This may seem like a strange time to be starting out with your own business, but you’d be surprised at the opportunities out there. Although there are a lot of companies struggling and laying off employees; it is a good time to be thinking about a small business. However, you must do your research first as failure to fully understand the market position could result in a great big failure and financial ruin for yourself.

Your first step is to sort out your business idea- sit down and think about what you can do. How long you can allocate to it – for example, would this be a full time business or just part time? What amount of hours will you dedicate each week to the job? Once you have the basis of a business, you must next have all do your market research. Is there already a similar business running in the area and would you be competing with them? How long have they been established? If you find there is already a similar business or service that has been in operation for a lot longer, then you will probably be better to rethink the idea. When you have an idea though, market research is the part that a lot of people find boring. However, overall it is the best way to get a feel for your idea.

Market research can be done a number of ways. The most common is to approach people in shopping malls and ask if they can spare you some time for a survey. If you explain what your research is, for example, to see if there is a niche in the market for what you are proposing. This is the best way to gauge public opinion in your area for your business proposal. You can word the questions in an open manner so they are not restricted to yes or no type answers. Hopefully this will give you the information you need. And if you find you have struck a gap in the market you should get a lot more answers on the positive side.

Next, to progress on having found there is a need for your product, service or business, you will need to formulate a business plan. This step is vital if you are going to approach any financial institution in an attempt to acquire funding for your idea. A poorly constructed business plan will get you shown the door pretty quickly. So ensure it is fully explained and has realistic projections. Again, anything that is badly worked out for monetary return will not be considered by the banks for funding. You do need to make sure your figures are correct. Check, double check, triple check the figures before your present your business plan. Include your market research within the business plan as this shows you have already done that part and know that the service, business or product will be filling a consumer need. You will need a cool head when presenting your plan, as you are likely to be asked a lot of questions that you may not have thought of beforehand. Be prepared to answer them the best way you can.

Hopefully, once you have presented your business plan you will be granted funding and be able to take your idea forward into reality.