Blog entry

Don't put the cart before the Horse

 Building a Foundation Market Research and Business Plans 

Do not do things in the wrong order. Putting the cart before the horse is doing something in the opposite or reverse order”

In the initial stage of Business Startup, often new entrepreneurs get anxious and they want to jump right from the “idea phase” to opening day but passion and financing are not enough to build a solid foundation for your small business startup. Skipping the foundation steps, horsing around and not taking the time to build a solid business foundation could end up closing your doors in the same year you opened them. If you take the time to invest in your business the business will become a good investment for you.

 Business startup is a step by step process, once you have completed one step then you move onto the next. A first step in Business startup is to evaluate and determine whether or not yours is a viable business idea. This phase blends into the Market Research phase. This is where you research and identify your target market.

  • Who are you customers?
  • Where will you set up your business?
  • Will you open a storefront, sell your product/ services online or work from home?
  • Is there local competition, if so how does your business differ, will you offer different product or services?
  • What will make your business unique to the community?
  • Compare your strengths to their weaknesses, and vice versa, what are their strengths and your weaknesses?
  • What are the spending habits of your target customer and how do you plan to price your product or services?

This stage is where you must put a significant amount of thought and effort, into leaving “no stone unturned”. This is your investigative stage, ask all the questions you can think of and find the answers. Once you are satisfied that you have exhausted all avenues of your  market research now you can move forward and make informed decisions that will help guide the startup of your new business.

The next step in the foundation of your business startup is to use your market research information to assist in writing up your Business Plan. A Business Plan is vital to your small business startup and it takes time to create and form your business plan. The time dedicated during the development phase and prior to opening will be the time you may not have later if your business runs into obstacles. When constructing your business plan, observe the SWOT analysis model (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).  This will be important for your business plan if you are looking for potential investors  and will show that you have thoroughly done your research. Your business plan should describe your business, its objectives and strategies. It is a diagram to forecast the strengths, weaknesses and financial outlooks of your business, and to illustrate how your business will launch, operate and grow. While working on your business startup, you may find that you will require 3rd party investors or start up financing; this is where your due diligence with market research and businesses plan development will work to your advantage to secure funding. Generally to be considered for funding through a financial institution you must indicate that you have full understanding of your business ability to grow and generate profit. Your business plan will not guarantee financing but since it has so many different advantages to your business it is an important step not to skip and remember to take the time to upgrade and modernize the plan as your business grows and changes. 

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About Community Futures

For over 25 years, we’ve been fostering entrepreneurship in rural BC. We offer small business loans, business counseling and specialized programs to help you start or grow a business, and to help communities become more resilient and dynamic.

266 Oliver Street
Williams Lake, BC
V2G 1M1

Phone: (250)392-3626
Toll free: (888)879-5399
Fax: (250)392-4813