So, you want to get into the world of entrepreneurship – hats off to you! A journey of a thousand steps begins with the first, and deciding to start your own business is a big one. Now it’s time to put your thoughts and strategies into action if you’re going to realize your vision.
You’ll find that running a business needs a lot of effort, dedication, and commitment. The amount of paperwork you’ll have to fill in strategic development and legal requirements can feel overwhelming.
If you don’t put in the work, you’ll find it very hard transforming your startup into a successful business. That said, this article is not to scare you from going into business but to help give you a realistic idea of what to expect.
Also, you can read more here on how to start a business.
It is 100% possible for you to own a successful business, and to help you realize your goal, here’s a list of 10 steps you should consider when starting a business.
Do Extensive Research on Your Business Idea and the Market
If you already have a concrete business idea, then you’re ahead of the curve. While an idea is just the seed, you need to study and analyze the market to see whether your idea has the potential for success.
Ask yourself; who the target market is and how you can segment the customers by social class, age, location, and income level. Does your business provide a practical solution, and is another company providing the same product or service?
These questions are important in helping you to understand better the opportunities and challenges you might experience as a business owner.
Create a Business Plan
After dissecting your idea during the research phase, it’s now time to put it down on paper. This will help you answer critical questions such as what is the purpose of your business, what pricing model is fair to you and your business, and how do you intend to fund the startup phase?
Overall, a well-written business plan will help you overcome any potential challenges since you’ll have figured out the proper action plans to sustain your business.
Assess Your Financials
You need capital to start a business, and as such, you need to figure out how you’re going to fund those costs. Will you fund the startup out of your pocket, or will you borrow money?
If you plan to quit your current job, you need to make sure you have enough money to support yourself until you start to realize a profit.
As you get started, try and limit your expenses to costs that will only help you reach your business goals.
Settle On a Viable Business Structure
You need to determine what sort of entity you want to register your business. Your business structure will legally affect everything from how you file your taxes to how responsible you will be for the business’s financial obligations.
You can either register your business as a sole proprietorship where you fully own the business or as a partnership where two or more people are personally liable as business owners.
However, a limited liability company (LLC) is the most common structure for new and small businesses since it allows business owners to separate personal liability from company liability.
Pick an Ideal Location
Once you have done your research, come up with a concrete business plan, sorted out your funding, you need to find a selling point for your business.
If you plan to run an online-based business, you’ll need to build an online store. But if you’re a dedicated brick and mortar business, you need to find a convenient physical location where you’re going to set up shop. Consider the visibility, cost of leasing the property, and the proximity of your competition.
Register Your Business With the Government
Before you can kick start operations, you’re going to need several business licenses depending on the nature of your venture and the state in which you register your business.
Some of the documents you should expect to prepare include tax forms, operating agreements, and articles of incorporation, which will include your business name, purpose, and structure.
Scout for Ideal Vendors
Running a business open is no easy feat, and as the owner, you’re going to be responsible for making sure that your doors are open at all times. For this reason, you will need to find reliable third-party vendors you can work with.
For instance, you might need a payment services provider, so try and compare the solutions provider available in the market to find which one is best suited to your business needs.
Buy Business Insurance
It might feel like something you’ll want to pay for once you get your business off the ground but buying business insurance before you launch is very critical. Dealing with incidents such as theft, property damage, and lawsuits can be very expensive, and you want to be sure that you’re well protected.
Read More Helpful Resources
Many government agencies and nonprofits provide new and small entrepreneurs with important resources meant to help them propel their business to the next level. For instance, the IRS has plenty of information about taxation for small businesses that you can always read more about.
Market Your Business
As a new business owner, you need to get used to telling everyone you meet about your new enterprise. Open social media pages on popular platforms to increase your visibility and tap into the potential of social media.
Join your local chamber of commerce and network with other small business owners. You might learn a lot about the local market as well as your business offering.
The Bottom Line
Tasks such as coming up with a business name and logo might seem daunting. However, already established entrepreneurs will tell you that those tasks are the lesser stressful concerns you should be worried about.
Consider the pointers listed above as you work through the process to find out what works best for you and your target customers.