When it comes to starting a small business, there are no limits to becoming a great entrepreneur. It doesn’t necessarily require a college degree, a handful of capital, or experience to begin with a venture which can become the next big thing.
A small business entrepreneur has many opportunities to explore; all one requires is a business idea and a strong plan for implementation.
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~ Jack Welch
There is no rule of thumb that one must follow to be successful in the business world. Perhaps it is the research for business and a suitable niche that becomes the driving force for the startup.
That being said, there are many things that a business startup must remember to get off the ground. The time you put in planning and strategizing each aspect of the business, including marketing, can drive the company up the hill.
“It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” ~Richard Harroch
So if you are planning to start your own business, keep reading to find the key steps to make to the top. Without further ado, let’s begin with the eight critical steps for a business.
Seven Steps to start a business
1. Perform a personal Evaluation
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Performing a self-evaluation can help you to narrow your focus. Begin by answering the following questions:
- Why do you need to start a business? Is it to earn well, or you need freedom and flexibility from your 9 to 5 job or any other reasons?
- Defining your skillset?
- What is your niche?
- Do you want to deliver products or services?
- How much capital does it require to invest in the business?
- Will your business be part-time or full-time?
This step is not to dissuade you from beginning with your business venture, rather get you started with thinking and planning. Bear in mind, passion solely is not enough to be successful in the business world.
Planning, setting goals, and knowing what you stand for is one thing that every business owner must figure out. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How can you avoid your weaknesses from affecting your day-to-day business operations?
When starting the business, it is essential to remember that it is going to dominate your personal life. Make sure that you have a strategy to overcome all the challenges and hurdles in your business venture.
2. Analyze your industry
“The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades.” ~John P. Kotter
Business research is one of the crucial steps you need to take to put the right foot forward in the business industry. Where personal evaluation gets you thinking, evaluating the industry gives you knowledge about the competition and assets in the business world.
There are numerous ways in which you can do this. Whether it is through performing general Google search Analysis, researching key influencers of the industry, keeping up with the industry news and magazines, or taking a class or two, it can prove to be beneficial for your business.
On the other hand, there are a number of less traditional ways which can help you gain the knowledge to analyze your industry.
- Advertising representatives to provide statistics on the competition and the overall industry.
- List brokers based on demographics to gain insight into how big the target market is.
- Industry suppliers to gain the knowledge of demands of the market
3. Evaluate your target audience
“You don’t build a business, you build people, then people build the business.” ~Zig Ziglar
Doing a market analysis can help you to understand your target audience, which is the driving force for your business. Consider asking the following questions:
- How can you solve the problems of your audience?
- What is the size of the market?
- What strategies will you implement to get the message out to the customers?
- How much capital do you need to invest in delivering the value of the services you offer?
- What is the up-front marketing value that you need to invest in?
- What is your future plan regarding the business?
Consider the needs of the customers and evaluate the potential competitors in the industry to make your services stand apart in the market. For example, you provide job search assistance Florida, Orlando, and more. However, you are not the sole job finders in the industry and therefore need to maintain a solid appearance in the market to stay on top. Whether through a website or excellent marketing, it is important to evaluate your potential customers to stay on the top of the hill.
4. Set up your business
“A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.” ~ Nicole Snow
Registering your business is another important step towards sealing the deal. However, when researching the industry and evaluating the competition, it is essential to take the time to know the different types of business entities as well as advantages and setbacks.
Here are four types of business formations you must know about:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Spend some time to know about the above-mentioned business formats and which one is worth the money. Other than this, you also need to decide on a unique business name so it can be established in the market.
This is not an area where you can get it all wrong. You need a license and permit to make your business legitimate. Not just that, make sure that you know all the essential laws and regulations regarding your business, so it doesn’t affect your business.
6. Begin with business planning
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ~Jack Welch
To begin with a business, planning is essential. It can help you understand the finances, business profits, marketing, and all that needs to be done to be successful. Defining it in simple words is a road map that helps your business progress and overcomes the hurdles to reach its destination successfully.
A business plan outlines the goals of the business. It is a document that you can pitch to the investors and use to attract potential business prospects. Primarily, it is used to define the business strategy and tactics for execution, including the key milestones, deadlines, and budget, as well as the cash flow.
A standard business plan must include the following information:
- The executive summary
- The target market
- Products and services
- A detailed marketing plan
- Company overview
- Sales plan
- Management team
- Financial plan
6. Set up your business space
Your business plan has been laid out, you have the investors by your side, and you are ready to go. If you are opting for an online business, you need only a functional website with a shopping cart solution, working from the comfort of your home, or perhaps working at a rented place with your co-workers.
On the contrary, if your business functions require a brick and mortar location, there are a lot of things to consider. Think about it: your company location will be determining the impression you make on the audience. Always remember, a great location is not always responsible for your success, but a bad one can sure determine your failure.
Consider the following when thinking of setting up a shop.
- Price: can you afford to find a place for your setup? If you’re cutting it fine, then keep looking for it.
- Visibility: is your company easy to locate? How does it affect your visibility?
- Access to parking and transportation: your customers may give up if they don’t find a suitable parking spot.
- Distribution of competitors: having competitors at your location means it is a premium place to find customers for your business venture. In contrast, it also means you don’t have no business. Make sure to evaluate the condition before jumping on to the bandwagon.
- Local, city, and state laws: make sure to understand the business laws of the state and city, so it doesn’t affect the business.
Apart from this, your marketing will set the pace for your business. If done right, it can pave the way for your business to move into the limelight, setting expectations while ensuring that your business prospects know where you are and what can be expected from your services.
Apart from the location, creating an image for your business is also an important notion. Where it can be done by marketing the business, it also requires an idea to memorize. Creating a logo that can define your services is one way to get it done. Every color you put into creating a logo design defines your services to the audience enabling them to remember you and what you stand for.
7. Prepare for trial and error
“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ~ Albert Einstein
Bear in mind, no business person is perfect. You are bound to make mistakes in the beginning. However, this doesn’t mean that you are bound for failure. It is natural to make mistakes, but it is also essential to learn from them.
Making mistakes is perhaps one of the greatest things about owning your own business. It allows you to own your mistake, learn from it, and decide the next step to set it right!