Starting a business from scratch can be a daunting task, with many things to consider. After coming up with an idea for a business, there are further steps to take, such as registering the company, creating a business plan and fundraising.

James Hopkins Coaching Limited offers its clients mentoring and coaching through The Lifestyle Marketeer Program, which teaches the skills and knowledge that are necessary to set up a digital advertising business.

Starting a business can be very rewarding, enabling people to invest their time into something that they are passionate about, as well as having flexible working hours that can be designed to fit around other commitments such as a family. For further information about how to come up with excellent business ideas, refer to the embedded PDF.

When setting up a business, it is imperative that entrepreneurs know their own strengths and weaknesses as well as their skillset. A good fit between the business itself and the entrepreneur behind it will lead to success, so it is best to create a business model that is well aligned to the entrepreneur. Understanding the motivation for starting a business is also important, as there is a better chance of achieving success when the business matches the entrepreneur’s personal ambitions. Power, wealth and influence are all legitimate reasons for setting up as a business owner, so understanding which of these factors is the biggest motivator will ensure a greater chance of success.

Performing in-depth research is the next step in setting up a potentially successful business. The research process should first define and then analyse the target market, understanding if there is a demand for the business, its products and/or services – and if this demand is large enough to support the business financially. Find out who the business’s competitors are, who the target market and potential customers are, and make a clear and concise sales and marketing plan.

Creating a business plan is the next step after settling on an idea for a business. The act of making a business plan will make it possible to proceed in a clear, concise and well-structured way – which is also essential for getting investors, partners and other outside parties involved with the business. A business plan should be laid out in a way that is easy to understand, making clear what the business objectives are and how they will be achieved. Every business plan should include the following sections: an executive summary; a contents page; a business model that includes products and/or services; customer, market and competition analysis; marketing and sales strategy; finances and projections; information about the team; and finally a business plan summary.

There are a number of rules that should be adhered to when writing a business plan, the first being to make the writing as concise and short as possible so the plan itself is organised and clearly defined. Keep all extraneous or irrelevant information out of the business plan, as additional information often makes the central idea of the business more difficult to understand.

Coming up with a mission statement is a powerful tool for writing a business plan; a mission statement is a one-sentence statement that communicates the overall purpose of the business, which will help to keep the rest of the plan on track.

Make sure that the business plan includes clear objectives – being extremely specific about what the business should achieve – and is clear about exactly how the business will move from point A to point B. Finally, it is essential to include a realistic timeline for achieving each of the business’s goals.