Starting a business from scratch is no easy feat, and can be extremely arduous at times. However, a degree, a six-digit amount in your bank, or prior experience is not necessary for starting a business that will be successful in the long run. It takes a lot of discipline, perseverance, and a ton of trial and error in order to achieve success. It requires a strong business plan and strategy, and the willpower to stick with it through the good and the bad. If you are looking into becoming an entrepreneur, this article gives you a step by step guide to starting your own business from your budding genius idea.
This the most basic and fundamental step before you put your plan into action. Ask yourself the most essential question: Why do you want to start a business? Are you simply bored of your job? Or do you hope to make big bucks quick? Figure out where your mind is at and think through carefully whether you are starting your business for the right reasons. Once you have gotten your answers, be completely honest as you move on to these questions. What skills do you have? Where does your passion lie? How much capital does it require? Will you be able to adapt to the new lifestyle? These questions will help to propel you in the right direction as you slowly brainstorm and think about whether you are ready to start your own company.
Brainstorm for business ideas
The next step requires you to think of a business idea that you would like to start with. Here are some areas where you can explore:
- What’s the next step for society? Think of recent technological advancements that you think you can get ahead of
- Identify societal problems. Brainstorm possible problems that an everyday person is facing, and think of a solution to the problem.
- What are your skills? Use your current skills and apply them in a suitable field by thinking of innovative alternatives to existing products and services.
- Think better, cheaper, faster. Improve the efficiency of services and products, and improve on existing services and products.
Do your research
Do your own research regarding your potential business plan and learn more about what other companies are doing. If there are similar services or products, is there a way that you can improve on it or offer it at a more competitive price? Or if there is no one doing it yet, can you think of possible reasons why? To take an extra step, you can also interview or give surveys to the people around you by identifying their needs and expectations in that field. Gather as much information as you can about your field of expertise before delving into your business plan. Be sure to also research the best tools and apps like a Pay Stub Generator to streamline the processes of your potential business and make it efficient.
Before formally entering the market, share with others on the services that you will be providing or allow your friends to try their hands at your new product. Give them the opportunity to give you feedback, and allow them to be a fresh set of eyes for you. Gathering feedback from other people will help you to see your product or service from a new perspective, allowing you to spot flaws or loopholes in your new business plan.
Make it official
After finalizing the service or product that you want to sell, it is time to make it official. Settle all the administrative issues regarding your new company as soon as possible to get it out of the way. Taking care of these technical matters will help you to focus more on your business plan instead of stressing over the legal matters. Some of these include your business structure, business name, registering your business, state tax ID, Federal tax ID, permits, licenses, necessary bank accounts, trademarks, copyrights, and patents.
Write your business plan
Penning down your detailed business plan from the start to finish will help you to focus on your end goal and keep you focused. The challenge is to keep it detailed enough but yet maintaining its conciseness. Some aspects that you should cover are your executive summary, business description, marketing strategies, competitive analysis, design, and development plan, operations and management plan, and your financial factors. A general guideline is to keep each section at about three pages long. It is the piece of document that is the most important, so be sure to update it as you develop and expand your business.
Finance your business
Now it is time to lock your capital down. Evaluate your own resources and circumstances to determine how much money you can fork out yourself. If you do not have enough capital, you can consider other alternatives like a bank loan, applying for a small-business grant, starting a crowdfunding page, solicit venture capital investors, or trade equity or services for some monetary aid. There are so many ways to garner monetary aid, so be resourceful!
Develop your product or service
Taking the time to thoroughly develop your product or service is one of the most crucial steps. Do take note that certain expertise is out of your capabilities and hence, it is important to engage professionals to help you with your business product or service. The key is to ensure that your product is simple and of good quality — do not opt for lesser quality materials just because they are cheap. This stage takes a lot of trial and error, and most people do not get their desired outcome on the first try. Continue to gather feedback and improve on your product, and be sure to give yourself time to fully maximize the capabilities of your product or service.
Build your team
After finalizing your product and service details down to its nitty-gritty, it is time to form your A star team. One of the most important things is to brief them on our business goals to ensure that they are on the same page. They should always be ready to adapt and manage their given responsibilities while making sure that they give their best. Another important aspect is to establish a good company culture by creating a positive working environment. The more they enjoy working, the more effort they are going to put in to help your business soar to greater heights.
Search for a suitable location
Finding a suitable location is indeed very important, as it can determine how well your sales are, especially if you are looking to open a store. Some factors you should consider include the demographics, amount of foot traffic, amenities nearby, accessibility and parking, competition in the area, and the rent. Though this is not an exhaustive list, getting to know if the location is suitable for your business will set you in the right direction.
Reel in some sales
It’s finally time to open your business. At this stage, since it is the early days, you may not be getting many profits. Therefore, you should not feel discouraged or demoralized. Continue to get feedback from your customers, and avoid being pushy and too persistent when you market your products. Another tip is to not be afraid of rejection — hearing more no’s than yeses is indeed inevitable, but don’t sweat it, it is part and parcel of starting a business.
Expand your business
When your business starts becoming stable for a period of time, you may want to start expanding and growing your business. This can come in many forms — acquiring another business, opening up a few more branches, expanding your offerings, and more. However, do not just jump the boat and mindlessly expand your business before coming up with a new and improved business plan. Be sure to get your fundamentals right and start again with a new approach.
These steps are just the basics of starting a business. Though it may seem simple, it requires many years of experimenting and planning before your business plan can come to fruition. With the willpower to power through and the passion to kickstart and sustain your business, you will definitely reach success in the long run.