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If you have entrepreneurial aspirations and are considering launching a startup, you may be not be sure of where to start. There are many considerations you should address to ensure that you build a solid foundation for your new business. Before you start touring retail locations or looking for employees, make sure you have completed the items below.
Creating A Business Plan
While you may have a clear picture of the product or services you want to offer, every successful business has an annual business plan detailing strategies and tactics. These strategies and tactics should be broken down into measurable goals for each quarter, month, week, and day. Your business plan will be separate from your itemized financial plan, but the two go hand-in-hand.
Securing Startup Capital
One of the biggest mistakes made by many startups is not securing enough startup capital. Not only should you have enough to cover all professional costs for at least the first 1-2 years, but you also need to have enough money to support yourself in case you are unable to pay yourself a salary. To budget accurately, you should do a significant amount of research. This will help ensure that you understand how much money will be required to pay your monthly bills. While some expenses may be easier to calculate (such as rent and utilities) others will be more challenging to estimate (such as office equipment, office supplies, marketing, and vendor and contractor services). Lastly, it is wise to set aside some money in an emergency fund for any future unexpected expenses.
Obtaining Licensing, Tax Information, And Certifications
To ensure you are in compliance with all state and federal laws, you should meet with an accountant, financial advisor, or business consultant. You should inquire about what types of licensing and certifications your business is required to uphold. Also you will need to understand how frequently those licenses and certifications need to be renewed. Finally, obtain the necessary tax information to launch your new startup.
Identifying Your Target Audience
While you may have a strong inclination as to who your target audience is, it is still best to conduct market research. Many businesses forget to conduct market research, which allows them to truly know who their customers are. Market research can identify detailed sectors of the population who are most interested in your products and services. This is useful for then targeting your marketing and advertising efforts. Attracting new customers and clients can be one of the most difficult challenges for startups, yet without customers and clients a business will not grow. While many startups opt to forgo the expense of market research, it is often one of the most invaluable tools when it comes to building a business.
This article was written by Richard Craft, an MBA student who hopes to help you and your business succeed. He writes this on behalf of Sentis, a leader for ensuring operational excellence. Check out their website today and see how they can help you and your business!
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