Venturing into entrepreneurship and seeing your vision come to fruition is an exhilarating experience. There is no linear path of starting a business – you start with what you have and where you are. If you’ve been sitting with a lucrative business idea that you’re passionate about and haven’t started – what are you waiting for?
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy and society as a whole. Many businesses had to shut their doors for good, and many households are left with little to no income. People have had to get creative in trying to bring in additional income. Starting a business can be a way to bring in extra money while also potentially creating employment opportunities.
We have a new business checklist to help you stay on track of important things to remember on your entrepreneurial journey.
☑ Know your Competitors
Competitor analysis is crucial when venturing into business because it will allow you to have an edge on your competition. Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses will inform you on how to set yourself apart and market your unique selling point accordingly.
Competitor analyses will:
- Determine the strengths and weaknesses within your industry
- Help you identify a gap in the market
- Leverage the results to your advantage
- Allow you to innovate
☑ Come Up With a Company Name
Finding a suitable company name for your business can be tricky, and there are various strategies you can use when deciding on a company name. Here are a few tips when selecting your company name:
- Use a name that conveys meaning and rolls off the tongue
- Avoid initials
- Make sure you can trademark your name
- Test out your name on Google AdWords and see what the results are
☑ Formulate a Business Plan
A business plan will be your roadmap to success. It should clearly map out your finances, short as well as long-term goals, operations and marketing. It will also assist you when seeking funding and setting measurable objectives.
☑ Have a Marketing Strategy
A cohesive marketing strategy has the following benefits for your business:
- Provides focus and identifies opportunities
- Increasing sales and profits
- Brings the company vision to life
The best part about starting a business in 2020 is that you can do it with little to no marketing budget, thanks to social media. Investing time in your social media marketing will yield a lot of rewards for your business.
☑ Get a Company Website
1-grid provides countless small businesses with the tools to take their companies online. All you need to do is register your domain and choose the online store DIY website builder that will allow you to build your website in under 10 minutes. Getting an e-commerce website that looks the part, accepts various payment methods and allows you to easily add products is made simple by the 1-grid website builder.
☑ Get Professional Business Email
Our business email features an array of collaboration tools, other than the fact that it allows you to personalise your business email. The scalable business solution offers you an ad-free, encrypted email solution that is conducive to collaboration and productivity. Our Pro Email features:
- Video conferencing capabilities
- Instant messaging
- Collaborative workspaces
- Simple administration
☑ Acquire the Necessary Licenses or Permits (Where Applicable)
Certain industries require licensing and permits – do thorough research to ensure that you are complying and not operating illegally.
☑ Open a Business Bank Account
Compare business bank accounts from South Africa’s top financial institutions and find the one that suits you and your business. Getting a dedicated business bank account is beneficial because:
- It helps organise financial records
- Taxes and deductions
- Accept credit card payments
- Allows multiple (authorised) people to use the account
☑ Register Your Company with CIPC
All companies operating in South Africa need to be registered with the CIPC. Register your company to attract investors, protect your personal finances and assets, be considered for governmental assistance and prove your business legitimacy.
Here are the documents needed to register a company in South Africa:
- Proof of address no older than three months
- Latest 3-month bank statement
- Proof of Identification
- Directors’ proof of identification
- SARS document including income tax number
Register your business online with 1-grid for a seamless and stress-free registration process.
☑ Keep Going
Not giving up is essential – the most successful entrepreneurs have faced challenges along the way, but the key is to never throw in the towel and to just keep going.