Are you keen to jump into the world of entrepreneurship, but unsure of how to start a business in 2021?

The prospect may seem daunting at first. What if I don’t get clients? How will I fund my business? How do I know my business is sustainable in the long run?

With all these questions in mind — the only way to know for certain is to go out and put in the work. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos didn’t make a multi-billion company out of thin air, nor did the owner of that small corner side cafe down the block.

Still, a framework of starting a business can help set you up for success. Here are the things you need to know before starting a business in 2021.

Formulate a Killer Business Plan

Philip Kotler, a great marketer, once said: “You should never go to battle before you’ve won the war on paper.” And that statement couldn’t be even more true.

Contrary to popular belief, steps towards a business success don’t solely come from immediate exposure to clients. A business hinges its success on a properly established plan too.

An entrepreneur needs a proper business plan to oversee all business angles and ensure that its operations are feasible. The plan aligns them with the business’s core mission and main objectives – whether it’s in the short-term or the long-term. This doesn’t just benefit you and your employees. VC investors, lenders, and other people with financial interests also base high-stakes decisions on the soundness of the plan too.

If you’re overwhelmed, there are many great startup resources and services aimed to help people like you. For instance, Legal Vision NZ Startup Lawyers are trained to talk to investors and provide legal advice, from corporate governance to capital raising.

Perform Market Research

The business is not a self-serving entity; your customers are the lifeblood of the business. While you may be wanting to jump a gun and sell goods or services right away, it’s a good idea to wrap your head around your customers’ needs first.

As this is the case, it’s vital to base business decisions on generating customer value. And the way to determine your customer’s interests is by performing market research and analysis.

Thinking like a customer is a solid approach. If you’re looking to start a business but don’t know about what exactly to sell, it’s a good idea to start with the things that you know and love. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’d know what fishing poles and lures work best and what flops compared to someone who’s never fished a day in their life. That could be a start.

That said, a surefire way to provide value to customers is by performing in-depth market research. Knowing how to communicate with your customers makes your brand more genuine and authentic — which grows and scales your business at a rapid pace.

Numbers Mean Everything

While you may be in awe by the snazzy storefronts of small business shops, or the hip, on-point branding voice behind an online store’s social media page — what drives it towards success is the consistent and clever allocation of cash inflows and outflows. Numbers aren’t just present in the accounting team’s desk, they appear in every facet of the business. This includes:

Projected profits
Monthly Sales
Fixed and Variable Costs
Impressions and Engagements
Financial Ratios

With numbers present in operations, marketing, and accounting all utilising numbers to make decisions, it’s crucial, as the CEO, to ensure that you and your company are always on top of your business’s figures instead of having no clear, quantifiable basis.