What to consider when starting your own business
Starting your own business is not only a milestone achievement, but can also be one of the most thrilling experiences of your life - if you get it right. As the boss, you decide on your company’s name, its location, your workforce, even the logo and working hours are yours to tailor. In fact, being the boss comes with many major responsibilities and is not for the faint of heart. With it being your first shot at it, you may as well get it right the first time.
In the Cell C Change Your Summer Change Your World, ‘Win a Bakkie’ competition, 20 winners are being selected from thousands of entries nationwide to win a brand new bakkie, which can be used to kick- start their new business venture. Three of the bakkie winners so far have already set their hearts at starting some kind of delivery service. They all share the same sentiment, that the prize was a great way to end a very difficult year. It is a dream come true.
To ensure all the entrepreneurial customers and recent Summer Campaign winners are armed with the basics which will set them on the right path to business success, Cell C has teamed up with Adv. Aurelia Nxumalo, a qualified legal practitioner from the Professionista and the Learned Friend. She offers the following advice for budding entrepreneurs.
Get legal status for your business
First things first there are a number of ways available for you to can ensure that your business is a legal entity.
- Create a business and register your business via the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Be intentional in deciding on your business name as this will sustain you and drive you on the days you want to give up and serve as a constant reminder as to why you started.
- Conduct research regarding tax requirements or regulatory bodies, if applicable. Go to https://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Businesses/SmallBusinesses/StratingBusiness/Pages/default.aspx to find out if you are exempt from paying tax, if not, it can offer assistance on how you can register your business.
- Based on your offering, think about whether your product or services will need Intellectual Property protection, find out more on http://www.cipc.co.za/index.php/trade-marks-patents-designs-copyright/what-ip/
- Always register a web domain in the name of the business. As much as the costs of a website may not be the priority when starting a business, having a domain assists in setting up a business email which is the most common form of business communication. Having a business email address with a free service like Gmail or Hotmail will scream unprofessional when displayed on your company car.
- Set up a business bank account in your registered business name. The CIPC provides for the type of business registrations.
- Set up social media profiles in your business name.
Set business goals
- It is important to set goals and you can start by asking what it is you want to achieve by owning your business?
- A short-term business goal is usually something you want to achieve between 6 months or less. Remember to include financial goals, but they must form part of your overarching long-term goals. Ensure these are realistic and measurable and build on the skills and opportunities you already have. If your goals are realistic, you should be able to outline a clear and specific path from one point to the next.
- Long-term business and financial goals will establish the overall goals for what your marketing strategy aims to accomplish. It is important to note that you work on your business goals all year long. You need to be setting goals at different quarters of the year, tracking the progress and refining your strategies in order to achieve your goal. This in an on-going process.
Determine your price
- Work out the cost for your materials and charge for your time. It will require in depth research
- Consider your chosen industry and market and then look at what your competitors are charging for the same product or material
- You need to then consider what is cost effective for your business
- Knowing your target market and their affordability will also assist you in determining your price.
Tell your story
- There is value in sharing the story around your product or services. Go behind the scenes (BTS) to show your customers what goes into the production of the product or the impact of your services. People buy into the value and the story more than the product at most. Think of Nike ads, they are always telling a story and not so much selling a product.
Invest in a good accountant
- This is key especially when you are not trained or well versed in this area, an accountant will assist with your business structure as well as advising you on VAT thresholds.
Write and file everything
This assists in keeping stock of daily activities but it also helps in the event you may need to produce any documents or form of evidence in the future. It’s also great for determining what has worked, what didn’t work and also helps you to record your target market’s habits.
Cell C says, “We have no doubt that by implementing the above key elements we will set our winners on the right path to reap the rewards of their hard work and good planning.”