By: Brendan Small, CEO of SpotGo
Thinking of starting a small business of your own? If any, now is the perfect time to begin percolating ideas for what the world might be missing (we certainly have plenty of time on our hands).
It can be quite overwhelming at first, figuring out where to begin, who best to talk to, and whether your strategy is destined for success. Whilst there’s no magic formula for quickly and confidently achieving your business goals, I want to impart my top 5 non-negotiables for setting up your small business plan.
- Find your niche.
Know the market, and identify whether there is a gap or opportunity perfectly fit to your brand. Determine your ideal customer and get to know the target demographic. Study your competitors and recognise where their strengths and weaknesses lie. There will no doubt be setbacks along the way, but consider each and every one as a crucial learning curve. Ensure you’re passionate about what you’re putting forward – this is key! Knowledge will always point you in the right direction but you need to have unwavering ambition to really cut through the noise.
- Write a detailed business plan.
It is absolutely crucial to have a business plan in place. This will help steer your business from the go to grow phase, allow you to acknowledge business milestones, and it can also help to identify potential funding opportunities via banks or investors in the beginning stages. A business plan should ideally include the following: market research, marketing strategies, short term goals, long term goals, finances, budgeting, margins, your competitors, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threats, then finish it off with your mission statement. It’s important to note there is no right or wrong way to write up a business plan, just visit it regularly to recognise what you have achieved and what you still need to work towards. This is something you can always add to, but don’t ever delete it – you need to know what worked and what didn’t in order to move forward with new strategies.
- Assess your finances before you begin.
Starting a business requires a fair amount of funding, and truth be told, you will need to spend a lot of money before you even see any profit. Don’t overspend on unnecessary items to begin with, I recommend you start small and expand as and when your revenue grows.
- Don’t be afraid to seek out advice.
Look for a mentor or advisor for the whole start-up process. Google, of course, is a very handy resource, however networking within your industry is especially important, as you will learn other people’s approaches, experiences, and prior knowledge. Seek legal advice to ensure you protect yourself and your brand, while also ensuring you are following legal guidelines. Get to know your accountant as they will also be able to guide and manage your finances throughout your entire small business journey, as well as advising the state, federal and local taxes you need to abide by.
- Develop a strong working structure.
Put in the hard yards right off the bat; running a small business can sometimes feel impossible but with efficient working structures and systems in place, you won’t lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing. For SpotGo especially, this is a family owned and run household cleaning business. People will tell you it’s tough but with open communication throughout it all, you find it’s just about the most passionate team you can build. Loved ones want the best for you and the best for the business.
Keep control of your business, the structure, the team, and don’t try to grow faster than you can handle, it’s all about the long-term so try to enjoy the ride.
Born into the Commercial Cleaning and Carpet Cleaning industry, Brendan eventually took over the family business with the endeavour to infiltrate the domestic market. Following new business growth and an expanding product range, Brendan has since secured distribution with some of the largest retailers in Australia; SpotGo’s sights firmly set on becoming the leading household cleaning company in Australia, and internationally.
SpotGo is home to a range of premium household cleaning products that actually do what they claim to do; removing stubborn spots and stains from carpet, windows, tiles and more. Proudly Australian made and owned, with over 50 years experience in commercial and household cleaning, SpotGo’s unwavering commitment to providing easy solutions has seen the family business emerge via nationwide distribution. Available at Woolworths and NOW Coles nationwide, head to www.spotgo.com.au to explore the entire range.