How to Start A Business

There are no limits to becoming a great entrepreneur. That also doesn’t require you to have a college degree, business experience, or a bunch of money to enable you to start something that will be the next major success. To achieve that, you need to come up with a strong plan that can drive you to success.

In case you’re on Entrepreneur, you have an added advantage. But, you should learn how to build your empire.

In this article, you will learn and understand steps that will guide you into starting and running a successful business.

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Step 1: Hone Your Idea

You may pivot and even take different tangents where you can add products later. But the crucial thing is to clarify your idea. That is essential before you invest your time plowing ahead.

You should, therefore, be clear on:

  • The reasons why you need to be a business owner and an entrepreneur
  • Why launch the specific business you have in mind
  • Whether the business will be a small one or fast-growth startup
  • The big challenge you want to solve in the market
  • There is a demand for what you intend to offer or build

Before you start your business, never allow yourself to become bogged down. That might make you miss a great window opportunity. Speed and execution, on the other hand,  will be far essential than the fine polishing. Remember also that a business is never perfect, but always evolving.

Step 2: Think About Your Business Idea

You should have in your mind a killer business idea. With that, it will help you progress into the next section. However, if you don’t have an idea, there are numerous ways to brainstorm for a good idea. There are potential business ideas that you have to break down.

To know whether your idea can work, ask yourself about the technology or advancement that will come soon. How will that change your business landscape? After that, you can now go ahead with the curve by fixing something that bugs you.

Most people would prefer fewer bad things instead of better things. If you know your business can help to fix this problem for the customers, they’ll be thankful for it.

Besides, you also apply the skills you possess to a new field. A set of your eyes afresh into such a new perspective can bring the difference. But, you have to use a better, cheaper, and faster approach.

In case your business idea isn’t completely new, you have to think in regards to the current offerings. That will help you focus on creating something cheaper, faster, and better.

Step 3. Conduct a Market Research

Market research helps you to know whether there is another competitor doing what you want to start doing. In case there is no one, there should be a good reason as to that.

During the research, look about your potential partners and rivals within your geographical market. That has to do with your business objectives and the methods you want to utilize. For example, when doing research, you might conduct interviews face to face or via telephone. Besides, other methods such as surveys and questionnaires are also effective methods. Some of the questions you need to know are areas that need improvement or factors considered before purchasing a specific product.

You should avoid the common mistakes that most business people make during their market research. These mistakes are:
  • Surveying the people you only know
  • Using only online research or/and
  • Using only secondary research

Step 4: Get Feedback

It is essential to get feedback about your product or services. To achieve this, you have to let people interact with what you offer and then see their take on it. With a new set of eyes, that will help you to point out something that was missing. Besides, such people will be your first brand advocates after listening to their input and liking the product. 

The best and easiest way that you can utilize your feedback is by focusing on “the lean” startup approach. That involves three basic pillars that include experimenting, prototyping, and pivoting. It, therefore, needs you to push out your product, get feedback from customers, and adapt before you can push out another product. It will help you to constantly improve and ensure you stay relevant.

You will also realize that some of the advice you get, solicited or not can be good. Some will not be. That is the reason its essential to have a plan on how you receive the feedback.

Step 5: Acquire Official Documents

The next step is to get all the legal documents earlier. With that, no one will take your big idea, suing you for something unexpected, or screwing your over for a partnership. Some of the quick checklist things might include:

  • A business structure such as a partnership, LLC or corporation
  • A business name
  • State tax ID
  • Federal Tax ID
  • Registering a business
  • Permits
  • Relevant bank account
  • License
  • Trademarks, copyrights or patents

The next step is to get all the legal documents earlier. With that, no one will take your big idea, suing you for something unexpected, or screwing your over for a partnership. Some of the quick checklist things might include:

Step 6: Write a Business Plan

In any business idea you have, you need a plan.

For a business plan, it should be a well-written document that shows how your business will evolve.

In a business plan, it can cover everything in 20 to 30 pages. There is also an added 10 pages that you have to insert the management resumes, appendices for monthly projections, and other relevant details. A good summarized business plan should be less than 40 pages long.

In a good business plan, it should include:

Title page

In this section, start with the name of the business.

Executive summary

This should be a high-level summary of your plan. It should touch on your company's description, solving the problems, and why consider the business.

Business description

The section will cover the kind of business you want and how the industry looks like. It also tells how the business will look in the future.

Market strategies

Consider your target market and the best ways you can sell at a specified geographical market.

Competitive analysis

Indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors. How you plan to beat them with your products or services.

Design and development plan

Here, describe about your product or service and how to develop them. You also have to create a budget for what you are offering.

Operations and management plan

How the business functions daily should be put in this section.

Finance factors

Where will the money to start a business come from, when, and how?

Step 7: Business Finance

Depending on your business plan, there are numerous ways of acquiring resources for starting a business. There are also various financial founders that can help you start up your business.

You should take a look and then consider the resources, circumstances, and state of life before deciding on the best financial method that will work best for your business.

Here are some of the best ways to fund your startup business:

Fund It Yourself: Bootstrapping the business might take long but the best part is that you will control your destiny

Pitch From Friends and Family: sometimes, its hard to separate your business with personal relationships. If you plan to get loans this is the best straightforward decision

Business grants: look for some business grants. It will be a process but won’t cost you any money.

Bank loan: you can get a bank loan if you can qualify. After you will meet the requirements, they will help you to fund your business.

Step 8: Develop The Product Or Service

This is an essential part as your idea will come into life. However, remember that it will take you to a village when you want to create a product. For example, if you’re creating an app, and you’re not an expert, you will have to reach a technical person.

When crafting a product, there are two things you should focus on quality and simplicity. You don’t have to make the cheapest product even after lowering the manufacturing cost. The main reason is to have a product that will grab someone’s attention fast.  

If you’re ready to develop the product by outsourcing some tasks ensure that you retain control of that product and lead constantly. Also, you have to implement checks and balances because they help you to reduce your risk. In addition, remember to hire a specialist and not generalists. That means you need people who are aware of the thing you want but not a jack-of-all-trades type.

Step 9: Build Your Team

Scaling your business will make you hand off some responsibilities to other relevant workers. You need to have a team.

Depending on the team you want, such as a partner, freelancer, or employee, check at these tips to help you find a perfect fit:

State your objectives clearly

Make sure that everyone will understand your vision and the roles they have to play.

Follow hiring protocols

There are a lot of things to consider with the hiring process. Such as asking the correct questions, having proper forms, and screening them.

Establish a strong working culture

You have to consider the building blocks and have a great culture. A great culture should respect and empower the employees via multiple channels such as mentor-ship and training.

Step 10: Look for a Location

A location could be an office or store depending on the type of business. So, the priorities have to differ with what you need. When looking for a location, consider these tips:

Style Of Operation

you should ensure that the location has become consistent with your specific image and style.​

Demographics

you should start by determining your customers. Also, consider the proximity of the location.

Foot traffic

in case you want people to visit your store, it has to be easy to find. Also, remember that some best areas have dead spots

Competition

it is good to have competitors nearby but not at all times. After you have done your market research, you will determine one that suits you

Accessibility and parking

you should ensure your business is accessible and has somewhere to park. Don't let customers go somewhere else because you don't have a parking

Rent, utilities, and extra costs

at your expense, rent is the costliest facility. Also, check at the utilities and see whether they have been included in your lease or not. You don't have to start with a price and then come to realize you need extra costs later.

Step 11: Start Making Sales

All businesses or industries have a future that depends on revenue and sales. There are many different sales techniques and strategies to employ, but live by these tenets:

Listen – if you will listen to the customers or clients, you can learn what they want. So, ask for commitment and avoid being pushy about it.

Don’t be afraid to hear – most customers or clients you will deal with are too polite. That is why they allow you to make your pitch even when no one is interested to buy. So, time should be the most important resource and you need to listen to your customers

Make your business your priority – a good strategy in a business is when you create revenue and run it profitably. It is, therefore, essential to run such a business by making it your top priority.

How will you make the sales?

You should identify targets that you know will be interested in your product or service. Look for adopters of your business as early as possible, grow your customer base and put out ads for people to find your business. When everything is done correctly, figure out for the right sales strategy or funnel that will convert the leads into revenue.

Step 12: Grow Your Business

You have millions of ways to grow your business. You can acquire another business, target a new market, expand the offerings, and more. However, there is no growth plan that matters when you lack key attributes that are common in all growing companies. Such attributes are having a marketing plan and retaining new customers.

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