Of course you can! You’ll improve your chances of success if you do background assessment and planning and ask for help when it’s needed.However, the most important success factor is that your idea must ultimately have demand. It must either solve a problem or satisfy a need; this in turn will create a market.

You are right about the expense of market research companies. In general, this can be an expensive approach but there are some things you can do yourself to make a market determination.

Basic questions you must answer include:

  • Who are likely customers?
  • How can you reach these customers?
  • How much will these customers pay for your product or service?
  • How should the product or service be marketed?
  • Who is the competition?

A business plan is a structured document that is a sales pitch for your new or expanding business that you will use when attempting to obtain bank loans.

The business structure that you choose will have legal and tax implications.

Most small businesses are formed as sole proprietorships. The advantages of sole proprietorship are its simplicity and the fact that business income is treated the same as personal income for tax purposes. A significant disadvantage is that you, the owner, assume personal liability for the actions of the business.

Other types of business entities are

  • Private Limited Company
  • Public Limited Company
  • Unlimited Company
  • Partnership

As much as you can reasonably afford, and in an amount to at least carry you for 6-9 months with no income. What you will find is that it always takes you longer to get revenues, and that you will experience more expenses than you anticipated.

Some of the challenges are:

  • Shortage of capital and cash flow
  • Having a good business plan
  • Coming up with a great product or service
  • Sticking to it
  • Working more than you expected
  • Hiring good employees
  • Knowing when to fire bad employees
  • Having to do many things
  • Managing your time
  • Maintaining some kind of work/life balance

Some of the mistakes are:

  • Not starting with enough capital
  • Thinking that success will come quickly
  • Not carefully budgeting
  • Not focusing on the quality of the product or service
  • Underestimating the importance of sales and marketing
  • Not adapting or iterating quickly enough
  • Not understanding the competitive landscape
  • Ignoring legal and contract matters
  • Hiring the wrong employees
  • Mispricing the product or service
  • Underestimating the power of word of mouth publicity by the customer – good or bad

It will depend on the nature of the business. To find out the list of licences or registrations required for your business type, please go to…

Some of the important ones are listed below:

  • Financial Statements (Balance SheetProfit and Loss Account and Cash Flow Statement)
  • Inventory records
  • Accounts Receivable Records
  • Accounts Payable Records
  • Employee records
  • Tax filings and records
  • Invoices & contracts
  • Bank accounts
  • Creditor records