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Basics to Research before Starting a Business.

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by Startacus Admin

So, you’ve had the idea that you reckon is going to change the world or maybe even just change your world. Either way, before that idea becomes a full blown business, you’ve got to do a little research. Well...quite frankly... a lot of research. Of course, what you research will depend a lot on what type of business you plan to startup, although there are some basic elements that are pretty much essential. startTo help you on your way, here are a few of the Basics to Research before Starting a Business.

The Legal Structure
Sole Trader? Partnership? Limited Company? The legal structure of your business should be decided upon pretty early on as it can have a whole host of implications from the off. There are advantages and disadvantages to each and it’s worthwhile spending some time in weighing these up before you make a decision on which is right for your startup. In fact, why not check out our previous post where we explore that in a little more detail.

The Competition
There are very few if any businesses out there that are wholly unique. Therefore in some way or another there will be a business that is pretty similar to the one you are considering setting up. It may provide similar products, or a similar service or simply be aimed at the same customer base. Whichever of these may apply, assessing who your business competition is, is absolutely essential. Spending time in researching what they do and how they do it is key. You should aim to gain info on everything from their pricing, through to the type of marketing that they undertake. Gathering this info can help you refine your own business proposition and help you determine how and what you are going to do differently, which incidentally leads us on to our next point.

Once you have established who your competition is, you need to assess how you are going to differentiate yourself from them. Will it be on price? On the quality of what you offer? Will you be looking to offer something cheaper than the competition or simply an improved version? Alternatively your unique selling point could be something that is entirely revolutionary and different from anything else that presently exists. By having a clear and identifiable USP you can help shape your entire business strategy and how potential customers view you from the off.

The Target Market
Knowing who your potential customers are is critical. Before you can even contemplate starting a business you will need to define who your target market is. Having a clearly identifiable audience or potential customer base is essential for the development of your business. Keeping this target market in mind is key at all stages of a business journey and is especially so when you are just starting out. Conducting Market Research is therefore one of the first essential steps for a startup. Our basic guide on the basics of Market Research should help with this one.

The Money
Money as we all know is critical to every business, but especially so a startup. You will need to research and forecast exactly how much money you are likely to need and then set up researching how you will get it. Whether that means going to a bank directly, using your own savings or even using an alternative method of finance such as crowdfunding, you will need to figure the money stuff out pretty early on.

The Laws and Licences
The business you are planning to startup may mean that you are subject to a whole host of legal rules and regulations. It’s therefore essential to do your research into this as early as possible. After all, if you don’t you could run into serious trouble and perhaps be fined or banned before you have even got a chance to trader properly. Research everything - from applying for licenses and permits to registering copyrights and patents. Our basic guide on Intellectual Property should help you out in this regard too.

The Practicals
The practical elements of starting a business need to be researched too. Everything from researching which business bank account you should open through to where you could set your business up also ought to be way up there on your to-do list. Spend some time establishing what key practical elements are essential and then let the research begin. Whether that means researching what tools and equipment you might need or what your standard business overheads are likely to be, this is one element that can’t be ignored.

We hope that these basic tips help you out a tad if you’re thinking of starting a business. And if you are - why not check out our Toolkit too - it’s filled with all sorts of resources to point you in the right direction.

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Published on: 15th July 2013

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