Starting a business is a dream for many, and while some have stepped out to make a brand for themselves, others don’t even know where to begin. From having your own office to employees working under your leadership –– it all sounds like a dream come true, but how do you make it a reality?
Beginning a business requires extensive market research, making the right financial choices, planning, and learning about things that you may not have touched before. Whilst there isn’t a one-size-fits-all guide to starting, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help organize your thought process, and highlight important details that you may have overlooked. Once you’ve successfully begun your business, you’ll thank us!
Step One: Evaluate Your Mindset
There is never a right time to start your company, so don’t trick yourself into mindless waiting. When push comes to shove, having the right mindset will determine whether your business is successful or not.
Running a business is easier said than done –– starting with nothing and turning it into profit is going to be a lot harder than expected. You’ll need to mentally prime yourself for the challenges ahead so that one or two setbacks won’t deter you from pressing onward. There are bound to be lots of highs and lows when growing a business, especially if you’re thinking of starting out in danville, california.
Step Two: Select Your Business Category
Next, figure out what line of business you would like to explore. From owning Shopify stores, restaurants, or consulting firms, you can create virtually anything if you put your mind to it. Ask yourself: do you have a particular passion project in mind, or are you looking for something that you can just own from the sidelines?
Curate a list of your interests or hobbies you want to monetize –– such as yoga, dogs, movies, food–– and use keyword searching tools like Keywords Everywhere to learn the popularity of these topics. You can even utilize Google Trends to check if it’s trending upward or downward and if it’ll be stable enough for long-term investment. Take a look at the top three keywords on your list, and choose the one that’ll continue to excite you enough to be motivated to work on daily.
Step Three: Adopt a Business Strategy
Now that you have your big idea, you’re ready to think about how you want to market it so that it is both economical to your company and appealing to your consumers. Before implementing a business model, it’s good to take a look at some tried-and-tested methods: e-commerce, which uses Shopify and Amazon to sell products; affiliate marketing, which generates a passive income for promoting others’ products and services, and freelancing, where you use your skillset and provide a service to others, such as designing, writing, and programming. Other common models include coaching and consulting, promoting information products, and selling your software as a service (Saas).
Step Four: Study the Market
It’s time for the most important component to running a successful business –– accurately determining the target market of your business, and directing the right offer to them. The simplest and easiest way to pinpoint your audience is to choose one that you’re a part of. Here are some common factors for consideration: your hobbies and interests, areas you’re particularly familiar with, or things that you find yourself doing on a daily.
Leverage on this if possible, because you know yourself best. You’ll be able to comprehend and relate to the struggles, aspirations, and demands of the people who are just like you. Moreover, communication and reaching out to your market wouldn’t be a problem either.
Step Five: Identify Issues and Devise Solutions
For a business to be successful, it has to be able to solve an issue that people face. For example, pest control can help tackle the ant’s infestation in your kitchen, movies provide entertainment for bored people, and clothing companies empower people to feel good in their clothes. On the other hand, not many would pay to have their table stop wobbling, or for their mugs to stay cold. The more significant the issue, the more your consumers will be willing to pay for it because there is a solution that satisfies their demand.
Let’s say: if you’re planning to target working moms with young children, you might want to create a time-efficient fitness program or schedule that allows them to work out from home. Or, if you’re looking at fashion-conscious teenage boys, you may want to come out with a trendy yet cost-efficient clothing line.
Step Six: Define Achievable Objectives and Expectations
The greatest contributor to a failing business is due to unrealistic expectations. You’re not going to rake in thousands of dollars when you’ve just started out. Most entrepreneurs spend the first year not making money at all, but experimenting and figuring out the recipe for success. Perseverance is key for a business to flourish. When your website isn’t gaining much traction, change your company’s search engine optimization strategy. If your products aren’t selling well, perhaps offer a promotion or discount code. You might not see the immediate results of your business venture, and perhaps even make losses for the first few years. So it’s best to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals for your business.
Step Seven: Draft A Business Plan
Pen down a one-page business overview and include what your business is about, the problem you will solve, a one-liner elevator pitch, target market, competitor analysis, marketing strategy, financial plans, and fiscal expectations for each quarter.
Also read: 5 Signs That You Expand Your Business
Step Eight: Ask for Critiques and Opinions
You may not want to hear it, but asking around for a second opinion on your one-page business plan can help refine your business strategy. We recommend refraining from seeking help from loved ones but look for industry professionals that will give you professional advice, specific to your target market.
Step Nine: Funding the Business
The most common mistake people make is to quit their day job to pursue their business full-time. We strongly advise you from doing that, unless you’ve already generated enough funds to cover your taxes, costs, and a six-month downtime. Do remember that you won’t be able to take home much in the first six months, as any earnings made will be reinvested in the business to grow it quickly.
Step Ten: Find a Business Partner
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same goes for a successful business too. There’s going to be a truckload of time and resources needed before your business gains traction. As such. having a trusted partner to share the workload and the risks involved can help you to progress faster. When looking for a partnership, it’s important to consider how well you two work together, and whether or not your goals align. Picking the wrong partner might be worse than choosing to go solo.
Step Eleven: Brand Your Business
Choosing a name for your business could be difficult, especially if you’re searching for a catchy, domain name to go along with it. Whilst most brands weave their industry into their brand names, such as Fashion Nova or Cotton On, other brands create unique names, like Oberlo. Regardless, your name should be memorable, catchy, and easy to write out for top-of-mind recall.
Step Twelve: Register Your Company
Depending on where you’re located, you might not be required to register your company before your company earns a certain profit margin. However, registering your company from the get-go will prevent legal liabilities should you get sued.
Step Thirteen: Introduce Your Product or Solution
The types of products or solutions that you can come up with are only bounded by what you can do and what you know of. For e-commerce companies, you can leverage Oberlo to sell jewelry, home decor, beauty, electronics, and more. If you’re thinking of starting a consulting firm, you can offer speaking gigs, coaching, or newsletters. The possibilities are endless!
Step Fourteen: Advertise Your Brand
Finally, the most vital step in starting your own business is to promote it! Let the world know about the product that your company has to offer. Brand awareness among the right target audience will drive sales and only then will your dreams turn into reality. We recommend advertising your business on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, depending on who you are reaching out to.
In the world of entrepreneurship, there’s nothing you can’t do. Don’t be limited to what already exists in the world today, but let your creativity take charge and think out of the box for solutions that have yet to exist. Sure, starting your own business may seem tedious and challenging, but the sweet sense of achievement is definitely worth the trouble. Be bold to make your first move and perhaps you could be the next entrepreneur of the year!
Likewise, consider reading: Top Tips for Finding the Best Telecom Business Solutions!