Starting any business takes confidence, will power, knowledge, luck and an idea of how to differentiate your business from every other in the same niche.
Today though we have at our fingertips a way of accessing the practical distilled knowledge of entrepreneurs that have trod (if not blazed) this path before – GOOGLE.
So let’s see the top five most “Googled” or “Binged” business questions and some answers.
- “How do I start a business”?
What did you expect? The most searched question is the question itself, and if you search for that exact phrase you will find a multitude of articles each with its own bit of wisdom saving you a lot of time, money and stress in the process. You will find advice from successful business owners about starting a business and warnings of what not to do – both are important. You will get advice on what resources you will need to start a business and does and don’ts. Who is your target audience, and what is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)? What is unique and differentiates your idea from all the rest. There will be many others may have the same business ideas as you, so you need to be creative and stand out. Another question to ask is how much capital is needed – if you have no way to get the capital needed (or close to), don’t start until you can. Do some research and see if your idea is viable and has an audience that you can target. Looking at the magazine stand in WH Smiths can give you an idea.
- “How to write a business plan”?
The second most searched question about businesses that most people ask “How to write a business plan”? Planning is one of the vital things to consider when starting a business. First things first, you need to come up with a realistic business plan that will work in the end. The essentials are as follows:
- Company description and mission statement
- List of services or products
- Market Research on your market sector, audience and competitors
- Organisation and management
- Marketing and business sales strategy
- What funding is needed for 3 to 5 years – when most businesses will fail
- Sales projections
Don’t assume that a business plan will get you a loan from a bank – usually, the bank manager will “rain on your parade” and get you wondering if it’s a good idea. Use the business plan as a map to get you to where you want to be. Make adjustments to projections and tweak the plan with the experience of hindsight.
- “How to succeed in business without trying”?
This is the pie in the sky lazy person who doesn’t want to do any work or research. If you google this you have only yourself to blame when it all goes pear-shaped. You will find all manner of sites telling you how to send them the money, do nothing and be on the beach in less than 6 months. Most successful business owners know that you have to sow before you reap. There are exceptions – luck and fate can alter the course of history but if you want to win the lottery you have to buy at least one lottery ticket. Just remember: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that count”. You cannot simply succeed without trying and failing a few times.
- “Is [Insert your idea here] a real and viable business”?
In this case, unless your idea is totally “bonkers” – Selling Fridges in Antarctica, the simple answer is a qualified “YES”. You just need to believe that if you take some time, research the market and implement a plan of action. As Henry for said: “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, either way, you are right”.
- “How to value my business”?
Although this is in the top 5 it is not worth asking for a newly formed business with less than 4 to 5 years of existence and hopefully with some profit. Since most startup businesses last no more than 5 years and the statistics say you have a 1 in 200 chance of failing, ask this question when it will be easier to answer. When you have tangible assets, goodwill (intangible assets) and a customer base. You won’t need an MBA, just a calculator and an Earnings Multiples Formula (Google it 😏).