Dr. Mona Alyedreessy has set up a small business called Azara Beautique. Based on her experience of setting up this business she has given Company Bug her tips for other women setting up a business, in order to help and inspire women who too have great business ideas.
First of all, it is important to be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared for all of the efforts and the time you will spend on working on your business before you launch it. If you are someone with a very busy schedule it may be very difficult. You also need to assess your personality before starting and investing in a new business. Are you someone who is hard-working, patient, resilient, motivated, confident and determined? If not, starting a business may not be for you. It is also important to have supportive friends and family members who will make considerations for the time you need to spend working on the business, and who will also keep you motivated when you face obstacles along the way.
Develop a product or service that you are very passionate about, and enjoy working on and learning about. For example, we started making our products for friends and family out of our love and care for them. This turned into a passion after we saw the benefits people gained from them and we decided to develop a brand to help more people. Always talk to those who are close to you about your ideas, and share your plans for productive feedback and advice.
Do some market research and find out how you can help people with the product or service, and if you can make money by selling it. There needs to be a need for what you are selling in order to become successful, so you need to know your target market.
Write a business plan that may help you to get financial investment for your business. You will need to determine your costs, so it is important to assess the cost of everything you will need to run your business in order to know how much capital you need to launch and run it. This will also help you to create a budget so you will know how much you are able to put aside for marketing. There are many great programs online that can help you to do this, such as Live Plan.
Decide if you want a business partner who will take a percentage of the business, or if you want to run it yourself. Choose a business partner who is equally as passionate as you about what you have to offer and someone who can positively contribute to your business. It is better if this partner can contribute in the ways you are unable to, such as financially, so that you can work as a team.
Register your business
Register a business and website domain name, especially if you have a great and unique business name. You can check here to see if it is available.
Create a marketing plan and identify the places where you need to be advertising and to who. For example, list the names of bloggers, public figures, social media leads and others to help you focus on your potential customer groups.
Find the right type of investors who are also passionate about your products and/or services. Having investors that have experience in the field can also benefit you and your business because they may be able to offer you valuable advice. You can also seek legal advice from professional lawyers and business consultants if any business contracts, licenses, patents, insurance and permits are needed.
Appoint a qualified accountant who can start organising your financial record books and calculating your expenses from the beginning. An accountant can also help you work out any tax you owe or are owed.
Choose the best location for the needs of your business, whether it be from home, an office, shop or just an online platform that offers an opportunity for growth and exposure. Also, try to network and speak to as many people as you can who are interested in your product and/or service. Make sure that you take time to attend networking events and conferences within in the industry.
Invest in the services of a talented graphic designer for your branding to create an efficient and well-designed website that is user friendly. Also, make sure you source help in designing the packaging of your products, as this will help create the brand for your product.
Be prepared to accept and adapt to the feedback of your customers, so if your product or service needs to be modified then acting upon it will be benefit your business.
Always be open to accept positive criticism from professionals, investors and those who genuinely care about you and the wellbeing of your business. It is important to be patient, focused and determined during the entire process so that you are not intimidated by negative people and the competition. Remember, when competition exists, there is a market for your business.
Be efficient at making and delivering your products and/or services to the best quality and standard. Customers love reliable and fast turnaround times and they also love great, quick and courteous customer service that makes them feel important. It is also important to establish efficient and quick payment and logistic/delivery/shipment systems.
Share your news, experiences and journey with your customers via a blog and social media. Blogs and social media pages create a personal connection between the business owner and the customers and are also great for marketing.
Hire the right people
Find suitable, honest, motivated, experienced and qualified employees to challenge you, raise important issues and ideas, and who help you run your business efficiently.
Make a habit of creating a list of daily or weekly tasks and targets, so that you make sure you always keep on top of things. Organisation is key and creating a schedule of deadlines for all your tasks is a very efficient way of being productive. It also helps to wake up early and sleep early, so that you get plenty of rest and energy throughout the day to keep you focused.