Whether or not you have prior experience or knowledge in the sector you plan to start a company in, your first step is to do extensive research.
It is always advisable to develop a business plan which will force you to define your business concept and gather information about the sector as well as your business requirements. Do you have a basic idea of what it is that the business will do? Once you have refined the business concept you need to spend a significant amount of time doing research.
Your research around the business concept should focus on these six areas:
- The Industry: Gaining an understanding of the dynamic forces affecting the industry in which the business will operate.
- The Market: Research the preferences and characteristics of the customers you are targeting.
- Competitors: Getting insight into the quality and quality of competitors in the market in which you plan to operate.
- Collaborators: Researching and understanding who you could work with/ partner with in launching the business.
- Your Product or Service: Investigating how your product or service will be created and delivered and whether it will be truly unique.
- You Company Model: Gaining insight into the options around a profit and operating model for the business.
There are many sources you can use to find this information, some of which include:
- The Internet
- Industry experts
- Competitors (become a customer of the competitors)
- Survey customers