First Steps

There are ten simple steps that you can take to help yourself develop your business idea.

The first of these assures you that you have the right personality to make your business survive. Later steps test the amount of knowledge that you have about the business environment that you are about to enter. The final step considers the likely structure of the business, and directs you towards creating a plan.

Step 1 - Know yourself…

Ask yourself, and answer truthfully: -

  • Can you work alone?
  • Can you take responsibility?
  • Do you have a positive outlook?

 

Step 2 - Are you prepared to take a risk?

  • Starting a business will probably involve risking your savings - Are you and your family prepared for this?

 

Step 3 - Research your market

  • How big is the market for your product or service?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Who are your competitors?

 

Step 4 - Look at your requirements - premises, machinery and labour

  • Where will your business be located?
  • What will dictate the choice of your premises?
  • If machinery is required, what is it?
  • If you need employees, will they require training?

 

Step 5 - Work out your total costs

  • What charges are payable to the Local Authority? Commercial Rates, Water and Refuse charges are payable to Louth County Council.
  • What is the likely cost of equipment and premises?
  • What are your labour costs likely to be?
  • What is the cost involved in production or service provision?

 

Step 6 - Estimate your selling price and plan how you will achieve sales

  • Taking the factors from Step 5 into consideration, estimate your selling price.
  • Who and where is your target market (local or national)?
  • How will you promote your business?
  • What channels of distribution will be used?

 

Step 7 - Decide the legal framework of your business, and check out any legislation that might affect you

  • What business structure will you use - sole trader, partnership, limited company?
  • Have you registered your business name with the register of business names? (www.cro.ie)
  • Have you registered as self-employed?
  • Are you familiar with your obligations as an employer?
  • Are you familiar with your tax obligations (Income Tax and VAT)

 

Step 8 - Check out your sources of materials and supplies, their availability and cost

  • Where can the raw materials be purchased?
  • Have you received quotations from a number of potential suppliers?

 

Step 9 – Work out your total financial and investment requirements

  • How will you fund the project (personal investment, grant aid, loan)?

 

Step 10 - Produce a Business Plan

  • Using our template, or another, commit all relevant information to paper - be realistic and set targets based on the research you have carried out.