Many people find success through providing a great product or services for their customers. Owning your business or should I say controlling your business is a highly popular trend now adays. There are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur. You don’t necessarily need a university or college degree or a bunch of money in your bank account to start a business that could become a huge success.
Moreover, talk to any entrepreneur or small business owner and you will quickly learn that starting a business requires a lot of work and dedication. Well, generating a business idea doesn’t become a business without effort. If you are willing to put in the effort to build a business, you are going to want to know the steps needed to reach your goals. Steps like naming the business and creating a logo are definitely obvious, but what about the less heralded equally important steps?
Checkout this step-by-step guide that will help you to know how to start a business and turn its into a successful one
Let’s start with the most basic question. Why do you want to start a business? use this question to guide what kind of business, you want to start. Once you have a reason, start asking yourself even more questions that will help you figure out the type of business you want to start and if you have what to takes to start the business. Be brutally honest with the answers you provide.
Have a business idea
If you are thinking about starting a business, you likely already have an idea of what you want to offer, if not so, go out and meet people and ask them questions, seek advise from other entrepreneurs, research ideas online or use whatever method that makes the most sense to you. And once you have already identified a business idea, ask yourself if your idea have the potential to succeed? In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfil a need or offer something the people want.
Make a business plan
A business plan is a blue print that will guide your business from the start up phase through establishment and eventually business growth and it is a must have for all new businesses.
To have a well written business plan, you need to ask yourself the following questions
- What is the purpose of your business?
- Who are you offering your services to?
- What are your end goals?
- How will you finance your start-up cost?
A lot of mistakes are made by new business owners rushing into things without pondering these aspects of the business. You also need to find your target customer base, who is going to buy your product or service, if you can’t find evidence that there is a demand for your idea, then what is the point of starting a business?
Research your potential rivals or partners
Is anyone else already doing what you want to start doing?
You need to start researching your potential rivals or partners that is doing the same ideas you have.
Plan how you will finance your business
Starting a business has a price, so you need to determine how you are going to cover those costs. Starting a business doesn’t have to require a lot of money depending on your idea but it will involve some initial investment as well the ability to cover ongoing expenses.
Take a look and consider your own resources, circumstances and life state to figure out which one works best for you.
- Find your start up yourself
- Throw your needs to your family and friends
- Request a small business grant
- Start a crowd funding campaign online
- Apply to local angel investor groups
- Solicit venture capital investors
- Negotiate an advance from a strategic partner or customer
- Trade equity or services for start-up help
- Seek a bank loan or line credit.
Choose a business structure
Your small business can be a sole-proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business entity you choose will impact many factors from your business name to your liability, to how you file your taxes.
Before you can register your company, you need to decide what kind of entity it is. Your business structure legally affects everything, how you file your taxes to your personal liability if something goes wrong.
If you own the business entirely by yourself and plan to be responsible for all debts and obligations, you can register for a sole-proprietorship. Be warned that this decision can affect your personal credit or should I say your bank account.
Alternatively, a partnership as its name implies, means that two or more people are held personally liable as business owners. You don’t have to it alone, if you can find a business partner with complementary skills to your own. It’s usually a good idea to add someone into the mix to help your business flourish.
If you want to start a corporation, a corporation is a business entity owned by shareholders. Corporations can own property, assume liability, pay taxes, enter into contracts, sue and be sued like any other individual.
Pick a business name and make it official
Your business name plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Once you have chosen a name for your business, you will need to check if it’s trademarked or currently in use.
Note: to become an officially recognised business entity, you must register your business with the government.
Develop your products or services
It’s going to fuel awesome when your ideas come to life. But keep in mind, it takes a village to create a product. If you want to make an app and you are not an engineer, you will need to reach out to a technical person or if you need to mass produce an item, you will have to team up with a manufacturer.
Build your team
Unless you are planning to be your only employee, you are going to need to hire a great team to get your company off the ground. Whether you need a partner, employee these tips can help you find a good fit;
- State your goals clearly
- Follow hiring protocols
- Establish a strong company culture.
Get a location or set up a business location
This could mean an office or a store. Setting up your business place is important. You will need to think about your location, equipment and overall setup and ensure that your business location works best for the type of business you want to be doing.
Promote or advertise your business
Your launch and first sales are only the beginning of your task as an entrepreneur. Once your business is up and running, you need to start attracting clients and customers. In order to make profit and stay afloat, you will need to be promoting your business, well it is going to take time and effort. But you will get profit from your business depending on your effort.
Let people interact with your product or service and see what their take is on it. A fresh set of eyes can help you pour out a problem you might have missed. Plus, these people will become your first brand advocates especially if you listen to their input and they like the product.
Don’t forget to realise that some of the advice, solicited or not will be good, some of it won’t be. That’s why you should have a plan on how to receive feedback.