How To Develop A New Business – Starting and owning a business is a dream of many people. However, they may not realize how much behind-the-scenes hard work and effort is required to turn an idea into a fully functional unit. It can be difficult for new entrepreneurs to know which tasks to prioritize, and what should be outsourced versus handled independently. For those still in the idea phase, we’ve put together a how-to guide to help get your business off the ground.
The first thing is to find an accountant and an attorney. They will provide guidance on determining the appropriate entity structure for your business and setting up the business as a legal entity with the appropriate federal and state agencies. Trust the professionals instead of trying to do these tasks yourself, which can lead to more problems and potential fees and penalties down the line. There are a lot of complications involved, and someone who knows exactly what they are doing will save you unnecessary stress. Be sure to come prepared to this meeting with answers to some general questions, especially whether your business will have employees, as there are other complexities and factors involved.
How To Develop A New Business
Decide how you will maintain your accounting records. Determining what needs to be maintained and developing a standard operating procedure to do so is crucial. An accountant can help you with this process.
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How are you going to finance your business? Are you investing personal funds, or will you need a bank loan? If you need a bank loan, you will need to develop a business plan to present to the loan officer. There are usually local resources that offer assistance in drafting a business plan as discussed next.
Starting a new business is expensive, and many business owners don’t have extra funds to spare in the beginning. Use the resources in your community to get advice and guidance from people who have been through the process. Many communities offer free support for entrepreneurs. SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has local chapters that provide resources, training and guidance for entrepreneurs. Find your local chapter here. SCORE also offers several free templates for business owners, including ones to help you create a business plan, calculate your start-up costs, or do a sales analysis.
Research sales and use tax requirements for your area and industry. Sales and use taxes also vary from state to state, so make sure you check the requirements of the state(s) you’ll be operating in. You can also reach out to a state and local tax professional, like the team at RKL, to help with this step, and make sure your business complies with all regulations that apply to your market and operations.
One of the most important steps in starting a business is determining your market. Who are your products or services aimed at? What unmet needs will you fill in your community? Will you have any competitors? What sets you apart? Developing a plan to reach your target audience is critical to your business having a chance at success. A unique factor that differentiates you from your competitors gives you a higher chance of survival.
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It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when starting a business, but you don’t have to go through it alone. RKL’s small business consultants provide close, personal service to start-up business owners and entrepreneurs. Contact your RKL advisor or use the form below to start a conversation. Developing your business idea into a viable product or service is an important part of building a business. A thorough assessment and market research at an early stage will help you establish whether there is a market for your product or service.
Once you start trading, new products and services will be very important, and investing in their development is crucial to business growth and profitability. But the development process can be risky and requires considerable planning and organization.
This guide will help you assess whether your idea can form the foundation for a successful business and put a process in place to monitor and measure its progress.
It also has tips on how to finance the development of your idea and how to protect it if others get involved.
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You will also get information about the development process for new products or services, which will help you make practical investment and budgeting decisions. This guide also advises you on how to build a product development team and how to manage projects.
A new idea is often the basis for starting a business. Many entrepreneurs find a gap in the market and start a business that provides a product or service that fills it. Others come up with ways to improve existing products.
If you want to start a business but don’t have an idea to work with it yet, there are many ways to identify it. The following questions may help:
See the page on the Small Business Research Initiative in our guide on support networks and facilities for innovation and R&D.
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Once you have a business idea, take the time to refine it. This will help you determine if it can be the foundation of a successful business.
There’s a lot at stake when you’re developing a new product or service. To minimize risks and allocate investments and resources wisely, you should consider a number of factors, including customer needs and design, while clearly defining your plans.
Designing Demand is a practical mentoring program developed to help small to medium-sized businesses and technology start-ups use design to improve performance.
It helps businesses embed effective processes for managing design and innovation and gives managers the skills to exploit design by spotting opportunities, briefing designers and driving projects that deliver.
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Designing Demand is part of a range of support offered by the Government’s Solutions for Business portfolio to businesses in England.
There are a few criteria you can use to establish whether there is a market or demand for your product or service:
Market research can play an important role in answering many of these questions and increasing your chances of success. It is better to invest time in research before you invest your money.
Remember that even though the end user of your new product or service is your most important customer, you must consider the needs of other parties, such as retailers or distributors.
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It is very important that you are as thorough as possible in your market research, as mistakes made at this stage of development can prove costly later. Remember, the more information you have, the better you can understand your potential customers, the marketplace, and how your product fits.
For more information, see our guide to common startup mistakes — and how to avoid them.
Not only must you meet your customers’ needs, you must do better than the options offered by your competitors.
Your new product or service should have a unique selling proposition—a feature or property that makes it stand out in the marketplace. Before entering the market you need to gather ‘competitive intelligence’ by determining:
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Try to identify key stages or checkpoints in the development of your idea. Each checkpoint gives you an opportunity to assess the progress of your product or service and determine if you need to make any changes. It will allow you to consider at the end of each stage whether to progress with the idea. Any idea that has no real chance of success should be abandoned before investing more time or money.
If none of your checkpoint goals are being met, you need to analyze why this is so. Ask yourself if your goals were unreasonable. If so, you may need to revise your objectives.
Getting adequate funding is one of the biggest hurdles many entrepreneurs face. Your funding needs may also change during product development, as it may take longer or cost more than you first anticipated.
Bank loans and overdrafts are the most common ways to raise money for a new business. But there are plenty of alternatives, including:
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Remember to build a generous margin for contingencies and the unexpected in your financial forecasts. It’s not worth investing money and then running out before your business gets off the ground.
Before making investment decisions, consider how your business will benefit from a new product or service. Weigh it against the risks you face.
One way to reduce your risks is to invest in projects in stages. By reviewing the project at the end of each stage of development, you can identify products or services that are unlikely to succeed. If the product or service fails to meet established criteria, you should consider canceling the project. If it meets them, you can allocate resources to allow it to reach the next stage of development.
When you develop new products and services it is important to keep track of costs so that they do not spiral out of control. You should:
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