When you first begin setting up in business and are looking for business startup advice, chances are you’ll feel more than a little overwhelmed with all of the processes, approaches, tips and tricks that you come across, all of which are being provided as ‘necessary to your success’.
Whilst we’re under no illusions that most of them can play a particularly vital role to getting your small business off the ground and help you continually grow and develop, we do feel a lot of them don’t apply to everyone.
Perhaps you’ve already got a good knowledge of a certain resource and therefore don’t need help with that aspect. Or conversely, maybe you’re doing your accounts the traditional way and as such don’t need information on the best accounting software out there.
It’s for this reason why, although more specific advice can be useful, we believe that if you follow these three Ps, you should be able to ensure your small business sees the most success possible.
No business became a success without meticulous planning. Things might have happened so quickly at the beginning that the planning actually took place as things were moving forward, but still, no one woke up one day, registered as a business just for the sake of doing so and then tried to succeed instantly.
Whilst there has to be a limit, the more planning you can carry out, the better.
Sit down with a pen and paper and brainstorm ideas. Don’t feel you can’t write something down because it’s too minor or seems irrelevant – by getting every little thought out of your head and onto paper, you’ll find you eventually begin grouping ideas together and will soon have the basics of a business plan that covers everything from product selection to a sales strategy.
Once you’ve planned and feel confident you’ve covered the majority – if not all – of the necessary business areas, you need to start preparing how you’re going to move forward.
If you think you’ve established your target audience, for example, you need to ideally prepare some market research to ensure the reality matches your thoughts.
Similarly, if you have your wholesale product costs and have planned approximate retail prices, you need to prepare your whole system to ensure the prices not only work in terms of covering your overheads and leaving you in profit, but also that they’re suitable for your audience – there’s a huge difference between pricing for profit and pricing to sell and they need to do both at once.
You’ve planned, you’ve prepared and so the only thing left to do is proceed.
Although this is the most exciting step, it’s also the most daunting, as it’s the time when you’re putting your website live or opening your shop’s doors for the first time.
At this stage, whilst you may feel a little nervous, as it’s only natural, you shouldn’t be overly worried or concerned. If you’ve taken the time to plan effectively and prepare afterwards, this stage should be more enjoyable than anything, as unless you’ve missed something (which shouldn’t be the case if you’ve done the first two Ps properly), it will all be about seeing your ideas come to fruition.
Being a small business owner is a fantastic experience and one most wouldn’t change for the world. However, with so much advice and support available, it can do nothing but confuse you.
Whilst we aren’t saying you should ignore it, you shouldn’t feel obliged to take on board every piece of knowledge possible.
Instead, plan meticulously, prepare intently and proceed with the utmost confidence, as by doing so, it really should ensure you see the levels of success you want and need.