Beginners Guide to Starting a Business
Starting a small business can be enticing. Designing a career that grows with you, working toward financial independence, and working for yourself, are just a few of the many reasons people look to start a business. However, what they don’t tell you is that it is not all sunshine and rainbows. Starting a business will take extremely hard work, long hours, and a lot of trials and tribulations. In order to survive, there will be some sacrifices and hard decisions, however, you can decrease your failure rate simply by building a proper foundation for success.
You will need to take one step at a time, to start a business successfully. Here are our top 5 steps to take, before taking the leap.
Step 1: Research, research, research
So you’ve narrowed down your business idea (at least we hope so). You’re all excited and ready to take the leap and hit the ground running. Hold on just a second, this is where reality needs to be balanced with your excitement. In order for your idea to become a legitimate business, it must solve a fundamental problem, offer something the market wants and needs. As you do your preliminary research:
Does the market need your potential product or service?
Does the market want your product/service?
What is the competition like?
How will you separate yourself from the competition?
You must ask yourself the hard questions before anything else. It is a delicate balance between expectations and reality.
Step 2: Plan it out
You don’t build a house without a blueprint, right? Well, you can think of building your business as building a house. You must create a well-thought-out and robust business plan, from the start-up phase to establishment through to the growth of your business. Yes, it is not a straight road to building a business but a business plan gives you clarity on where you want to go and how to get there.
Step 3: Take a look at finances
Depending on what type of business you are planning to start, you may not need a lot of money, to begin with. However, there will be some sort of initial investment to cover ongoing expenses before you even start making a profit. Make sure you are organized with any one-time startup costs for your business (equipment, inventory, branding, etc), add on any expenses that will be required to keep your business running (marketing, supplies, rent, your salary, etc). Now that you have some sort of rough estimate on how much it will cost you to start and to run your business, will you need financial assistance? This can come from a small business loan, angel investors, or crowdfunding. It is important to have your financial plan set and the capital to get your business up and running.
Step 4: Choosing your business structure
This step can impact some aspects of your business, such as your business name, liability, and how you file your taxes. You can choose to be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a corporation.
Step 5: Choose your business name and register!
Explore your options with your business name. Do not say yes to the first name that comes to mind. Your business name is going to be the face of your business to potential customers. Once you have chosen your name, you need to now check if you are able to use it. Check to see if it is trademarked or currently in use by someone else. The other part of this step is to register the domain name, or something very similar.