Small Business Tips: From Dreaming to Doing! - 5 groundwork actions

When taking a hobby to a side hustle, and then growing it into a full-on small business, is easier said than done. It requires a whole lot of dedication and hard work because the truth is: success isn’t a goal, it is an outcome.

Many would-be entrepreneurs never succeed because they get stuck in the mental-fantasy part of entrepreneurship, rather than the hard, hands-on practical side. As we all know, dreaming about ‘doing’ and talking about ‘doing’, rarely achieves anything, and certainly not a helathy, vibrant small business.

Take Action with these Motivators:

Action 1: Plan
Start your plan with the answers to these questions:

  1. What ‘problem’ will your product/service ‘solve’?
  2. What does your ideal customer ‘look like’?
  3. Is there a ‘need’ for what you want to sell?
  4. How will you be different compared to your competitors?

This is a great first step because in taking action and answering these, you will very quickly learn if your business dream has the potential in the market or not. If it does not, go back to your dreaming, until you find a new idea that will, and start again.


Action 2: Do the math
a)How much would you need to run your dream business?
b)How much would you need to get your dream business off the ground in its most basic form?

Your dream might be to own a bakery-deli in a prime location. That’s an expensive dream. But what if you started out “on the side” and ran it from home first, and then grew it from there? This could save you a whole lot of money and limit your risk, plus allow you to build up a regular clientele.

Create a realistic revenue projection for each phase of your business. How much do you need to charge for your products/services to make money? What will customers realistically pay for your products/services? Consider all the expenses that you will incur.


Action 3: Get the tools & space
Invest in the tangible things that you would need to run your business with. Buy the computer, tools, materials, packaging and set-up an office (even if it is an interim work-from-home-office or a mini warehouse in your garage).

Don’t yet have the cash? Start small with only the basics and look at sourcing second-hand equipment.


Action 4: Create your product or service
Now, just do it! Bake! Design! Sew! Knit! Curate! Source! Paint! Make! Whatever you want to sell, create or order samples. Take pictures and videos of each product you have. You don’t need a customer to get started.

If you are selling a service (i.e. facials or seminars) do a series of freebies and build a portfolio of happy customers.


Action 5: Get online and market your business so you can start selling!
Register your domain name and get Email Hosting to start sending professional looking emails that will be from e.g. email address to prospects and suppliers. Getting the domain is perhaps the most cost-effective tangible thing you can invest in that will help you turn your dream into a reality.

And then: Get the website. With a website builder, you can build your own professional website from as little as R119 per month (hosting and domain name included*).

Market yourself any and every way you can. For marketing tips, click here.


Good luck!


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