The basics of business: Everything you need to know to start a successful business
If you are thinking about starting a business, and you are saddled with the question; what are the basics of business? What do I need to know, or the skills I need to acquire to launch a success business, then you are on the right place. This is because, just like you, before I launched my own business years ago, I was confronted with the same questions, and that is why I am writing this piece; to put in your hands what I learnt during my search. Here you’ll learn the basics of business and how you can apply it in your business journey.
Before we outline and discuss the basics of business, let’s first of all form a little understanding of what business truly means. Business is the transaction of goods and services to either create value or make profit. Business can either be carried out by an individual, enterprise or an organization.
Though the conventional definition of business is hinged on profit making, but business could also be not-for-profit activities as long as it creates values or opportunities in the society that could impact on business. For instance, social work that provides skill acquisition programs for communities is a business. Seminars or workshops tailored to empower and train individuals on several skills is also a business though it’s not for profit making. My reason is that these programs will trigger and impact on businesses on the long run.
One thing that I would like to mention is that, business requires investments. Having said that, don’t be deterred and say, oh I haven’t got money, and so business is not for me. No, business is for everyone, and when I say investment, it doesn’t only mean financial investments. Skill is an investment, and so if you have got some skills, then you have something to transact with. Let me leave this with you; skill is transactional, and if you’ve got any skill whatsoever, then you have an investment
Don’t ever let yourself be discouraged another day because you don’t have money or lack financial investment. I’m not trying to belittle the power of money in business, but I’m only affirming that with relevant skills you can begin the journey and stand the chance of landing an investment later on.
You can learn a skill online and start from there. Thank goodness, YouTube and many other social media platforms have made learning easy. There’s no skill that you cannot learn in this age given the fact that internet has made everything very easy.
Going further let me state categorically that business is beyond theory but more of practical. No matter what you’ve read or learnt about any kind of business, your success depends mostly on your ability to put what you’ve learnt into practice. Whatever you are going to learn today in this piece, make sure you apply it practically.
Here are the few basics of business; Define your mission, research, product, marketing, finance, good sales plan, management, and accounting.These in summary are constituents of a good business plan.
1. Define your mission: Every business must have a mission or a general goal. Without a clear cut understanding of what a business wishes to accomplish will allow for distraction.
This is why it is important for you to sit down and write down a business plan that shows and reminds you what your company stands for, its mission accomplishment and goals. Though a business may evolve along the line, it is still important to have a mission map that will guide your business until it evolves.
2. Research: Research should not be taking for granted. After defining your mission and setting your business goals, the next thing that should come is researching the business space that you plan to venture into. This is the heart of feasibility studies. It is dangerous to assume that you’ve got every information that you need; for this reason, you must research the market, and glean every vital information which may include market size, entry capital, target customers, customers behaviour, the major players, and the leading products in that space. This information is very important because it helps in the the true understanding of the market; who your competitors are, and finally in formation of an effective business plan for success.
3. Product: With the right research, a quality product or service should be developed to make a good entry. Product is king, and without good products and services, no matter the weight of research done, or the amount of cash spent on marketing, the business will not have longevity.
4. Marketing: This is the art of catching the attention of target customers and this is achieved with the right branding and promotion. With a catchy promotion, branding and packaging, a business will record the needed visibility which is the beginning of sales. In the 21st century where digital marketing is gradually taking over, acquiring digital marketing skills and exploring the wealth that e-commerce presents is imperative.
5. Good sales plan: Make no mistakes about this; sales and marketing is not the same thing though marketing generate leads that eventually translate to sales. Every business must formulate an effective sales plan that’ll guarantee more conversions of leads or traffic generated by marketing. It could be a discount sale offer or a spread payment plan, etc. Whatever it is, businesses must test few ideas and consolidate on what works for them.
6. Finance: Money is necessarily in every business and the ability to get funding when needed helps in the growth and success of a business. The capacity to also manage funds is also essential to business health.
7. Good Management: Business with immense potentials without good managers has failed over and over again. Without proper management every business is guaranteed to fail. Being able to manage business resources, create plans and strategies to execute business goals is very important.
8. Accounting: Financial records should be taken seriously to avoid spending on things that are not necessarily. With proper bookkeeping, a company will be able to understand their financial position which is important in making sensitive business decision.
9.Regulation: Having done a wide research to understand the market and the necessary business basics, the next thing should be finding out if there are any government regulations for your business to operate. Things like company registration should be effected. This is because in most countries, it’s hard to raise finance or land investment without being a legally registered business entity. And in most cases there are penalties for operating a business without a government business registeration certification.
Highlights of reasons why most businesses fail
• The absence of a defined business road map.
• Assumptions and lack of adequate research.
• Poor products and services; believing that product can be substituted.
• Poor marketing. Packaging and branding of products that does not reflect its true identity, and poor promotion.
• Inefficient sales plan. Though many believe that good product sells itself, I say it only happens when its quality have been tested.
• Lack of funds and embarking on projects that’s above business budget.
• Poor management. Lack of open context; rigid, and inability to learn and flow with the tide. Lack of foresight to see emerging opportunities and taking position to harness it.
• Poor financial record.
Business can come with a lot of challenges but understanding the ropes makes it easier. An imperative point to note is that business begins with an individual. It’s more of internal than it is external. Internalizing your business mission and investing in the acquisition of the basic business skills should be a priority.
Business also responds to energy. Before you launch that business, make sure you have that positive energy. You must also have those who exude the same positivity around you, because at some point in your business, you’d need all the positive energy available.
To sum it up, don’t start a business on the platform of whims. Business takes cognitive planning and clear cut strategies. Never act on assumptions, take research seriously and be proactive in your actions. Avoid being rigid but constantly learn the trends and evolve with it.
If you pay attention to these chips handed you, there is no reason why you shouldn’t succeed in any business venture. These business basics are actually all you require