So, you want to start up your own business? Perhaps you are fed up with the job that you have had for a long time, or you wish to finally follow your dreams and start the business you have always wanted to create. Has the one thing holding you back been the fact that you do not know how to start a business?
Well, you have found the right place. Below, we have all of the important steps that you need to follow in order to launch the business of your dreams.
How to Start a Business Explained
If you are researching how to start your own business, then the chances are that you already have an idea of what you want your business to be. Perhaps your business is within an industry that you are extremely passionate about? Maybe you have a lot of experience within the industry your business will be in?
Or, simply, you may have discovered a gap in the market and have created a business idea that will fill it?
If the answer is yes to the last question, then you are already on the right track.
Any new business must serve a purpose, otherwise there will already be a business that provides the service you wish to provide and there will either be no need for a new one, or the market for that particular business will be difficult to enter.
You must discover the unique selling point of your business, or find the gap that you are looking to fill.
Know Your Business Idea Inside and Out
Once you can answer the previous question, you now need to develop the idea. You must know every fine detail about the business you are wishing to start up. Think of it like this, if you are in a meeting full of people asking questions about your business idea, you need to be able to answer every single one of them. If not, you are not yet prepared to start your own business.
You may benefit from creating a formal business plan in order to ensure that you have covered all the necessary areas. Templates of business plans are readily available online. An idea of some of the areas you must cover when learning about your business are:
- The Basics: Your business name, branding, logo, etc.
- Target Market: Picture your ideal customers, what are their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, salary, geographical location, occupation, hobbies, etc.
- The Marketing Mix: Your price, product, place, promotion, physical evidence, people, process. This is a popular and proven business method.
- Research Your Competitors: Discover their business process and look for flaws or gaps in their offering where you can improve your product or service.
- Understand Your Industry: Take a look at past trends and future forecasts or predictions to understand where the industry your business is located in may be heading in the future.
- Finances And Legalities: There will be a section on this below, but look into your financial plan, insurances you may need, and legal requirements you must conform to.
- Choose Your Business Model: This means that you must finalize the method in which you make money off of your customers. For example, you may wish to use affiliate marketing, set up an ecommerce website or provide a freelancing service, just to name three. This is where you should also consider a partner, if you wish.
- Set Goals: Make SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals and achievements, both in the short and long term, that will help to keep your business on track and provide direction.
You may have to adapt and change sections of your idea as you progress throughout the rest of our guide. This is normal, so do not worry. It does not mean that you have a bad business idea.
It is key in business to be flexible and adapt to changes easily and quickly. Learning this early on in your business career will ensure the long-term survival and success of your business.
Conduct Your Own Market Research
Now that you know everything about the business you wish to start up, you now must complete one of the most important tasks within our guide, conducting your own market research. The importance of learning about how your business will be received by your target market is one of the most crucial steps you will make before launching your business.
The findings of your research can give you an early sign as to whether your business idea will be well received and overall successful. Not only that, but any errors, areas for improvement, and potential business defining suggestions can be made by the end consumer that may make your business idea even better in the long-run.
Different Research Methods for Starting a Business
You can collect primary market research in a variety of different ways. From conducting interviews with consumers, or hosting focus groups to creating online surveys or questionnaires for people to fill in.
There are easy ways for you to collect the data you require. You just have to promote it in the right places for your target market to find it.
Of course, not all research is primary, you must also take advantage of the wealth of secondary research you will be able to find online. If you look deeply enough, you will find important information on your future competitors as well as information on the past and predicted future of your industry that will help you form a more complete picture of your own business.
You may find yourself going between step two and step three a few times before you have your completed business idea. That is both ok and normal, it just means that you will have a more solid business idea once you are finally ready to make the next step.
The Financial And Legal Side of Starting a Business
Perhaps the most boring element of running your own business, but also the most important, is making sure that your finances remain positive and your business remains legal. Be sure to consider all of the following financial and legal elements when you are starting up your business:
- Financing Your Business – Will you be applying for a business loan, business grant or looking for investors?
- Selecting Your Business Bank – Each business bank will have their own rules and benefits. Make sure you research to find out which one will be best for you.
- Perform A Break Even Analysis – In order to do this, you will need to know all of your costs and expenses as well as how much you will be charging for your end product or service.
- Legal Structures – Again, you will need to do some independent research into which better suits your business. But the most popular business legal structures are: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation.
- Register Your Business: In order to legally operate your company, you must register your business with the various governmental bodies. There are many government permits and licenses that you may require in order to run your business that are very dependent on the goods and services you will sell.
- Business Insurance: You must get the best business insurance you can afford. If anything were to go wrong, and statistically if you were to suffer any kind of failure as a new business, it will be within the first five years. Then insurance will be able to help you.
You must research this thoroughly in order to ensure that you are operating legally and within your financial means.
Get Ready To Launch!
Once you have completed the above sections, you are now ready to launch your business. You will want to start hiring and training any staff you may require, renting premises, creating and launching websites, and starting your marketing and promotion strategies.
This is where your business plan will come in handy, as you should have everything that your business requires to run smoothly detailed within it.
So, start ordering your products or preparing your services, you are all ready to go!
Scaling the business properly comes next, but that’s a whole topic in and of itself.