beauty of this is that you are not going to be the one to manage personalities, salaries or ego as you have taken that outside of your office. All you have to do is approve the campaigns that your outsourced marketing team comes up with.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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When you are choosing which areas of your business you should outsource, you should ensure that you are doing it for the right reasons. Your area of expertise may not lie in data management and analysis, nor would it lie with data protection, so outsourcing your IT services to a company that specialise in those areas is a smart decision to make. Business management is all about knowing where your strengths lie and capitalising on those. You can pay outside companies to be strong in the areas that you are not and this is something very important to remember. Finding the right IT companies, HR companies and marketing companies to work on your behalf is rather like interviewing individual staff. You have to know your long-term aims and goals before you can go ahead and sift through the many businesses that offer those services.

The key to finding the right businesses to work with will come from recommendations, reviews and personal experiences of those in the same niche of business that you are in. If a trusted mentor tells you to use a particular company because of their efficiency and value for money, it’s worth looking into. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the right company for you, but it’s always good to trust the word of someone you know. Once you’ve found the right providers for the work you need, it’s time to check and recheck references and draw up contracts. You must be sure to effectively communicate your expectations to the companies that you want to outsource to. What you have in mind may be completely different to what a new, trendy company has in mind. You have to be clear about the service you want to pay for and as time goes on, a relationship can be built. It isn’t easy to let go of control of parts of your company that you have grown and nurtured, but the only way to keep that vision successful is to trust that there are people out there who have more expertise than you do.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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The last thing you need to do as a business owner is let go. The control that you have to hand over is not simple, but the collaboration of working with other companies can open so many more doors for you. You need experts on your side in all fields to be able to be a success, and it’s less about the logic and more about the mindset behind it. You may be the only person who knows exactly what your business needs, but it takes a village to achieve that vision with you. There’s no need to run everything yourself when as a team, you can get your business to the heights you’d like it to be.