Starting a business involves planning, making financial decisions, and spending a lot of time doing research and learning. But like Michael Jordan said, “Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.” Follow these easy steps to start building your empire.
Step 1: Do Market Research and Analysis
Without extensive market research, your business can sink before it even starts. It is important that you understand the marketplace, know your competitors, and customer needs and wants. You cannot possibly research everything, so you need to prioritize. Here are some of the things to focus on:
Step 2: Risk ASSESSMENT
Risk is defined as the possibility of dangerous or bad consequences to become true. Although you cannot predict all risks, you should identify the basic characteristics of possible risks for your company and industry. Here are some of the risks to consider:
Step 3: Set Vision, Goals, and Objectives
Success means something different for everyone. What is a successful business to you? Do you define success base on gross sales, number of clients, or net profit? It is important to set up realistic goals and objectives so that you do not set yourself up for failure.
Step 4: Decide on Financing
You need to estimate your startup costs and forecast operating expenses for the first 12 months. It may be hard for you to find investors who will be willing to invest in a new business from the start. There are a number of ways that you can finance your startup.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Register your business to make it a distinct legal entity. How and where you need to register depends on your business structure and business location.
Step 6: Accounting and Administration
Although you don’t need to hire a full-time accountant at the early stage of your business, you still need to consult with an accountant on business structure, registration, financial analysis, forecast, bookkeeping, accounting system, and taxes. Most successful business owners work closely with an accountant. A study conducted by Intuit (QuickBooks) revealed that 89% of small businesses say they see more success with an accountant or an advisor. (1)
Step 7: Write Your Business Plan
It is a misconception that you only need to write a business plan when you are seeking external financing. A business plan helps clarify your business goals, anticipate challenges, develop an effective marketing strategy, and guide your decision-making. It is like a GPS; It tells you where you are now and where you want to be. You can decide between a traditional business plan and a lean startup business plan. (2) Regardless of which one you choose; your business plan should include the following:
Step 8: Learn Some Basic Skills
You must take on many of the day-to-day operations yourself—at least in the beginning. Having some basic knowledge across all aspects of business operations can make your business successful and help you save some money.
Step 9: Get Customers/Clients
Getting your first few paying customers gives you the validation that the marketplace is interested in your product or service. But this is not always easy to achieve. Here are few things you can do to acquire customers:
It's important to leverage multiple sales channels to increase sales and acquire new customers. When it comes to selling online, Amazon is the most popular and obvious choice. But you should also consider other smaller marketplace platforms with less competition such as Purposemart that promote sustainable products, women and minority-owned businesses, and eco-friendly items.
Step 10: Ask Your Customers for Feedback
Feedbacks will help you understand where there is room for improvement
Remember that no matter how small your business is, it's important to incorporate corporate social responsibility and environmentally conscious practices into your business from the start. It helps sets your brand apart, and consumers love supporting ethical businesses. Remember that nothing good comes easy. It takes time, dedication, and patience to build a successful business and a solid client base. It will take time to get your first few paying clients. You need to be prepared financially and emotionally.
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