Article: Building and Maintaining A Successful Enterprise by Shauna Marshall
A successful business usually begins with an idea, this can be viewed as the seed of the business. Thus, how do we turn this idea into a sustainable business? That is where most of us becomes stuck or overwhelmed. And that is understandable as there are many distractions around us that may make business look a bit scary; some idea killers are known as:
- Can’t do it
- Where do you get these weird ideas?
- Stick to where you are now
However, believing in yourself, adjusting yourself with a new frame of mind and a few positive influencers are great ways to begin your journey.
Like any big goal, if you begin to break it down into smaller tasks, you will be able to tackle the necessary actions to begin the business. Therefore, I have put together a list of six tasks to complete that will give you a great beginning to a successful business.
Prepare a small document of what your business would be like
Persons tend to run from business plans but it is an essential document to help you organize the flow of the business and more importantly, organize the input; costs, time etc. Remember, as a startup, you will still be in the testing phase, therefore you want to consider keeping things simple and low in costs.
In this document you should include:
- The Vision – what do you hope to achieve in this business?
- The Mission – this should explain the purpose of the business. What need are you fulfilling and how will you get it done?
- Define your Objectives – what tasks are you going to complete that will help you attain your vision and mission?
- Plan your basic strategies – What avenues are you going to take to achieve those objectives?
- Resources – What resources do you need to conduct this business?
Determine your Budget
Considering, you are keeping your costs at a minimum, you will still need to decide on a budget to get started and how much you will be able to spend. If you are funding the business from your pockets, be realistic about the numbers. Some persons prefer to add an additional 10 – 20 percent for incidentals, this helps as it serves as overage amount that helps you plan your burn rate.
Your burn rate is the rate at which a business spends money, in excess of income. It is an important number for you to calculate as it helps you identify, the length of time you can stay in business before seeing your profits. You should set up your business with profitability in mind within the first six months.
Decide on the Type of Business it will be
Will you be entering the business alone or will you be seeking partnership? If you will be forming a partnership, we recommend you and the partner(s) have developed and signed a valid contract, defining terms regarding, the type of partnership and the amount of ownership each party will have.
Often in the startup phase, it may be easier to begin as a sole proprietor due to less paperwork and initial expenses but just as any other thing, it has its advantages and disadvantage. Therefore, you want to weigh the pros and cons of both types before making a decision. Having an attorney-at-law close to hand can be beneficial in this stage.
Once that decision is made, you can visit the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) with your potential business name and Identification Card to register the business.
Launch Marketing and Brand Awareness Campaigns
Begin boosting the ideas originally planned for the ideas for marketing, sales, and branding efforts. Since social media is used by much of the Barbadian population, having an online presence is key. However, we must bear in mind to utilize appropriate social media channels for the potential customers. Use the company’s brand colors and logo to create any promotional material and email signatures to demonstrate to customers a professional operation.
Take Care of the Money
Too often, we find small business owners are using the same bank accounts for both their personal savings and the business’ revenue. This then makes your financials incorrect and confusing. It is relatively easy, once you have researched and identify the bank you see fit to open your business account in, take your business’ registration and relevant documentation to begin a checking account. This type of account also makes it easier for record keeping purposes.
Build your team and Grow your Business
Unless you are planning to be your only employee, having an effective team working with you will always put you in a position to grow and maintain your business.
Your launch and first sales are only the beginning of your task as a business owner. In order to make a profit and stay afloat, you will need the team to complement your business and help your drive it forward. It will take time and effort, but as the saying goes “you reap what you sow”.
Collaborating with other established businesses in your industry is also another great way to attain growth.
Now this list is not an exhaustive list, however it brings many of the critical factors in place. If it is one thing to take with you as you begin your journey, it is this, research is essential. In many instances, people hurry into business without carefully checking out their idea to see how feasible it is. Talk to real people who are in the business you want to go into, they can be mentors. Talk to people who may be your customers and get their views and opinions. Whatever you do, you need to be continuously testing your ideas.
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