A common question of all the time is: what is the process entrepreneurs should follow to start a small business? The short answer is: don’t build a business that only works in favorable market conditions. This is, of course, a very broad answer and it needs to be explained in depth.
There are so many incredible entrepreneurs out there and why only a few of them are successful because they have everything they need to be successful. When you start a business, you may or may not have the luxury of having a big office space, multiple income streams, a bunch of people working under your banner, and a plan for the next 20 years. But, if you really want to start a small business and achieve success, you must have certain things in order.
Follow this 10-step process and start your small business with confidence.
Process to Starting a Small Business :
Develop your idea
Starting a small business sounds amazing but you can’t rely on that single thought alone. Even if you do, you won’t be able to keep things in order for a long time. An idea is like a bubble. It appears, shows us the beauty, and boom! The charm goes away and leaves you in your office with nothing more than just a dull process of selling products and services. Before you jump to a conclusion, take time to brainstorm. Develop your idea by asking yourself some serious questions.
- What’s your niche market?
- What are the needs of the industry and consumers?
- How will your business stand up against the competitors?
- What’s your strategy if things don’t go as expected?
Unless you’re from a business family or a highly self-aware individual, today’s business environment doesn’t force entrepreneurs to learn business discipline. It’s really sad and this is the reason why 8 out of 10 businesses fail. If you have specific answers to the above mentioned questions, move on to the next step.
Create a business plan
You need to do it fast. Focus more on how fast you can create a plan for your business instead of making the ‘best’ business plan in the world on the first try. Don’t pressurize yourself too much at this stage. You’re starting something new, there will be mistakes, so instead of spending your time in looking for a business plan template or business plan format, write what your actual plans are. Before you make a plan based on a template, write what you know and what you want to plan. Once you’re done with this planning, add the following to your plan (if you didn’t include some of these points).
Your business plan should have the following:
- What will be the end result of doing this business?
- Why does your company exist?
- What are your business objectives or goals?
- What will be your strategies to achieve these goals?
- What will be your action plan?
No need to waste time on silly ideas. You can run a small business if you can create a plan based on these questions.
Draft a budget
Without a budget, you will never know where your business is going. It’s like sitting on a bus without knowing where it will take you. A budget is a road map for your small business. It gives you insights into how your company is performing. Every business needs some resources and you will need money to purchase those things. Whether it’s a new machinery, vehicle, computers, or an office space. By writing everything on paper, you can anticipate your business’s profit, cash flow, and future needs. A clear idea of what’s happening with your money can help you control situations when market conditions aren’t favorable.
Focus on essentials
When you know about your business’s financial status, you can easily think about what your business can afford in the beginning. Before you start spending money on unnecessary stuff, think about the essentials. Depending on the nature of your business, create a list of things you need and also write down the approximate cost. Whether it’s a new desktop, furniture, printer or bulbs, note down everything and match the total approximate cost with your budget. Make sure you include rent and other business-related expenditures on your list.
Know your legal responsibilities
Starting a business brings in several legal responsibilities. As a business owner, service provider, seller, and an employer you are legally responsible for the actions of your company. You will need to take permission from local authorities such as your Municipal Corporation, and state government. You’ll need to register your business, file income tax forms and paperwork to legally start your business. If possible, try to keep your liabilities as low as possible. You can start as a sole proprietor to avoid a lot of paperwork and form filling, but you must discuss with a tax consultant to know which is the most suitable form of ownership type is available for your business.
Create and work on your pre-launch strategy
If you never thought about a pre-launch strategy then you must. A lot of business owners are too busy working on giving perfection to their products, putting a business plan into effect that they don’t even think about a pre-launch strategy. While working on the core plans and strategies, you can adapt to market demand and start promoting your business. There are many ways you can spread awareness about your business before you actually launch it. Building an email list, writing blogs in advance, and running campaigns on the most suitable social media channels can turn out to be highly rewarding. This way you learn more about the specific needs of consumers and grow your business quickly.
Set up your workspace
You have a business plan, your budget is ready, and your resources are in place. Now you should start looking for a workspace. You’re probably starting an e-commerce store and planning to build a website. From customer acquisition to order confirmation, your shopping cart enabled website will do everything. Maybe you’ll need a storage space to keep your products. You can also go for a work-from-home solution or find a co-working space available for rent. But if your business needs a brick-mortar store, you need to consider some key factors. You need to focus on location, price, access to transportation, and competition. These factors will play a major role in deciding the future of your business, so make a smart choice.
Create a lead generation plan
How will you generate leads? Does your target audience use social media? Do your potential customers use email? Can you bring new clients through referral program or affiliate marketing? Are you ready to launch a search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) campaigns? You should answer these questions because your business can thrive only if you have specific answers to these questions. Knowing how to sell is one thing, but choosing a right strategy and channel to sell products is more important.
Launch your business
Whether it’s your first business or ninth, the amount of fear will remain equal in both the conditions. But it will go away soon after launching your business. So do it now. When you’re ready to tell the world that your business is bringing something new and solving some big problems, go tell them. Put all your effort into achieving your goal because every minute counts. You have to keep your business goals in mind. Know what you want and why do you want it. Even if no one’s looking, you keep on working. Celebrate the launch and go back to work.
Be quick to learn, be quick to respond to emails, be quick to learn from mistakes and be quick to fix the mess you create. Business is about how fast you are. But when it comes to your vision, nothing is going to happen in a month or a year. All you can do is maintain the speed to reach your goals faster. When you’re in a business, stop scheduling your day on the basis of hours, keep a track of every single minute. Ask yourself “Do I really need an hour-long break?” “Do I really need to spend two hours on social media?” When you maintain a speed, you get more time, and when you get more time, focus on selling more so that you can keep your business growing. Don’t follow the lazy business routine, bring a difference. An entrepreneur is a leader, so behave like one.
Image Credits To : RobinHiggins