Starting a new business? Here are 10 basic steps you must take to get your business up and running.

1. Are you meant to run a small business?

Running a business is hard work. There is no way we can fool ourselves into thinking otherwise. It takes the right kind of personality and dedication to run a successful small business, as well as a certain amount of business skills.

There are many self-evaluation surveys on the internet a person can take to assess your skills and also your business idea. I believe the first thing you have to do is believe in yourself and your product. You must be passionate about what you are doing before you can succeed.

2. Business Structure

Sole Proprietorship: you are the only employee as a self employed individual and as such as responsible for all aspects of the business including insurances, taxes, responsibility, etc.

General Partnership: you have one or more partners and share all responsibilities either equally or as pre-agreed upon prior to creating the partnership.

Corporation or limited company: this may be beneficial if you want to expand your business within your own country or internationally. Legal advice is advised prior to determining if this is beneficial.

3. Research your Market

Has the market been saturated with the same type of business? Is there a need for your service or product? Who will your competition be? What are the current and future trends that can impact your business?

By researching your business idea and potential market you will have an excellent understanding of who your customers will be, who your competitors are and what the industry trends are. This information will be needed when writing your business plan.

4. Business Plan

This very important written document shows the details of what your business is, what you will do, how you will operate it and what your business goals are.

This document can be used to arrange for financing. In fact you probably will not receive any financing if you do not have a business plan.

I struggle with writing a business plan myself but I know it is necessary and work my way through it and I use it as a guideline to follow, making changes as necessary. It is like a blueprint of your business.

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