Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires a lot of time, effort and hard work, and unsurprisingly, many people end up failing. 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, how to start a business will be the first question in mind.
How To Start A Business?
1. Brainstorm ideas.
Every new business starts with an idea. Wherever your interests lie, it’s certain 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 current brand leaders are doing, and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your company can deliver something other companies don’t, you’ve got a firm idea and are ready to make a business plan.
2. Construct a business plan.
What is the purpose of your business? Who are you selling to? What are your end goals? 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.
3. Evaluate your finances.
You need to determine how you’re going to cover the 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.
4. Determine your legal business structure.
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, 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. 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.
5. Register with the government and IRS.
To become an officially recognized business entity, you must register with the government. Corporations will need articles of incorporation document, which includes your business name and 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 name for extra legal protection.
6. Choose your technology.
Every business today needs a solid set of tech tools to operate. Some will be more tech-heavy than others depending on the industry, but at the very least, you will likely need a powerful and reliable laptop or smart device to help you keep things organized.
Since many key business functions can now be managed via mobile apps, you might be able to get away with just a smartphone or tablet. For more complex functions, you’ll want to consider a computer with strong security features, storage options and performance speed.
For those who want to operate their business on a smart device, think about whether you’ll need a separate phone or tablet for your professional apps and data.
7. Buy an insurance policy.
Buying 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.
Gyawu Mahama, social media and marketing manager at small business insurer Hiscox, said to choose insurance that’s tailored to your specific corporate practices to ensure you’re not paying for more coverage than you need.
“As a small business owner, you don’t need a once-size-fits-all insurance plan,” Mahama said. “Coverage doesn’t have to cost a lot. General- and professional-liability insurance coverage for a sole proprietorship can be purchased for a few hundred dollars a year.”
8. Select your partners.
Companies in every industry from HR to business phone systems exist to partner with you and help you run your business better.
When you’re searching for B2B partners, you’ll have to choose very carefully. These companies will have access to vital and potentially sensitive data, so it’s critical to find someone you can trust.
9. Build your team.
Unless you’re planning to be your only employee, you’re going to need to hire a great team to get your company off the ground. Joe Zawadzki, CEO and founder of MediaMath, said entrepreneurs need to give the “people” element of their businesses the same attention they give their products.
“Your product is built by people,” Zawadski said. “Identifying your founding team, understanding what gaps exist, and how and when you will address them should be top priority. Figuring out how the team will work together is equally important. Defining roles and responsibility, division of labor, how to give feedback, or how to work together when not everyone is in the same room will save you a lot of headaches down the line.”
10. Brand yourself and advertise.
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.
Create a logo that can help people easily identify your brand, and be consistent in using it across all of your platforms, including your all-important company website. Use social media to spread the word about your new business, perhaps as a promotional tool to offer coupons and discounts to followers once you launch.
11. Develop 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 developing 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.