Thinking about starting a small business?

Open-Business-Lady-Support-165-x-249Thinking about Starting a Business?

Starting off on the right track is the key to a successful business and developing a
quality business plan. This step by step guide will help you to think about your business
idea, if it’s viable, and if you have the skills and resources to manage it.

Let’s get started…

Step 1. Am I ready to start a Small Business?

Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. You can be your own boss, have a more flexible schedule, and spend your time doing something you love and earn a living from it! But, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires thorough planning, creativity and hard work. Consider whether you have the following characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs, are you;

  1. Comfortable with taking risks? Being a boss means making tough decisions. Entrepreneurship involves uncertainty. Do you avoid uncertainty in life at all costs and struggle to cope with life’s little surprises? If yes, then you may find entrepreneurship will cause you more stress then you bargained for. On the other hand, do you enjoy the thrill of taking calculated risks? That is a great quality for an entrepreneur
  2. Independent? Entrepreneurs have to make a lot of decisions on their own, and at the end of the day, they are solely responsible for the outcome. Do you trust your judgment? Do you trust your instincts? Can you handle a little rejection every now and then? — you could be on your way to being an entrepreneur!
  3. Able to negotiate? As a small business owner, you will need to negotiate everything from supply contracts to leases. Are you confident to negotiate and bargain when the need arises? This will help you save money and keep your business running smoothly.
  4. Creative? Do you think of new ideas every day? Can you imagine new ways to solve problems? Entrepreneurs must be able to think creatively. If you have can collate your knowledge and ideas, you will be able to quickly take advantage of new opportunities.

Still think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and start a new business? Great! Lets move on to the next step, Identify your business idea…

Step 2. Identify your Business Idea

So your thinking of starting of a new business? Let’s firstly identify your new business idea and calculate if it is a winner!

Step 1. Build your business idea.

It might be something you love doing, a skill you have defined or learnt. It might be a product you’ve always wanted to make, or a service you feel people need. It might even be something people don’t want or need yet, because it hasn’t been invented!

It can be helpful (and fun) to have people who are bright and creative join you for a casual brainstorming session. Friends and family are a good to ask for help. Start with a simple question like: “what shall we build?”. The idea is not to create a business plan, just to generate some ideas. Many of the ideas will be duds, and there will be quite a few ordinary ones, but a few will emerge that have real potential.

Step 2. What Are Your Goals?

Think about what you want from this business. These are your goals. Do you want financial independence, eventually selling your business for a nice profit? Do you want something small and easy to manage, something that you love doing and want a steady income from? These are the things that are good to know very early on.

Step 3. Give Your Business a Working Name

Create a working name. This will make the business real to you, something you want to see happen. You could even do this before you have an idea for the business, and if the name is good, you may find it helps you define your business idea.

As your plan grows, and things begin to take shape, the perfect name may come to you, but don’t let that hinder you in the early phases, create a name that you can use while you plan, and don’t mind changing later.

Step 4. Define your team.

Will you do this alone, or will you bring in one or two trusted friends to join you? Having partners can bring a lot of energy to the start-up, as people bounce ideas off each other. Two people together can often create something that is great. But choose wisely, a great friend may not make a great business partner.

Step 3. 8 Step Check. Is my Idea a Winner?

So you think you have founded a business opportunity that will bring success and healthy profits? Does it meet the 8 simple rules? Before you run out and cash in your life-savings, stop and separate your emotions from the small business opportunity. Emotion and passion is an essential ingredient to business success, but hold off on that energy until your business opportunity can pass the 8 simple rules to see if you really have a winner.

  1. Test it: As any successful entrepreneur knows, an important first step is to test your product in your target market to get critical feedback. Share your idea with a select group of your potential target market, find out exactly how they feel about your product and how best to meet their needs. Without real-world feedback your business opportunity may never reach it’s mark.
  2. Find the Target: Far too many small businesses fail quickly, trying to sell everything to everybody. Maybe your idea has potential in multiple markets, but start with one target with the greatest need. Once you have identified your target market you need to build your business towards getting their attention. ‘Young professional females aged 25-34 who are health conscious and enjoy convenient, healthy and fresh snacks’ will work better then ‘People who enjoy healthy snacks’
  3. Apply Protection Armor: A new business opportunity is a delicate thing. In order to protect your business you will need to ensure your business is safe from others who might try to copy your ideas. Protect yourself from the beginning. This will provide assurance that nobody can steal your market share. This can take the form of exclusive supply contracts, licensing, patents, or the best location on the block.
  4. What Do They Really Want: Any successful business is the result of providing a product or service people need. Simple equation? Yes, yet often overlooked. Your business opportunity has a great future, if it meets a customer’s needs or wants. A new ayam goreng recipe? Great, but do your target market want yet another choice of ayam goreng?
  5. The Money Game: Every small business opportunity needs to be evaluated against the cost of building the business. The opportunity can be great, however, if you are not prepared to go out and raise the money required for launch, then this opportunity is not for you. The best business opportunity is one that matches your ability to deal with and raise attainable cash. This means access to cash for the start up costs, and operational costs until your business matures and can cover the operational costs.
  6. Bring Your Skills to the Table: A business opportunity can have an incredible future, only if you bring the skills required to succeed. If the business relies on specific knowledge and skills, but you don’t have them, it might be better to find something that can utilize the skills you have.
  7. Look into the Future: In the near future, what is the likelihood your business can be replaced by technology, impended by government regulations, or made obsolete by social changes? Perform a quick analysis to see how your small business opportunity will survive. For example, it is not realistic to start a music store during the peak of digital piracy and online mp3 music stores.
  8. Use the People Factor: Many business opportunities at some stage, will require motivated and skilled staff. You may only need a few part time staff, some casual support, or you may need a skilled work force. Regardless, make sure you know ahead of time the resources available in your area. Are skilled workers easily found, or do you have teach people or invest in specialized training? It is a critical success factor which can make or break you. Remember, good people are hard to find. Think about how you will find them and keep them.

Did your business opportunity meet the 8 simple rules? If not, it may just mean you need to tweak the idea into a marketable, viable form. Once you have a solid foundation for your new business, you can put all your passion and energy into it and see it flourish.

Step 4. 20 Questions that need answering

So you think you have got what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Ask yourself these 20 questions to make sure you’re thinking about the right key business decisions. You probably don’t have all the answers right now, but by the end of you business planning, you should know the answers in detail.

  1. Why am I starting a business?
  2. What kind of business do I want?
  3. Who is my ideal customer?
  4. What products or services will my business provide?
  5. Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started?
  6. What differentiates my business idea and the products or services I will provide from others in the market?
  7. Where will my business be located?
  8. How many employees will I need?
  9. What types of suppliers do I need?
  10. How much money do I need to get started?
  11. Will I need to get a loan?
  12. How soon will it take before my products or services are available?
  13. How long do I have until I start making a profit?
  14. Who is my competition?
  15. How will I price my product compared to my competition?
  16. How will I set up the legal structure of my business?
  17. What taxes do I need to pay?
  18. Do I need insurance?
  19. How will I manage my business?
  20. How will I advertise my business?
Step 5. The 10 Steps to Starting a Business

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Firstly read through the steps, then click on the link to get started.

Step 1: Write a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2: Get Business Assistance and Training

Take advantage of free training and counseling services to help you plan and build for success. From preparing a business plan to securing financing, find the support you need.  See below for a list of free support centre’s.

Step 3: Choose a Business Location

Helpful advice on deciding on the best location for your business and whether zoning laws apply….Coming Soon.

Step 4: Finance your Business

Need finance to kick-start your business? Find information about loans, investors and grants to help you understand how these options work and if they are for you…..Coming Soon.

Step 5: Determine the legal structure of your business

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole owner, partnership, cooperative….Coming Soon.

Step 6: Register a Business Name

Step by step guide on registering your business name with the government….Coming Soon.

Step 7: Get a Tax Number

Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the government…..Coming Soon.

Step 8: Register for Taxes

Learn about what taxes you need to register for, and how to manage and pay them…..Coming Soon.

Step 9: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Get a list of licenses and permits required for your business…..Coming Soon.

Step 10: Understand Employer Responsibilities

Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees, and important information about wages, insurances, and tax…..Coming Soon.

Step 6. Understand your Market

To run a successful business, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry. To understand your market , you must conduct market research. Market Research is the process of collecting information and analyzing it. We do this to help us understand which products and services are in demand, and how to be competitive. Market research can also provide valuable insight to help you:

  • Reduce business risks
  • Identify current and upcoming problems in your industry
  • Identify opportunities

How to Conduct Market Research

Before you start your business, understand the basics of market research by following these steps:

Step 1  Find Official Government Sources of Market and Industry Information

The government offers a lot of information about businesses, industries and economic conditions that can help in conducting your market research. They provide valuable information about your customers and competitors:

Check out these links for Official Government Market Information and Industry Data that relate to SMEs in the food industry.

Step 2       Identify Additional Sources of Analysis

Trade groups, business magazines, academic institutions and other non Government organizations often gather and analyze information about business trends. Use Google searches to find information about your industry, target market and location.

Step 3       Understand the International Marketplace

Have you heard the word ‘Globalization’? This means that businesses are affected by the global marketplace, so it’s important to understand the international factors that influence your business. These resources will help you to research potential international markets for your products or services:

Small Business Support Centres

SMEs can acquire business mentoring and consultation for free:

  1. Through the Department of Industry and Cooperatives in your local area. Through this agency, you can consult directly about the issues surrounding the business you are involved with.
  2. Through Business communities. You can also get free business counseling services through an organization or group of businesses that exist around you. For example: Indonesian Muslim Entrepreneurs Community ( KMPI ) , the Indonesian Business Community ( KPMI ) , Indonesian Youth Leaders Care ( IYLC ),  Islamic Indonesia business forum ( IIBF ), Business Community Sriboga
  3. Through financial institutions. By working with a financial institution, you may be able to obtain assistance and business consulting facilities, such as Bank Mandiri, BRI, BNI and BMT

Join Sriboga to receive new topic alerts

Become a member of the Sriboga SME Program to receive the next business topics as they are released, and much more…

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.