Starting a small business always starts with an idea. The unfortunate truth is many people come up with excellent business ideas but never move forward with them because the thought of developing a business plan seems overwhelming.
While developing a plan does take a lot of work, there are 4 simple questions that you can ask yourself to help give your business plan a head start. These questions can also help provide you with insight into the type of research you should be doing and can come in handy when looking for external assistance or advice (visit halton.ca/smallbusiness to learn how we can help).
This post acts as an introduction into the 4 simple questions you should ask yourself when starting to plan your small business. Check back over the next couple of weeks as we will break down each question in more detail to help you understand how they can help get your small business started.
Marketing related questions:
- Who is your customer?
This may sound like a simple question however it is not as simple as it sounds. First you must decide if you want to be in a business to business or business to consumer relationship. Once you determine your business relationship you can start to segment the customer into groups. For example, your primary target market describes your business’ ideal customer.
- How will you reach your customer?
Once we know who our customer is, we can then understand what is important to them and where they may look for your product/service. This is a good launching space for the development of your market research strategies.
Financial related questions:
- How will you get paid?
Once you establish your target customer, you can determine which method of payment they may prefer. Will you receive cash, credit, cheques and other methods? Advanced payments and terms?
4. What is your personal financial goal?
When you start a new business it is essential to determine how much money you need to pay your monthly obligations, or how much do you want to earn? You will want to test the viability of the business model and if it can meet your needs.
Before starting a new business, or developing a business plan, think about the questions above and be honest with your answers. The information you gain will make the steps in developing your business more manageable.
One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success. For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at halton.ca/smallbusiness, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.