Starting a business is a big decision in someone’s life, especially if it’s your first time doing it. This period can be quite stressful and requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
According to the U.S., Small Business Administration’s (SBA) “Frequently Asked Questions” page approximately only half of businesses are successful, staying open for longer than five years.
However, these statistics and business-related horror stories should not scare you. If you are committed and truly believe in your idea then there is a good chance of it succeeding.
Below you can find a step-by-step guide with useful strategies that can help you start up your very own company.
Before Jumping In, You Should Familiarize Yourself With the Term “Business”
Even if you have some previous knowledge or experience on this topic. Through this, you can refresh your memory on the basics so you are one hundred percent confident in your business plan.
However, reading books on the topic of research into it is also beneficial because you might get a sudden burst of inspiration for a new product.
Starting something from the beginning using a guide and your personal ideas is very exciting. Perhaps refreshing your business knowledge would give you a great bit of motivation.
So what is a business? Owning a business means being responsible for the production, distribution, and sale of goods.
Being a business owner is not only great because you can share your very own creation or idea with the world helping others, but because you can also profit from it.
Once you have obtained that idea you should think about possible problems that you may encounter and what the solution for those may be.
You should also consider your target audience that you will be manufacturing too and their needs. This is necessary because you will want a secure group of people that will want to purchase the good that you are selling.
If you are struggling to find an idea that’s not an issue, after all, it’s quite difficult to come up with new things on the spot in the 21st Century. So in case you don’t have a completely new product but would like to start a business, then perhaps you could look at already existing products and think about how they could be improved.
An easy example of this is modern-day technology and any current phone company, be that Apple or Nokia. If you look at their current products and compare them to previous ones you can see a clear improvement as they have been further developed to suit the customers’ needs and requirements.
You must also be very careful not to copy anyone’s ideas as that may leave you with quite a large fine or a penalty.
Some things that you could consider when looking at an idea that already exists is how you may add a new feature or have you can alter a product’s appearance for the better.
Once You Are Sure That You Have a Good Idea You Should Start Building a Business Plan
The business plan is a crucial stage when starting a business as by describing your product and its services in great detail you have a higher chance of banks being interested and giving you loans.
A business plan should include detailed information on your operations, finances, market analysis, and most importantly: industry. Once you have all this information logically and rationally sorted out, investors will more likely be putting trust in you and funding in your company.
So Having a Great Idea Is One Thing, but Starting a Company Is Another
Businesses require quite a bit of funding and financial input which you may not have ready in your pocket.
That’s not entirely an issue as you can obtain funding from other places, be that from family and friends, bank loans, angel investors, or venture capitalists.
Funding is crucial when you don’t have your very own source of income and have to rely on others. According to research, nearly 30% of startup businesses fail because they run out of money.
Even if this may seem overwhelming to you now, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a reason to worry. This can be fairly easily prevented if you have a realistic plan and correct calculations. In order to receive the right amount of funding, you should estimate your costs and cash flow (including the interest rates on bank loans if you have any).
Starting a Business Is Quite Tricky and Difficult to Manage Alone
Because of this, you should build up a supportive team, including selecting the initial employees, co-founders, and contractors. However, this has to be done carefully as sometimes people may have hidden intentions, including negotiating wages.
You should also consider asking for external and more professional help and advice. For this, I recommend you research attorneys, bankers, temporary and permanent staffing insurance professionals, and even Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). You can also find a nonprofit insurance that will assist you in getting coverage.
Even if You Feel Like You Are Ready to Share Your Idea With Others, You Should Make Sure That First, You Have Taken Legal Precautions.
Completing the legal steps will ensure the success of your business, facilitating further steps along the way.
Some legal steps include applying for a business license, registering your business name, filing your trademark, and many more. If you are only at the business planning stage then perhaps don’t rush into this as it can be quite complicated and overwhelming.
The Next Step Would Be Establishing Your Location, Be That Physical or Online.
This is also a very important decision because it requires quite a bit of money to achieve.
Depending on whether you want to create a manufacturing facility or would like to set up an office, you have to decide if you want to buy or lease a property.
(If you do already own an area that could be suitable for our business then I recommend using that as leasing a commercial space comes with tax deductions. You would also have the option of renting it out to others which would bring you profit).
Leasing can be a good choice for a startup company as it would allow you to invest your money into other parts of the company, a good location is a key factor in this. However, you have to keep in mind that the rent prices often change unexpectedly and might increase drastically. If this does happen then you should be prepared to spend more or to move locations.
You Should Also Establish an Online Presence by Creating Your Own Website and Advertising Your Company.
In the 21st Century, this is a crucial aspect when setting up a business as nowadays more and more people shop online and use the internet for searches.
By having a website the customers would have easier access to your products and the information regarding them as it would all be online and a click away from them.
Some benefits of having a website include people being able to read reviews of your products and if satisfied then they could buy from you at any point of the day. An online presence would also allow you to have a wider audience as people overseas would also be able to access it.
In addition to a website you could also share your product on social media (e.g.: Facebook and Instagram) with nice designer posts, creating a wider target audience.
You Should Also Develop a Marketing Plan in Order to Stay on Track in Regard to Time and Expenses.
These include obtaining loyalty from customers through establishing a brand identity and appearing better than the competition. By developing and maintaining your company’s reputation you can also attract new customers.
You could even use your company’s social media presence to advertise deals and giveaways of free samples.
Having a Secure Customer Base Gives Your Company Security and a Chance for Long-Term Success.
However, these relationships have to be maintained. In order to preserve the loyalty of your customers, you could have sales and other marketing techniques that would reassure people that your company is trustworthy.
With the Passing of Time, Different Products and Trends Go In and Out of Fashion.
Another key thing to achieve long-term success is being prepared for change and evolving according to the needs of the customers.
This can be achieved through keeping up to date on the most recent technology, hiring new innovative team members and listening, and responding to customer feedback.