You have an idea. You envision a need. What more do you need in order to become a successful entrepreneur?
The idea or ‘spark’ is important and usually begins with the identification of an opportunity or need. For many entrepreneurs this usually goes through much internal refining and tweaking before ever hitting a piece of paper. An opportunity may be that the product or service is not yet available in their community. A need might be that they require different employment because of finances or perhaps health issue which prevents them from continuing with their current career.
Who is going to buy the product or service you intend to market? What are the demographics of the purchaser and the market you are serving? Is it a discretionary product or service? Where do your potential customers or clients get it now? What will you charge? What is the competition charging? Who is the competition? Why will your customers or clients come to you for the product or service? What is your unique selling proposition?
Where will you be located? Is it convenient for you and your target market? How will your customers or clients find you? How will you reach them? Where would you find your customers or clients, radio, newspaper, trade shows, flyers, bulletin boards, social media, web-page? These all take money or time, or both, which ones will serve you best?
How will you track your progress? Do you have a business plan? This will provide a baseline for the business. It is a living document, which gives you a record to monitor your progress and ‘adjust your sails’ during the launch of the business.
What do you need in the way of funding for the business? Financial needs are made up of start-up costs, ongoing business costs, plus what you need to sustain your personal expenses. If you don’t have the money, where will you get it? Do you have personal assets for collateral on a loan?
One of the most important documents is a cash flow spreadsheet. This tells you what has to come into the business for it to stay viable. Many businesses have lots of assets but if they do not have adequate cash flow, the business will not sustain itself.
You might have a solid idea, but my advice is to get assistance in setting up the business and start on a solid footing. Contact your nearest WorkBC Employment Centre as you may qualify for an assistance program and if not, your local Community Futures Office will be only too glad to help.
We need entrepreneurs, but more than that, we need successful entrepreneurs!
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