Everyone wants to have his or her own business. For some, having a business meant enabling ourselves to make money on our own time and pace. But for most Filipinos, having a small business meant having an alternative source of income that can be key in keeping up with monthly bills and other household expenses.
Nowadays, it is smart to have alternative sources of income, especially when you have increasing financial responsibilities. More and more Filipinos are embracing microbusiness—online and offline—to make ends meet. However, profitable and successful businesses don’t just grow on trees. If you ask anyone who owns a successful business about how they built theirs, they would have told you a rather unexpected plot with many twists and turns. Business is a risk you must be willing to take. If you want to start your own business, you have to be ready to go out of your way to make sure your business can weather seasons. But how are you going to do that?
Surely, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of succeeding in business. One of those things is planning. Instead of getting risky and spontaneous, one has to take some time in planning before diving right into the world of business. To help you get started, here are the things that can place you on the right side of business:
#1 Scan Your Environment for Opportunities
Any business starts with an idea. Whether you already have an idea or are currently looking for one, you must make an honest audit of your immediate environment or, in business terms, conduct an environmental scan. Environmental scanning is an essential part of the inception of any business. It allows you to gather crucial facts and data about a prospective location, potential customers, and an entire community before entering any business. Many make the mistake of skipping this step. Still, you shouldn’t give in to the temptation as this step can validate the feasibility of your idea.
The main idea in conducting an environmental scan is to draw inspiration and insights from your community’s needs. You have to be able to identify and understand the kind of people you will serve, including their buying behavior, their habits, and the common problems they encounter. As a response, you must find out how you and your business are going to fit into that picture. To do this properly, you must ask below relevant questions:
- What specific problems am I going to solve?
- Is there anyone else providing this?
- Who will be my customers?
- What makes my business unique and different from others?
These questions will lead you toward a purpose and give you a sense of focus.
#2 Understand the Market
Once you have identified and defined a problem within a community and have provided a solution through a business idea, it is crucial now to pay extra attention to the market where your business will participate. Market, traditionally, refers to a physical location where buyers and sellers meet to make a trade; however, in Business and Economics, market refers to “the groups of individuals or organizations that make up the pool of actual and potential customers for their goods and services.” In short, the market is the collective term for all your potential buyers.
Now, you might want to ask, “Why is it important to study the market?”
Conducting a market research, whether formal or informal, can help you optimize your business in many ways. It can help you understand what the consumers want and get the right information you need in order to build a winning plan and strategy. It can give you an idea of the customers’ buying habits and preferences to improve your products and services.
For example, due to the recent lockdowns, most households were opting to get their supplies from stores that offer home delivery service. This finding should provide you with an insight and opportunity to cater to this specific market group by offering an added delivery service.
Market research helps you identify pain points, so you can better position your business to consumers once you start.
#3 Create a Business Plan
A business shouldn’t just exist; it must engage and impact your customers so that it can survive changing seasons. To make sure it comes to that, you must make sure that all your business decisions will lead you on the right path. But how are you going to do that? A successful business starts with a plan. A business plan will serve as the foundation of your business to guide you where you’re supposed to be.
A good business plan should be able to guide you through each stage of your business. When writing your business plan, make sure that it’s concise and actionable. You can start by making a breakdown of the capital you need to get your business started; you must be clear on how you intend to get a return on investment. You must also have a list of suppliers to make sure you can always keep your inventory stocked. It would be best if you also keep tabs on your finances by learning the basics of bookkeeping. In this way, you can make decisions aligned with your business and financial goals.
#4 Decide on a Business Structure
Your business idea and business plan won’t be a business until you make it official. You have to do the right paperwork and register your business to the proper governing body to make it legally operational. In this case, a business structure dictates how you are going to perform your business professionally, such as paying taxes, issuing receipts, and other necessary paper works.
Your business structure will affect how much you pay in taxes, your ability to raise money, the paperwork you need to file, and your personal liability. It’s important that you seek expert advice from business professionals when considering the business structure for your business. You must review common business structures and study the processes so you don’t stumble into problems in the long run.
Building a business isn’t always an exact science. There isn’t a one size fits all formula in building businesses that can stand the test of time. Many factors that can affect a business can come into play, some entirely unexpected. However, you can plan ahead and prepare well against any obstacle that you and your business may stumble upon. Use these tips to get you ahead, and who knows? You might just be on your way. Starting your own business soon? Read our blogs for more refrigerator care and business tips.