Starting a business of your own takes more than just a good idea. Sure, it might be a necessary component of any successful business out there, but relying solely on the idea won’t get you far in the business world. Nowadays, small business owners need to be flexible, jack-of-all-trades types, if they wish for their business to take off in the right direction. Meaning that aside from being an expert in that particular business, they also need to be a skilled organizer, planner, marketer and know the general ins and outs of being an entrepreneur. Thus, as “every journey begins with a single step”, here are the first five steps which are required for starting a successful business journey of your own.
1. Conduct some research
First of all, no matter what business you’re in, you have to complete a full research of the industry before venturing any further. This means assessing the market and the supply and demand for products or services you wish to provide; your competition, how many are out there and who are they? If everything checks out and there truly is a place for your products on the market, then you need to proceed with finding who your target demographic is. Generally, you want to acquire this info as soon as possible so you can focus your marketing and brand awareness campaigns on this specific audience right from the get-go.
2. Create a business plan
Once you’ve finished all of your relevant research, it’s finally time to set your idea in stone. A business plan is not only there to help you realize your business enterprise on paper, it also serves the purpose of drawing in potential investors as well. It’s a form of a blueprint for your business which angel investors and venture capitalists can use as a roadmap to check if your business endeavor is really worth investing in. Making a good business plan consists of outlining marketing, potential growth, and financial goals in the next five years. The reason being, investors usually sell off their shares,after the first few years have passed, to another investor once the business grows in size.
3. Choose the right legal structure for your business
You have four options to choose from in regards to the legal structure of your business. The first option is sole-proprietorship, meaning you are solely responsible for your business venture and any and all legal actions taken against it will result in you being liable for it. For example, if you lose a lawsuit, your personal assets might be seized as compensation. With partnerships you share this liability with one or more people, whereas with a corporation your business is its own legal entity which is owned by various stockholders, removing some of the liability from your shoulders. Finally, anLLC is somewhere in-between a partnership and a corporation offering the best of both worlds with its hybrid structure. Once you’ve made your choice, you then need to register your company name with the government. If you’re in Australia, for example, you need to take care of your ABN registration if you wish to conduct your business legally, whereas in the US, you need an EIN from the IRS.
4. Get insurance
If you don’t want to test your luck, then getting insured is your safest bet. First off, you want to get yourself some liability insurance in case that someone actually ends up suing you for any damages dealt by your defective products to them or their property. Next, if you have workers then workers’ compensation is a must, as it’ll cover the cost of their medical bills if they get injured at work as well as pay for their missing salaries due to this accident. Property insurance, which is pretty self-explanatory, is needed only if your business actually owns a building or a store.
5. Start gathering resources
Finally, there are lots of ways to fund your business. You can always ask for financial help from your close friends and family as that is your safest bet of accumulating some initial capital. If that simply won’t cut it, then try going the most traditional route by applying for a loan from a bank. This is a somewhat long and tedious process so you’ll have to be patient if you opt for this method. Another thing you can do, depending on the type of business you’re running, is crowdfunding. Kickstarter has been an outstanding platform for many startups which have now grown into billion-dollar businesses.
In conclusion, launching a business might look like a daunting task at first, but all it really takes is just a few small steps on the road to success.