Wondering how to start a business? When you think of owning a business, you think of that CEO- title, a luxurious car, and of course, a fat payout. But no one really tells you how hard it is to start one. There’s just so much to learn in so little time.
How you start your business significantly impacts its success in the future. For instance, if you are starting off on huge loans or without permits, the government and loan issuers will throttle down your business in the future.
So, if you are looking for information on how to start a business, stay put as we share the ultimate entrepreneur’s guide on how to start a successful business.
Our Step to Step Guide on How to Start a Business
While choosing a name, setting up a website, and designing a logo are essential when you are starting your business, they are common knowledge. So, just keep in mind that you’ll have to do all of them to enhance your business presence both online and offline.
Let’s skip to the reason why you are here. What are the steps you need to follow when starting a business?
Refine Your Idea
By the time you are deciding that you want to start a business, you are probably past the idea creation stage. This is the stage where you come up with different business ideas and narrow down to one.
Refining your business idea is an important strategy as it helps explain the why. You need to ask yourself why you are starting the business. Is it solving a community problem, a personal problem? Why is your business going to be better than other existing businesses?
Based on your why you then get to the marketplace. If you are targeting the general public, ask yourself how your business is going to be of benefit to them.
Conduct a Market Research
To ensure the prosperity of your business, you need to do a market analysis. To get a complete analysis of your targeted market, find out the following;
Demand and supply
You need to better your understanding of the demand for the product or service your business will offer the target market.
Size of the market.
For example, if you are planning on starting a pharmaceutical company to manufacture diabetes medicine. You need to find out how many people have diabetes in the area to determine the prosperity of your business.
How soon you can be up and running after startup.
For instance, do you need marketing to get your first customer, or they’ll just start flowing in as soon as you are ready.
Analyze how easy or hard it would be to penetrate the market with your competitors in place. Also, find out their strengths and weaknesses to give you a rough idea of market needs and what they’d like improved.
Interest and willingness of potential customers.
To determine this, you can try to do a field test on your product or service. See how many people are interested in buying your idea.
Come Up With a Business Plan
As much as you’ll use your business plan to pitch to your investors, it doesn’t need to be too formal. Consider it as a roadmap to get your business to where you want it to be in a year, the next five or ten.
When writing a business plan, consider the following;
- An executive summary
- Define your business’ target market
- Products and or services that your business will offer
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Human and financial resources
- Business overview
Find a Location
Based on your market research, find the perfect area to set up your business. When narrowing down to a location, consider three things;
- Local rules and regulations
It might not be easy to factor all of them in, but you can weigh your options and see what you need most.
Suppose the most accessible area or the one that your customers can access easily is a prime location, but your business can afford to pay and give you great returns. In that case, you might have to consider accessibility over price.
Make it Legal
This is a very crucial stage when starting your business, and you might have to get an attorney for this.
It starts with registering the name of your business as your business trademark, and with the IRS. As soon as you are cleared, you can register with your local authorities as per your state and apply for business permits and operating licenses.
Of course, the requirements will differ depending on the type of the business and state. For instance, if you are starting a restaurant, you’ll require to apply for a food handler’s card.
Also, make sure to indicate whether the business is a sole proprietorship, limited company, corporation, or partnership.
If you had an investor in mind, then it’s time to pick up the phone and arrange a meeting. Other than investors, there are numerous source of business funding, which include;
- Personal savings
- Friends and family
- Venture capitalists
- Angel investors
- Government grants
In each of the above business funding sources, except for the personal savings, of course, you’ll need to present your idea, and that’s where the business plan comes in handy.
It’s also important to note that a business plan is not the final key to unlock your funding, but it will put you in a better place of getting the funds.
How you pitch your idea will mostly determine whether you get the funding or not, because to be realistic, not everyone will have time to go word to word on your business plan. But if they do, and you had a great pitch plus a great business plan, you can prepare to smile all the way to the bank.
Also Read: How to Start a Real Estate Business
Starting a business is not a walk in the park. It’s a painstaking process that will take up your time and energy. But if done correctly, you’ll live to enjoy the benefits.
Do you have any more ideas on how to start a business? We’d also love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and insights in the comment section down below.