What every SME founder needs to know

What every SME founder needs to know

As a bank, we know firsthand how overwhelming it can be to set up a business. From planning to execution, there are many decisions to make and challenges to overcome. 

That's why we're sharing our tips to help you navigate starting your own business. Whether you're a first-time entrepreneur or an experienced founder, these tips will help you build a solid foundation for your SME.

  1. Conduct market research

Researching your target market is one of the most critical steps in starting a business. This involves understanding who your ideal customers are, their pain points and needs, and how to provide value to them. By thoroughly researching your target market, you can offer a product or service that meets their needs and differentiates your business.

As an SME founder, we know you're probably on a tight budget. Still, there are ways to conduct market research. One way is to create online surveys using free tools and send them to people to understand their preferences and sentiments. Another way is by listening to what people say on social media in the comments and posts sections. You can also join online groups and communities to ask people relevant questions that will help you gain valuable information for your business. 

  1. Identify your competitors

This tip is like part two of the one mentioned above. As you conduct your market research, it's important to identify your competitors. 

Once you do, assess their products and services, pricing strategies, marketing tactics, and overall strengths and weaknesses. This information can help you set your business apart and create your unique selling proposition. 

  1. Determine your business model

Your business model defines how your business will generate revenue and make a profit. This could be through selling products or services, generating advertising revenue, or earning commissions on sales. It also involves important considerations like whether you will operate from home or an office and run the business solo or with a partner.

A clear understanding of your business model is essential because you will need to describe it in detail when writing your business plan.

  1. Create a business plan

Before you even think about launching your business, you need to create a solid business plan. A business plan is a live document that needs frequent updating. This document serves as a roadmap for your company and helps you make informed decisions about everything from finances to marketing. By creating a business plan, you can spot gaps and develop solutions before there's a need to implement them. In addition, having a business plan will allow you to secure financing from banks.  

  1. Establish an online presence

If these past few years have taught us anything, it's that companies without an online presence face more challenges than those ready to service customers digitally. That's why setting up an e-commerce site or online platform has become a necessity. This will make it easier for your target market to find you, allow them to learn about your offerings, and streamline their buying journey. 

  1. Develop a brand identity

Developing your brand's identity is just as important as establishing an online presence and isn't limited to the visual elements representing your brand, such as your logo and colours. It also includes the tone and style of messaging you use, which reflect your business values, personality, and communication style. 

When developing all your brand's assets, it's important to ensure they're consistent and resonate with your target market.

  1. Monitor your cash flow

Monitoring your cash flow helps you understand how much money is coming in and going out of your business. It's important to have a positive cash flow to ensure you can pay your bills, suppliers, and employees. 

By regularly monitoring your cash flow, you can adjust your budget if needed and create a contingency plan to avoid running out of money.

We hope you found the tips in this article helpful. Although starting your own business may be tricky initially, it can be rewarding in the long haul. So, don't give up on your dream and start working towards turning it into a reality today!   

If you need guidance on registering your business, apply here  for free legal advice from an expert.

Was this article helpful?
Join the feedback revolution! We're all ears, ready to absorb your thoughts and transform them into content that you enjoy!