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How to start an SME in the home improvement industry



Franchising | Hot Tips | Opinion | Small Business | SME Inspiration | Startup

By Guest Author

Australian entrepreneurs oftentimes have a dream of starting a business that can grow into a small to medium size enterprise (SME) and perhaps even be suitable for franchising at a future point in time. The home improvement industry is one arena in which a skilful and tenacious Australian entrepreneur may be interested in starting a vibrant SME.

There are some strategies to bear in mind when it comes to starting an SME in the home improvement industry that has potential for growth.

Building the Foundation: Crafting a Business Plan

Although this may seem like a common-sense element of starting an SME, many entrepreneurs actually overlook developing a more formalised business plan. By their very nature, entrepreneurs are creative types who love the excitement of starting a new venture. Many find it difficult to sit down and develop a meaningful business plan on paper. They tend to want to be doing rather than plotting.

With that understood, creating a detailed business plan is a necessary element of creating and launching an SME in the home improvement industry. A business plan is something of a roadmap that lays out the initial course a start-up SME is to take. This includes a comprehensive budget with revenue and expense projections that extend out typically somewhere between three to five years.

Developing a Comprehensive Marketing Plan

In addition to creating a business plan as part of starting an SME in the home improvement industry, an entrepreneur must also develop a marketing plan. The marketing plan typically should be comprehensive by nature. In other words, it should not have traditional and new media components. For example, an SME marketing plan can include an element involving the use of newspaper ads as well as taking advantage of different social media platforms.

By taking a comprehensive approach, by using different marketing and promotional resources, a start-up SME has the best chance to reach its targeted audience. With that noted, determining what specific market niche the entrepreneur wants to connect with represents another key element of the marketing plan.

Finding a Market Niche in the Home Improvement Industry 

A key to finding success in starting an SME that it is capable of being franchised is finding a niche within the industry. Merely starting an enterprise that is said to be involved in the home improvement industry generally is less apt to enjoy success in either the short or long term. In this day and age, businesses that start with an objective of serving a specifically identified market niche tend to be the ones that ultimately enjoy the most success.

For example, a creative entrepreneur could start an SME that focuses on concrete polishing and related activities. By developing a reputation for providing quality concrete polishing and providing customers with attractive polished concrete floors, an SME will enjoy an ever increasing customer flow. In addition, this type of niche marketing efforts aims at something specific like polished concrete floors, which gives the SME a springboard upon which the enterprise can be transitioned to a franchise operation.

Networking Strategies

As part of developing an SME, an entrepreneur needs to dedicate time networking with other business owner, vendors and the like. This process assists a new enterprise in gaining traction.

Networking opportunities actually abound in this day and age in Australia. From involvement in different community organizations to participating in industry and trade shows, a start-up SME with an eye of becoming a franchise operation in the future can make positive gains through the networking process.

Legal Assistance with an Eye of Franchising an SME

The laws governing the establishment of a franchise business in Australia are rather complex. The reality is that an entrepreneur without a law background lacks the experience and resources necessary to set up the structures necessary to turn a SME in the home improvement industry into a franchise.

By way of example, when an entrepreneur wants to take an SME to the next level, he or she must provide prospective franchisees with a comprehensive and highly extensive set of legal disclosures. The laws across Australia are very specific and highly technical about what needs to be included in these disclosures. The failure to properly make these disclosures to a prospective franchisee can result in seriously negative consequences for an entrepreneur and franchisor.

There are attorneys across Australia that do specialise, not only in business law matters, but also in franchise laws. These attorneys provide vital assistance to entrepreneurs involved in the development of an SME aiming for a franchise operation. Typically, these attorneys will schedule a no cost and no obligation initial consultation with entrepreneurs to discuss and analyse objectives             .

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About the Author:

Fonthip Ward, Multimedia Manager at My Floor.

My Floor is a flourishing Brisbane company that has its sights set on expansion into Sydney and the rest of New South Wales. Aside from being an expert on all things flooring and multimedia, Fonthip is a keen photographer, keeping scrapbooks of her favourite snaps and uploading them to sharing sites.