There are three key elements to starting up, research, planning and finance which are outlined below and should be incorporated within a business plan. Carrying out these will not guarantee your success but will certainly increase your chances and give you a good foundation on which to build and grow.
Starting any new venture and developing your enterprise idea is exciting, but for some it can also seem daunting and overwhelming. We can support and guide you through the start up process:
You will need to research your target market to determine that there is a real need and that people will use your product or service. This can also be useful in fine-tuning your ideas. There are a number of ways to research your target market including questionnaires and focus groups. Look at others who may be providing a similar service/your competitors and what they offer, and decide what makes you different from them.
Our advisers can provide some initial research guidance and advice, whilst our Research Team will be pleased to help you with more in-depth and bespoke research.
Once you have your enterprise idea, and know there is a market for your intended product or service, you will need to plan how it will be delivered. This includes where will you be located, what if any premises do you need, how many staff or volunteers, how will you tell people about your social enterprise, how will you raise finance (grants, loans, contracts and/or trade), what prices will you charge, how will you manage demand. The results from your research will also be incorporated in the business plan
Our Advisers can provide you with guidance and advice.
From researching and planning you will be able to determine how much initial start-up funding you will need and how long this will last until you receive any income. Your research will have given an indication of how many people intend to use the service/product and how often. From this you can make some realistic financial assumptions. If you receive grant funding you will be able to determine how long the funding will sustain your enterprise activities.
There are a number of ways to potentially raise finance and our advisers will be able to explain the options available as well as guiding you through financial forecasting.