There is certainly no limits when it comes to who can be a good entrepreneur. There is nothing that says you have to be highly educated, have huge amounts of funds in the bank or any business experience. What you do need is passion and a solid plan to see it through.
Let’s have a look at some of the steps you need to take in order to build a successful start-up:
Think about why you want to start a business, and what type of business you want to start.
If your main aim is to even extra income maybe start with a side hustle but if you want something with more freedom, maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and leave your nine to five job to start your business. Some of the things to think about include:
- What are your skills?
- What is your passion?
- Do you expertise in any area?
- How much can you invest?
- How much can you lose if it fails?
- How much start-up funds do you need?
- Are you aiming for a certain lifestyle?
- Are you ready?
What’s Your Idea?
You may already have a killer business idea on lockdown but if you haven’t this is the next thing you need to think about. Do a little brainstorming and get all your idea down on paper. Then ask yourself what needs to happen next. Think about the latest trends that are coming out, can you get ahead of them? Or can you fix a common problem that consumers will want to snap up to a solution for? It’s a good idea to run your idea by other people too, start by using family and friends and see if they would buy what you are offering.
Do Some Market Research
You need to assess your place on the market, is there anyone already offering the same products or services? If not, is there a good enough reason why? You should also start to research your potential competitors, note down and analyse the way that they do things in their business. There are some common mistakes that new business owners make when conducting market research which include:
- Not conducting their own research and only using secondary
- Online using online
- Only looking at competitors that they know
Ask For Feedback
One of the best things that you can do is to ask people to use your products or services and ask for their feedback. Having a fresh pair of eyes look over something can be a great way to identify any problems that you could have missed. Not to mention these people will probably become you, first advocates, for your brand, especially if you listen to them and make relevant changes. Make sure you listen to product or service feedback before you start to create others, something that is unliked with your first set of products shouldn’t be carried to your next, instead they should be used for making improvements.
You need to get all the legal aspects of your business under wraps right from the start. That way you don’t have to worry about things like your idea’s getting stolen, the name of your business being taken, your partnership falling through or being surprised by something unexpected. Some of the things to think about include:
- Business structure
- Your business name
- Registering your business
- Your Tax Identification
- A business bank account
Your Business Plan
A business plan is essential for any business but even more important for a startup. You need to write a detailed plan for how your business is going to evolve into a finished product. You should include things like:
- Title page- Start with your business name.
- Executive summary
- A business description
- Marketing strategies
- A development plan for your products and services
- Budget details
- Operation management plan
There several different ways that you can get everything that you need to start your business. You can invest your own money, get a business loan, a small business grant, ask for investor interest, etc. You firstly need to think about your personal situation and use whichever option is most viable for you.
Develop Your Services And Products
After all the effort you’ve put into the beginning of your business, it’s going to start feeling amazing to start seeing your idea come together. Bear in mind, that it’s going to take time to create the perfect product or service. You need to make sure you have the right people developing it for you or that you have the skills to develop it yourself. If you need to mass-produce you’re also going to need to think about teaming up with a manufacturing company. When it comes to developing your products or services you may need to outsource some of the duties to more skilled, professional people. Make sure you retain control over your product and see your vision come to life.
Build Your Team
To begin with, you might very well be a one-man band and wear many hats. However, if you want to scale your business you are going to need to hand over some responsibilities to other people, this means building a team. You may need a partner, a freelancer or several employees, whichever you decide that you need. Think about your existing skill and which skills would be a great addition to your business.
Search For A Location
The could be a startup office space, an office at home or a store. Your priorities are going to be different depending on your needs. Some of the things to think about include:
- Your customer demographics
- How you’re going to operate
- Are you going to selling online or physically in person?
- What accessibility are you going to need to offer?
- Are you going to recruit employees?
- Where is your competition?
- Are you going to rent or buy?
- What’s your budget?
Once you have sorted everything above, it’s time to start selling your products or services. No matter what industry you enter, you are going to rely on your sales. There is a wide range of different strategies that you can apply, some of them include:
- Listen to your customers – find out what they want and need and how you can make it happen.
- Think about where you are going to sell your products or services.
- Think about your pricing- are you offering a budget-friendly item or are you going for quality? Make sure your prices are in line with your target market.
- Think about introductory promotions – these are great for new businesses who want to start building a solid customer platform.
- Start to identify your targets- what do you need to sell in order to hit the ‘break-even’ mark and what do you need to sell to make a profit?
- Monitor your sales- always keep track of sales. What’s selling well? Do your customers find your prices reasonable?
This is important for nearly every business. There are countless different ways to grow. You could start a second business, target different markets, expand your product and service lines and more. However, no growth plan is going to be successful is you don’t have certain attributes in place.
First, you need to plan to market themselves. To do this you need to make use of things like social media and effectively market through an influencer, organic or paid campaigns. You need to have a good email list and understand how to use it. Be aware of who you need to target whether it’s online or offline with marketing campaigns.
Once you have a new customer, you need to understand how to retain them. There is definitely something behind the saying ‘ the easiest customer to sell to is the one you already have’. The majority of your existing customers may have already signed up for your email list, added their card information to your website and already know what you have to offer. They may already have a relationship with your and your brand. The best thing you can do is to look after these customers and retain them in your business.
This short guide should help you when thinking about starting a business, do you have any other advice that might help? Please share them in the comments below.