For many people, the idea of starting their own company and working for themselves represents something nearing nirvana. However, while it’s undoubtedly true that having the ability to choose your hours, call the shots and feel in control of your own destiny is indeed appealing, before starting down the road of working independently, you should spend considerable time planning your firm if you want to have the greatest chances of success. 

Why planning is so important when it comes to starting a firm

At some point in our lives, we’ve likely all struck upon seemingly brilliant concepts only to consider them further and realize they are potentially flawed. No matter how apparently great the idea is, if you don’t spend time identifying the potential pitfalls (and benefits), it’s highly likely you’ll walk blindly into a business commitment with very little understanding of what you’ve signed up to. 

Startup rule 101: write a business plan

In line with the above point about planning, one of the greatest ways you can get under the skin of your potential company idea and glean a greater understanding of how it might work is to write a comprehensive business plan

Unfortunately, these days, there is a commonly-held misconception that business plans are in some way antiquated or unnecessary for planning a company – whereas, in truth, they are perhaps more relevant today than ever. Through studying your proposed business concept in depth and detailing it in full, you’ll also produce a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis that will give you a much clearer idea of potential risks and rewards. 

A well-prepared business plan will also detail (in-depth) the subsequent points in this list, as well as give you an overhead view of anticipated profits and losses, marketing strategies, expenses, sales channels, etc. 

Define how your business is going to operate

All firms exist to turn a profit – pretty much all by selling goods or services. Before you start down the path of opening your firm, you should have a very clear idea of how you’re going to source your goods/services – plus identify suppliers or manufacturers. In today’s modern business landscape, it’s now not uncommon for even larger production firms to work with startups as a way to increase their market share – but you should agree on these relationships beforehand rather than just presuming. For example, if you were looking to start an engraving or jewelry company, you could approach an established company like to strike up a working partnership and then solidify the relationship with it as your preferred manufacturer. 

Choose a name and check its URL

Unless you have a particularly good and established reputation, the chances are high that you’re going to rely on the web for your early work (just like most startups). Not so long ago, entrepreneurs could choose a business name with little regard for how well it might translate to an online web address – however, in today’s increasingly digital landscape, having a catchy, memorable URL is almost as important as the business name itself. You should do research to ensure the name you want is available as a web address (or at least a variation of it) and buy it as soon as possible.