Right now, aspiring entrepreneurs all across the globe are planning their paths to their own business. It’s a journey that requires a lot of preparation, knowledge and hard work. Lot of people fail. But if your company survives, the rewards of entrepreneurship are well worth the obstacles you’ll face on the road to success.
If you think you’re ready to start your first business, here’s a step-by-step overview of what you need to do to make it happen.
- Explore ideas
- Create a business plan
- Choose your business partner
- Assess your finances
- Determine your legal business structure
- Register your business
- Purchase a company insurance policy
- Brand yourself and the company
- Grow your business
Every new business starts with a great idea. Maybe there’s something you’re really knowledgeable and passionate about, or perhaps you think you’ve found a way to fill a gap in the marketplace. Wherever your interests is, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s a way to turn it into a business.
Once you’ve narrowed your list of ideas down to one or two, do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what the current brand leaders are doing, and figure out how you can do it also and better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.
Another option is to open a franchise of an established company. The concept, brand following and business model are already in place; all you need is a good location and the means to fund your operation.
Create a business plan
Now that you have your idea in place, you need to ask yourself a few important questions: What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your goals? Who are your competitors? What differentiate you from other businesses? How will you finance your startup costs? All of these questions can be answered in a well-written business plan.
A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties and what you need to sustain it. Several website can assist you with a detailed business pan preparation.
Choose your business partners
Running a business can be overwhelming, and you’re probably not going to be able to do it all on your own. That’s where you need to think on the type of investor you may wanna propose opportunity to. Generally speaking the investors could be someone with money only (loan), buying into your company and receives shares, as well as some investor invest his /her time and knowledge in reverse for certain benefits of the successful business. Whatever option you may have access to, bear in mind all the implication of your decision may draw. It is advisable to involve the company lawyer into any decision around this topic. hird-party vendors come in. Companies in every industry from HR to business phone systems exist to partner with you and help you run your business better.
Assess your finances
Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you’re going to cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you are planning to make your new business your full-time job, it’s wise to wait until you have at least some money put away for startup costs and for sustaining yourself in the beginning before you start making a profit.
While many entrepreneurs put their own money into their new companies, it’s very possible that you’ll need financial assistance. A commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these are often difficult to secure. If you are unable to take out a bank loan, you still have some viable option to chase for :
- The best to engage a friend with capital who you trust in as well as he/she trust in your capabilities
- SME governmental budget to support the new small companies’ start up
- Crowfunding companies and portal
- Venture Capital firms
Determine your legal business structure
Before you can register your company, you need to decide what kind of entity it is. Your business structure legally affects everything from 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. Alternatively, a partnership, as its name implies, means that two or more people are held personally liable as business owners.
If you want to separate your personal liability from your company’s liability, you may want to consider forming one of several different types of corporations. This makes a business a separate entity apart from its owners, and therefore, corporations can own property, assume liability, pay taxes, enter into contracts, sue and be sued like any other individual. One of the most common structures for small businesses, however, is the limited liability corporation (LLC). This hybrid structure has the legal protections of a corporation while allowing for the tax benefits of a partnership.
Register your business
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. Corporations will need an “articles of incorporation” document, which includes your business name, business purpose, corporate structure, stock details and other information about your company. Otherwise, you will just need to register your business name, which can be your legal name, a fictitious “Doing Business As” name (if you are the sole proprietor), or the name you’ve come up with for your company. You may also want to take steps to trademark your business name for extra legal protection.
Purchase a company insurance policy
It might slip your mind as something you’ll “get around to” eventually, but purchasing the right insurance for your business is an important step that should happen before you officially launch. Dealing with incidents like property damage, theft or even a customer lawsuit can be costly, and you need to be sure that you’re properly protected.
If your business will have employees, you will, at minimum, need to purchase workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. If your business provides a service, you may also want to consider professional liability insurance. It covers you if you do something wrong or neglect to do something you should have done while operating your business.
Brand yourself and the company
A great startup idea won’t do you any good if people don’t know about it. Before you start selling your product or service, you need to build up your brand and get a following of people ready to jump when you open your literal or figurative doors for business.
A company website and social media profiles are practically essential for any small business in today’s world. Create a logo that can help people easily identify your brand, and be consistent in using it across all of your platforms. Use social media to spread the word about your new company. You can even use social media as a promotional tool to offer coupons and discounts to followers once you launch. Be sure to also keep these digital assets up to date with relevant, interesting content about your business and industry.
Grow your business
Your launch and first sales are only the beginning of your task as an entrepreneur. In order to make a profit and stay afloat, you always need to be growing your business. It’s going to take time and effort, but you’ll get out of your business what you put into it.
Collaborating with more established brands in your industry is a great way to achieve growth. Reach out to other companies or even influential bloggers and ask for some promotion in exchange for a free product sample or service. Partner with a charity organization and volunteer some of your time or products to get your name out there.