National Entrepreneurship Month: 7 Business Basics to Master

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Interested in running your own business? November is National Entrepreneurship Month, so we’re exploring the seven business basics everyone should master before they become their own boss. 

There’s no shame in feeling overwhelmed by the thought of starting a business. There’s a lot to consider, from the logistics of getting set up and launching a product line, to recognising legal and tax regulations.  

To help make the journey into entrepreneurship less daunting, we’ve stripped the process down to reveal the seven fundamentals of running a great business. Treat this as your go-to guide to getting started this National Entrepreneurship Month; we’ve included lots of extra resources covering each step in greater detail. 

7 business basics to mark National Entrepreneurship Month

1. Market research 

Whether your business is still very much in the planning stages or you’ve been at the helm of a thriving company for decades, prioritising market research is vital. Investigate industry data to find out how consumer behaviour is evolving, how customers might respond to a certain product and how you can differentiate your business from the competition. 

See our comprehensive guide to get started: How To Conduct Market Research In A Way That Actually Addresses Your Business's Needs

2. Strategy 

The secret to any great organisation lies in a carefully constructed business plan. This document is your chance to lay the foundations for your company; set out your plans and work through your strategies. It’ll be key as you develop your business model, but you should also refer back to it regularly once you’re up and running. 

View your business plan as a living entity, making changes whenever your market research reveals new risks or opportunities in the industry. The skill is knowing when to stick to your original strategies and when to evolve. 

Before you put pen to paper, you might like to read up on why business plans are so important and how you can make sure you cover the key elements.

There's a saying in the military that 'no plan survives the first contact,' meaning that you can have the best plan in the world, but as soon as it's in action, things change, and you have to be ready and willing to adapt and problem-solve quickly. As an entrepreneur, your value lies in solving problems whether that is your product or service solving problems for other people or you solving problems within your organization.
- Stephanie Murray, Fiddlestix Candy Co. founder and CEO

3. Operations management 

Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about creating the perfect business set-up - you’ll also need to dedicate time to the ongoing management of your operations. This aspect is all about making sure processes are running as efficiently as possible. How can you maximise profit and minimise expenses?

Often, operations management involves reviewing employee practices, negotiating with suppliers and making sure you have contingencies in place before crises hit. 

If you’re considering turning your business into a franchise and appointing investors to launch additional units under your branding, you’ll need to create an operations manual. This document will tell franchisees exactly how to run their branches to keep your business operating consistently across the board. 

4. Accounting and financial management 

As a business owner, you’ll need to know which records to keep and the procedures for monitoring financial activity. You may need to borrow money to fund the set-up process, and establish good budgeting practices to make sure you don’t default on repayments. 

When you write your business plan, you should also be thinking about your budget. How long will it take to reach your break-even point and what profit margin will you be able to achieve? As a prospective franchisee, you should brush up your knowledge on the associated fees, as well as the taxes you’ll need to pay. 

See our guide on building a budget or find out about the benefits of hiring an accountant to manage business finances for you.

A lot of start-ups tend to spend money on unnecessary things... Spend as little as possible when you start and only on the things that are essential for the business to grow and be a success. Luxuries can come when you're established.
- Jean Paldan, Rare Form New Media founder and CEO

5. People management 

As the saying goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link - so hire wisely. Your employees are the face of your business, and often the people who interact directly with customers, so implementing an effective recruitment process should be one of your top priorities. 

Create clear job descriptions to attract the most appropriate candidates for the roles and learn how to structure a great interview. Also, work on developing a high-quality training scheme, so each new recruit has the skills to succeed. 

There’s a great selection of cloud-based software packages out there to aid the people management process, so it’s worth researching your options if you intend to build a team. 

6. Sales & marketing

The approach you take towards sales and marketing will heavily depend on the type of business you run, but there’s a vast quantity of information and advice on the internet to help you boost your conversion figures. 

One sure-fire way to maximise sales income is to focus on making sure the customer experience is as good as it can possibly be. If consumers feel valued, enjoy using your business and can easily access the products or services they’re looking for, you’re doing your job well. Here’s our guide on how to deliver great customer service

As for marketing, you have lots of choice, from social media posts to Google Ads to television commercials. Finding the right method for your business will involve reviewing your budget, target audience and objectives. See our marketing guides below to make sure you don’t miss any key steps. 

7. Business growth 

You might like to breathe a sigh of relief and give yourself a pat on the back once you’ve celebrated launch day and initiated your marketing campaign. But don’t rest for too long. If you don’t want to fall behind your competitors, you must concentrate on growing and developing your business. 

Our comprehensive guide covers 10 foolproof ways to scale your organisation, from introducing customer incentives to establishing business partnerships. As part of your expansion strategy, you might also like to consider encouraging a sense of local goodwill by holding a charity fundraising event

Tips for business owners 

If you’re ready to mark this year’s National Entrepreneurship Month by launching your own business, you might like to browse our other informative guides. Alternatively, use the search box to find articles on a specific topic.

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