Everyone would like to be their own boss. However, to start and run your business requires knowledge, motivation, and determination. Launching a startup can appear like a daunting task because there are so many things to take into consideration – building a business structure, finding a target market, funding, accounting, and linking to suppliers and customers. If this is the first time that you’ve decided to start a business, we present you with several crucial steps you need to undertake in order to make a good business start.
1. Choose your business opportunity
There are so many businesses that you can start. Begin by identifying the type of business you’d like to start, and you should do it by finding out what your passions are, where they lie, and by understanding the type of your personality. When confronted with various opportunities, choosing it can be an immobilizing task. It is also important to find out whether the industry you want to enter is a fast growing or a dying one, as well as what skills you have to bring to the table.
2. Name your business
Choosing a name for your business may seem simple and obvious, but think about it – it is how it will be known to the world. Grab a piece of paper and make a list of potential names, and choose the one that’s catchy, easy to pronounce, easy to spell, and easy to remember. Also consider how it will make your web domain name look and find out whether there are businesses with similar business and domain names.
3. Choose a business structure
This is not an easy decision. Your choice will definitely impact your business liability, taxes due, and fund ability, whether you choose a form of corporation, sole proprietorship, or limited liability company. However, you should remember that your business structure will evolve along with your business, so don’t sweat about your ultimate business structure.
4. Research your target market
How to know what’s required to launch your business and what business type of business structure will work the best for you? You have to do your market research, but don’t limit yourself to Google searches. Speak to people whose opinions you value, explore your financing options, and attend trade shows. In order to determine who your competitors are, the viability of your services, and what will differentiate your business from the rest – you need to be thorough.
5. Build a business plan
In order to gain a better understanding of the capital requirements of starting a business, competitive landscape, and your industry landscape, you need to have a well-built business plan. Your business plan is there to explain to potential stakeholders, lenders, and investors why your business is a good investment. It describes who you are, what you do, and how your business will become profitable. A business plan should include your business plans, detailed financial data, description of your company’s structure, and a thorough market analysis.
6. Find startup funds
If you don’t have money to invest in your business, then you won’t be able to start it. Now, this journey is different for each startup owner – some startups, like consulting, need only a few thousand dollars for printing their business cards and launching a good website, while a retail store could require up to $100.000. You can get funded by private lenders, seed and angel investors, through crowdfunding websites, or end up bootstrapping (which can be a blessing or a personal handicap, you never know).
7. Get business insurance
Every business carries its own risk, and your responsibility as a small business owner is to manage those risks. Get the right small business insurance to protect your company in case of litigation or an event of disaster. If you are required, according to laws and regulations, to have a surety bond in order to get your business license, there are companies such as JW Surety Bonds that can help you determine your surety bond cost and get you bonded to protect your new business from the potential risks that could kick you out of the business race.
8. Get all the permits and licenses
Besides the obvious business license, you may need to get additional ones, which depends on the local laws and the type of business you plan to start. For example, if you’re a real estate agent or a contractor, you need to get licensed in the state in which you work. If you plan to produce liquor, then you need to get licenses to sell and/or manufacture those kinds of products. Also, get informed about the zoning laws before opening your business.
Besides the countless business opportunities that lurk around different corners, especially thanks to the combination of good old ingenuity and new technologies, these are some essential steps young startup owners have to undertake no matter what kind of business they’re about to start. Launching a website and finding a technical support are other important steps for taking a business off the ground, but these steps above will put you in a business-steady and confident position.