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Assess your business idea

Assess your business idea

Once you have a range of business ideas based on the information you obtained by transposing the grid discussed in our previous article, you need to test whether these ideas are viable. The type of business, the amount of competition you would have, and the capital outlay required, should determine the level of market research you conduct.

These series of articles relate to starting a business from home and even though some of these concepts can apply to any business idea, we’re focussing mainly on working from home, and we’re trying to accomplish this with minimum capital outlay.

It’s time to get out your hardcover book again and write, and once again, you’re urged to involve others to provide additional input.

1. Business Idea

Write a small explanation of the actual business idea.

2. Business Goals / Objectives

The business objectives are specific and measurable goals – they should also be realistic, and achievable. Take some time to set the objectives as these will shape of your future and define your business. Create a sub-heading “short term” and “long term”. Provide a list of what you want to achieve with the business.

Short-term in this instance is anything from a month to a year,and long-term would be two, three and five years. For example – you might want to set a short- term goal of R15 000 per month income, and along-term goal of R50 000.

Also, don’t forget that you’re also aiming to live a more fulfilling life, doing things you enjoy, and those personal aims and objectives need to be included. Perhaps a goal could be that for after the first 12 months you want to work a four day week – a tough target for any new business, but possible over time, provided you plan around this as an ultimate objective.

3. Customers / Target Market

Write down the type of people or businesses that would make use of the services or products you’d provide. Think in terms of general demographics – i.e. age and gender, their spending patterns, and where these people would be living, or working etc.

4. Business Market

The business market is the market you will be operating within. The business market consists of your suppliers, distributors as well as your potential competition.

5. Skills, Knowledge and Staffing

Make a list of the various types of skills that will be required to carry out the business. What do you still need to learn? What will you outsource, or do you need to employ someone to do this for you?

6. Location

We’re focussing on working from home, so under this particular aspect, you need to give consideration to space and environment. Where at home will you work? Do you have enough space to store products, if applicable? Will you need to make other arrangements for storage?

7. Legal Requirements

Spend some time understanding what types of legal requirements need to be met for your business operation. Do you need to be registered for VAT? Do you need to register as a provisional tax payer? Will you be a sole proprietor or establish a closed corporation?

There are also business specific and local municipal by-laws that need to be given consideration, and could have cost implications on your start up costs.

8. Capital requirements / Start-up costs

Make a list of everything you need to start the business and the cost thereof. Make use of the information you’ve collected while completing this assessment. Think of alternatives as you go along – such as making do with equipment you already have, or buying good quality, used equipment.

Completing the initial assessment is one of the most important tasks you will undertake in preparing yourself for what lies ahead.

The initial assessment will continue to be a working document for the entire planning process. Give it time and thought, and as mentioned previously, get input from other people, and make use of the valuable resources available to you on the wonderful world wide web!(If I had invented the internet it would have had been “http://wwww….. ” (an extra w – for wonderful!)

Feel free to share your experiences or ask questions in the Alberton Online Community Forum, or within the comments section below.

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