When you come up with a brilliant business idea, it’s easy to get carried away and leap in before you’ve done all the groundwork. Unfortunately, this can leave you with legal or financial issues down the line. So, no matter how pumped you are about your new idea, make sure you research the following areas before going full-steam ahead.
1. Supply and demand
No matter how talented you are or how much capital you have to inject into your business, you won’t do well if you launch into an already saturated market. This is why it’s crucial to research supply and demand in your area.
The easiest way to start is with Google. For example, if you’re planning on opening a cosmetic tattoo studio in Australia, you can start by searching for “cosmetic tattooing Melbourne” to get an overview of what the competition will be like. You may discover that there are already plenty of well-established studios in the CBD, while some of the outer suburbs have none.
2. Your target market
You might think your business idea is marvelous, but your target market may not agree. The only way to know for sure is to conduct market research. This is how you’ll determine whether your product or service is desirable, whether it needs any tweaks or extra features, and whether your price point is reasonable.
3. Your major competitors
A comprehensive competitor analysis will help you avoid running into any legal issues. Crucially, it will also fill you in on what’s out there in the market, what’s missing, where other businesses are falling short, and what you can do to fill the gaps.
You’ll also gain an understanding of what your competitors are getting right. Armed with all this information, you’ll be able to construct a strategy for standing out and delivering something truly unique.
4. Your business name
Try not to get too attached to the first business name you come up with, as it’s common to discover that someone else has already registered that name. Indeed, you may have to go through several iterations before you finally find a name you love that hasn’t already been taken.
In addition to avoiding legal issues, it’s important to select a name that clearly expresses what your business does. If you can build some personality into it, that’s great. However, it’s important to remember that clear, simple, obvious business names often garner the best results. This is why you still see so many business names that are a simple combination of the city and the business type (e.g. Albury Lawyers, Hampstead Health & Fitness, Lakewood Orthodontics).
5. Funding options
So many new business owners fail to research funding opportunities and instead focus on building capital themselves or borrowing from the bank (or the bank of mom and dad). This means that many people miss out on things like government grants, awards, and funding from angel investors.
Rather than letting these valuable sources of capital go to waste, spend some time researching what’s available in your country, state, and county. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that you qualify for quite a bit of support.
While this is a crucial step when you’re planning the launch of your business, it doesn’t end there. Once you’re up and running, it’s worth setting some time aside once or twice a year to research grants and other potential funding sources.
Research each of these topics in-depth, and you’ll have a strong foundation for your business plan.