There are three main things that you need before you can start a business. These are skill, knowledge and ready cash. But even before these three things, you must have the entrepreneurial spirit: a desire to own your own business, be your own boss and make your own working hours.
While other people will take longer than you to start a business of their own owing to their laziness or lack of self-confidence, you could go ahead and kick-start that business idea of yours immediately. Here are some steps you should follow for success.
STEP 1: GET STARTED
The first step is figuring out if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, or deciding whether you should start your own business at all. Are You Ready To Be an Entrepreneur? You have come up with an idea, so what are the next steps? Build your business baby — also known as a business plan.
It will help you take your idea and write it out so that you can lay out exactly how and when you want to start your business. It’s the first step in terms of starting any business and is absolutely essential if you want to launch quickly and successfully. Even if you have a plan, update it if it’s not recent or thorough enough.
STEP 2: FIND YOUR NICHE
There are billions of business, small and large, operating in the world, and that number grows every year. The sheer volume of potential customers is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed when they think about starting their own business, but there’s no need to be intimidated.
At least not yet—you still have plenty of time to find your niche. It doesn’t matter if you want to start an independent consulting firm or a neighborhood barbershop; there’s something out there for you.
Start by looking at what people around you already like doing. Do they love watching sports? Are they constantly talking about their favorite TV shows? Chances are good that if people love one thing, there’s probably room for another business doing it better or differently somewhere nearby. If you can identify a gap in existing services, then go after it! Remember: success starts with finding a solution to a problem.
To help get started on identifying your unique selling proposition (USP), here are some questions to ask yourself: Why should someone hire me instead of someone else? What am I really good at? What do I enjoy doing most? How can I use my strengths and interests to create value for others? When will I start my business?
STEP 3: CREATE AN MVP
(Minimum Viable Product) – In order to start your business, you need to have something that can be sold. For example, if you’re starting a business that will have t-shirts for sale, then you’ll need at least one physical prototype of your shirt design. Or if you’re creating an app, then you’ll need an app that works on paper with real pictures or wireframes rather than simply in PowerPoint.
These prototypes (which is not necessarily what they look like — it could just be an explanation of how things would work) are called Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). An MVP helps validate your idea: if people are willing to pay money for it and use it, then chances are that it’s something worth working on further.
STEP 4: BUILD YOUR PRODUCT
As you research your idea and validate that it is viable, move towards deciding what it will be and how you’ll produce it. Identify: core features, competitors, market size and addressable audience (demographics). Build an MVP (minimum viable product) to test out your assumptions and then build out your team.
Hire salespeople first. Choose co-founders who are better than you at some critical aspect of starting a business or managing people. For example, if you don’t have someone on board who can keep up with all of customer support, you could very well destroy your own company before it even gets off the ground.
STEP 5: LAUNCH IT
Once you have a great idea, you’re ready to go public with it. Launching your business is exciting — but if you’re not prepared, it can also be stressful.Consider these tips before you open your doors:
Get a business license. Don’t wait until after you’ve opened for business to learn about licenses, permits and insurance requirements. You need to know what’s required for your type of business and location. Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
Create a secure website. If you want to get paid online, you’ll need to accept credit card payments through a payment processing service such as PayPal or Square. These services are safe and generally inexpensive.
Choose a name for your business and do a trademark search. A great business name is the beginning of a great brand. Don’t limit yourself to something that describes what you do — think in terms of how your brand will grow. Check whether the name is available as a web address and make sure that no one else is already using it on social media sites (Twitter, Facebook and so on).
Even if you don’t plan on selling what you’re creating, there are plenty of other ways to release something publically: publishing ebooks, writing guest posts, sharing videos on YouTube. When you launch something publically and build up some buzz around your brand or idea people are going to start talking about it and they’re going to remember who started it all—that person is going to be you.
STEP 6: REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS
Choosing a business name is important, but it isn’t enough. Your customers won’t trust you or come back if you just have an idea; they need proof that you are capable of following through. That means being registered as a business. If you start your business as an LLC or a Corp, your customers will take you more seriously because they know it takes more than just good ideas to run an effective company.
Customers want to do business with people and companies they can trust, so having some legal backing is key when starting any kind of new business. It makes sure that everyone knows what’s going on and it helps ward off potential problems in business deals and relationships down the road. And, let’s be honest—it’s also just good for branding purposes!
STEP 7: GROW YOUR CUSTOMER BASE
Branding, marketing and public relations are key components of starting any business. When you’re first getting started, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. You want people who will buy your product or service and make repeat purchases — not just one-time users. But with each new client comes brand awareness and word-of-mouth advertising that spreads to other potential customers.
While there’s no magic formula for boosting your customer base, here are some pointers:* Choose a niche market: A small audience is much easier to reach than a large one. Determine where your customers spend time online — say in Reddit forums or Instagram — then join those communities with targeted content.
Starting a business is a powerful step towards building something you care about that can support you financially. These are just a few steps to begin with. In another article, we will talk about some of these steps in details such as registering your business or funding. When you work for someone else, there’s only so much you can do. As an employee, you can’t change the way the company is run. You can’t hire who you want and fire who you don’t. You can’t set your own hours or wages.
But when you start your own business, all of that changes. You’re in charge. Your success depends on your actions: how hard you work, how well you strategize, and how much money you make for the company. In a business of your own, your value to the company is directly correlated to its success—success that is dependent on YOUR actions and YOUR decisions rather than someone else’s.
ARE YOU READY TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
If you have an idea, today is the day to start working on it. Most of the great stories that we know from successful entrepreneurs involve them getting started early.
The sooner that you begin, the sooner that you can finish, which will lead to something great becoming reality. And whether you want to eventually open a store front, or just sell through an ecommerce channel, don’t let your dream stop at a dream. Get up and take action, and turn your dream into reality.
Also do you need a website for your business or a blog, CONTACT US to get it free. However, terms and conditions apply.