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Introducing the Ultimate Step by Step Guide to Starting a Business

Are you starting a business? Well before we get stuck into all these fantastic tips and tricks, I should mention that this article is part of a series based on ‘How to Start Your Own Business in 90 Days’, written by the team here at Brixx.

You can buy the complete book, full of exercises and examples, here on Amazon,

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So you want to know how to start your own business? Great! You’re in the right place. 

This article will give you an overview of the components you need to consider to successfully launch a startup.

We’ll be releasing more articles on these topics in the coming weeks, in the order listed below. We’ll link each of the weeks’ hub post so you can quickly navigate to anything you’d like to know more about.

Week 1: Getting Started with the 90 Day Challenge

You are here! We’ll run through some tips around getting organised and productive for the weeks to come.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Set up your workspace and create a distraction-free environment
  • Develop a system for organising your work – online or offline
  • Prioritise your work time and be able to set aside blocks during the week to work on your project

Week 2: How to Find Profitable Business Ideas Using the Ideation Process

The journey truly begins here where we use a methodical process to come up with business ideas and assess their strengths and weaknesses. 

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Understand the risks/rewards of starting your own business
  • Your own list of anti-goals
  • Your own list of long-term goals
  • A self-assessment as to whether entrepreneurship is really for you
  • A list of your skills & things you’re good at 
  • A list of the things you’re not so good at
  • A list of business ideas derived from your skillset
  • See where the problems in the market lie
  • Gather feedback about your business ideas

Week 3: How to Research the Marketplace and Find Your Customers & Competitors

This crucial Week is the foundation of everything that follows in the book. Research is key to successfully building a product that people want which can compete with your competitors. We’ll be referencing your research all the way through!

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Find your direct & indirect competitors both online & local
  • Analyse your competitors through SWOT analysis
  • Identify your competitors’ marketing channels
  • Think about your advantage over your competitors
  • Identify your target audience through your competitor research
  • Narrow down your target audience if it isn’t focussed enough
  • Interview people to gather information about your target audience
  • Create buyer personas

Week 4: How to Choose the Right Business Model and Pricing Strategy

We get strategic in Week 4 as we immediately make use of your market research. We look at the best approach to taking your business idea to market as well as start to create your pricing strategy. Where do you want to position your business relative to your competitors? How are you actually going to make money?

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Come up with several business concepts
  • Find which business model you could adopt by coming up with several “go-to-market” ideas
  • Compare your ideas against each other
  • See if your market research compliments your ideas
  • Assess your options for competing in the market
  • Review pricing strategies and find the one that works best for your business
  • Review your competitor’s strategies
  • Check to see if your business can make a profit with your chosen strategy

Week 5: How to Find Your Unique Selling Points and Create a Product Prototype 

Week 5 sees you starting to build early prototypes in order to gather initial feedback. It’s time to put your idea, business model and pricing strategy through their first real tests!

Key activities you need to complete:

  • What is your USP? What differentiates you from the competition?
  • Prioritise the features/benefits of your product/service
  • Assess which features are most important to have at launch, and which can come further down the line
  • Create a prototype from your prioritised feature list
  • Plan and build your minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Assess whether you want to launch your business with your MVP or do you want to have a beta phase?

Week 6: How to Promote Your Business With Effective Marketing & Sales

By Week 6 we’ll begin investigating how you can realistically reach your target audience. What marketing campaigns should you choose, how do you make them effective and how can you use them to build your first sales forecast?

Key activities you need to complete:

  • A map of your marketing funnel
  • Identify your marketing channels
  • Pick your marketing activities to reach your target audience
  • Apply your marketing channels to your marketing funnel
  • Create SMART marketing campaign goals
  • Understand the formulas needed to calculate the ROI of your campaigns

Week 7: How to Set Up, Run and Operate Your Business

This is a practical Week that helps solidify many of the costs involved in running and operating your company. It also tackles practicalities like setting up the legal side of your business and employing people. By this point, you’ll have a basic sales forecast and a good understanding of all your costs which will form the basis of your complete financial plan.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Come up with a business name & know how to register it
  • Decide on a business structure i.e sole trader, LLP, etc.
  • Arrange any licences or permits
  • Arrange any insurance
  • Apply for any patents or trademarks
  • Create your terms and conditions & privacy policy
  • GDPR compliance
  • Arrange all your businesses infrastructure – i.e. equipment, logistics
  • Create job adverts
  • Interview & employ staff

Week 8: How to Create Your Company Brand

If the basic finances are looking reasonable, it’s now time to start working on the more creative aspects of your business. Designing your brand and the materials that support it.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Decide on what your brand stands for – how do you want it to come across? Fun, professional etc.?
  • How do you want to treat your clients?
  • Solidify your company name by registering your domain name, create social media & email accounts
  • Come up with strap-line ideas
  • Create your brand assets (colour scheme, logo, message & copywriting)
  • Pick your brand imagery

Week 9: How to Host, Design and Launch Your Website

With almost every modern business needing a website these days we take the time to run through the basics of setting one up, making sure it functions correctly and apply your branding to it.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Establish a website strategy by setting your primary goals and choosing what your calls to action are
  • Choose a platform to build your website
  • Map out your site pages & navigation
  • Find inspiration for your website
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
  • Set up Google Analytics

Week 10: How to Choose the Right Type of Funding for Your Startup

With all the early pillars of your business either being built or planned out you can begin to investigate how to fund it. This week we run through the pros and cons of the options available to you.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Note down all your possible funding routes
  • If you are going to pitch your business to investors, note down the investors you would like to pitch to
  • Consider all pitch options i.e. elevator or business pitch

Week 11: The Business Plan Part 1: Your Business Proposition

We begin running through how to pull all of your planning together into a cohesive document you can take to investors.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Format your business plan
  • Outline your elevator pitch
  • Outline your executive summary
  • Explain your products/services in detail
  • Explain your business model
  • Explain how you’ll gain a competitive advantage

Week 12: The Business Plan Part 2: Going to Market

The second part continues the writing process, breaking down all the elements you need to cover in order to promote your business to investors.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Outline your pricing strategy
  • Outline your marketing and sales plan
  • Outline your operations plan

Week 13: The Business Plan Part 3: The Financial Forecast

The final business plan week focuses entirely on your financial plan to give you the best chance of success. 

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Create your financial plan structure
  • Ensure there are no gaps – if there are, fill them in
  • Create a high, low & worst-case revenue plan
  • Create 3 financial reports

Week 14: How to Launch and Grow Your Business

We run through your launch plan and help you organise it in a stress-free way. We’ll also look through some of the initial tasks you should prioritise to help grow your business straight after launch.

Key activities you need to complete:

  • Prepare for a soft-launch
  • Set a soft launch date
  • Decide whether you want a beta program
  • Identify your priorities for launch
  • Create a launch checklist
  • Arrange any pre-launch marketing

Completing these tasks each week will guide you through the process of starting your own business, from the idea to full product/service launch. 

Throughout the weeks of blog posts, we’ll be going quite heavily into the financial aspects of each stage of starting a business. We’re doing this because this is what we do. If you want to get ahead, we’d recommend reading the following blog posts.

The ultimate guide to financial forecasting & business projections

In this piece, we’ll be going through how to get started with the world of financial forecasting and business projections. Topics we’ll cover:

  • The problem with financial forecasting
  • What are the big 3 financial statements?
  • What can forecasting do for your business?
  • What does good financial planning look like?
  • How you should approach creating your own financial forecasts 

A beginners guide to cash flow forecasting for startups

In this blog post, we’ll go over absolutely everything you need to know to start producing a cash flow forecast. Topics will include:

  • What is cash flow?
  • The importance of a cash flow forecast
  • Profit and loss reporting
  • How to actually start forecasting

A beginners guide to the cash flow forecast report

By reading this post, you’ll be able to understand the fundamentals of the cash flow forecast report. In this blog post we’ll specifically cover:

  • The elements that make up a cash flow forecast
  • What each of these elements are
  • The importance of each of these elements 
  • Calculating the bottom line(s)

Remember, if you would like the full guide to the Brixx 90 Day Challenge, sign up here for FREE and we’ll deliver one chapter a week, complete with exercises and examples, straight to your inbox.

Tim Room 4th November 2019 By
 

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