Starting your own small business is the number one step to achieving the American dream in our world today. However, there are a lot of people, especially young people, with the business mind, but they lack the skills of starting and launching the business. Are you that person?
When launching a business, expectations are it will grow and become successful. This can take years of hard work and struggle, but by using the right skills and following the right steps you can be on the right track to making your business the next Apple.
For the success of the business, the following steps are essential to be observed.
1. Assess Yourself and Your Business Idea.
Before embarking on your business journey, you ought to assess yourself and your idea first. Ask yourself, is your idea realistic and possible? Has the idea been implemented before, and did these people succeed in it? If the idea is new, make it unique and something people would buy.
One way to find out if people will like it is to ask people directly or indirectly. Let’s say you offer them two product ideas, products with different features and let them choose which they would like most. Once you have evaluated that your idea will work, then you can proceed with planning.
You should also assess your abilities and skills as an entrepreneur before proceeding with the plan. Will you manage to implement the idea or do you need someone to help you. You can employ SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis to discover your abilities.
2. Understanding the Surrounding Business Industry
After assessing your idea and abilities, you should look at their surroundings. This involves learning the trends, the market, and the competition. This enables you as the entrepreneur to forecast the outcome of certain occurrences. The assessment should include to the following
Potential competitors- Analyzing current or potential competitor stake of technology, products, and marketing tool.
Political situation- This forms a basis for stability in which the business shall operate.
Economic trends- Assess the economic climate and how it would impact the business operation. Figure out how much inventory you might need, who will be your suppliers and consumers, how you will work around staffing and legal work needed to start the business.
You can first learn from similar businesses that are already thriving and learn how they run their businesses. Certain occurrences usually have mid-term effects while some have long-term effects. It, therefore, follows that the person should look from all perspectives when assessing their environment.
3. Develop a Business Plan
Put the ideas of your business in writing. A business plan explains the strategy and objectives of the venture and is a basic description of your businesses future. This acts as control and reference for communication with third parties. A business plan will help steer your business along a growth curve. Prepare it well by breaking it down into small plans such as marketing, pricing, advertising, and so on.
4. Decide on a Business Structure
Decide whether you want to run your business alone or as partnership. Structuring your business can help in managing losses and debts. You can structure your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company. Some business structures can give you tax benefits. Do some research to figure out which structure will be best for your business.
5. Evaluate your Financing Options
Now that you have an idea, a plan, and marketing information ready, it is time you figure out how to finance your idea. You can source for financing from family, friends, banks, venture capitalists, investors, grants, or crowdfunding. It all depends on the nature of your business and the amount of funding you need. Whichever option you choose, be sure you understand the terms.
6. Get a Business Location
Unless your plan is to operate your business online, then you need to secure an office location, a store, or somewhere where you can offer your services or sell your products from. Consider things like pricing, parking, convenience, traffic, earning potential, and target demographics. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and figure out if that location is somewhere you would like and find convenient to come shop. Also, be sure to choose a location in a populated place with easy access to your target customers.
7. Get a Permit, License, and Other Legal Work Processed
All businesses require a permit or a license to operate a business legally. Make sure you have all paperwork completed including, and not limited to, registering your business name, getting a permit and license, insurance for your business, register with tax authorities, and finish any legal work for your employees. If you have no idea about any of this processes, do some research or contact a professional legal team for guidance on how to get started.
You have a business plan, permits, and legal works ready and financing, now it is time to start hiring the team that will propel your business forward. First, figure out what professionals you want in your business as first priority. As a startup, you might not hire a large team at first. Prepare a plan on how you will hire employees, figure out what traits you want, what questions to ask them, and the terms of the positions you will be offering. You can also opt to hire a staffing agency to interview employees for you.
9. Implementing the Plan
Now that you have your business plan ready, finances secured, location set, legal works processed, and a great team to work with, it is time to find and bring in customers. Market your business through various channels and don't forget to use social media to create awareness of your new business as well as grow a following.
10. Evaluating the plan
After some testing the operation of the plan, re-look at the business to identify the missing parts and comprehend any mistakes and changes that can be incorporated into the business that had not been included previously.
In conclusion, once the 10 essentials steps are realized, then the business is launched. Remember that business success is determined by adequate preparation, dedication, determination, and hard work.
"Starting your own business is like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and every turn you take is another twist. The lows are really low, but the highs can be really high. You have to be strong, keep your stomach tight, and ride along with the roller coaster that you started."--Lindsay Manseau, photographer and entrepreneur
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