Entrepreneurship fascinates all.
And many of us manage to gather a will of establishing a business. The world is suffused with different kinds of small businesses. Some businesses reach the heights of success while others fail.
Do you know only two-thirds of businesses with employees survive two years while half survive five years?
If you are fascinated with the idea of establishing a business, then buy tonnes of patience, tighten your belts and begin the journey.
One of the most provoking questions is why do you want to start a business when you can manage to bag a job and earn.
Before starting a business, you need to find an answer to this question, which in turn is going to impart you the will to keep running.
The possible answers to this why could be- you are having a business idea, you are not in a mood to do a 9-5 job, you are doing it for financial independence, you are passionate about it.
1. Before beginning with a step-wise guide to starting a business here are some other important aspects that should be considered before starting a business.
1.1 Refining of the idea
If you are planning to start a business, you must be having an idea.
You must be knowing what do you want to sell, whom do you want to sell, or at least the market you are planning to join. You need to research the idea, industry, and everything associated with the market. If you find it as your perfect fit, you can go for it.
And if you feel like, it’s not your cup of tea or the idea is flawed, you should consider checking the bugs and then continue with other steps. If you managed to restore them, then yes you can go for it.
1.2 Find you why
One of the most absolute aspects of beginning a business could be “finding your why”, why do you want to do this business or why do you want to enter this market.
A simple “why” can add a lot. This way could be either personal or market-based. If your why is market-based, the scope of your business will always be larger.
1.3 Choose a name
You should choose a unique and narrative name for your business.
The name of your business should speak for your brand. It should represent your company, product, and services effectively.
1.3.1 Are you ready?
Apart from anything and everything, ask yourself, are you ready to do it.
Is it a perfect choice for you?
Are you ready to tackle tough and easy situations? Are you ready to bear sweet and bitter fruit both?
If the answer to all of these questions is “yes“, then you can label yourself as “unstoppable“.
1.4 Find a problem to solve
Whenever you are planning to initiate a business, learn that every business begins with a purpose. Every business solves a problem. The bigger problem you solve-the more you earn. So, research thoroughly to find the bigger problem and try to come up with a unique and innovative solution to it.
To clarify, you can go through these examples-
Target market– women
Problem– Ladies are looking for an affordable parlor
Solution– Providing the best services at a reasonable price.
Target market– small businesses who are looking for companies for outsourcing digital marketing services
Problem– They do not have enough resources to digitalize their businesses
Solution– You have started a digital marketing agency offering supreme quality services at an affordable price.
1.5 Set realistic goals
You can achieve goals, only if you have any. You need to set some realistic and feasible goals and expectations for your business. This can push you towards achieving your goals.
Setting realistic goals doesn’t mean your goals should be small. It is just that it should be achievable and comply with your resources and abilities.
1.6 Get feedback for your plan
Now that you have gained enough mental strength to begin a business, you must have created a one-page plan for your business.
Do not forget to get feedback for the business plan you have prepared. The number of reviews can decide your future journey. It can help you in rectifying the mistakes and restore the plan efficiently and effectively.
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Now you are all set to follow the process of starting a business-
Step 1- Conduct market research
Market research is the first step to begin a business. Market research is a mixture of consumer behavior and economic trends that can guide your business. Impeccable market research can aid you in constructing the best business plan. It can guide you in developing a strong strategy for the future.
It is necessary to understand the market before planning a strategy. You need to know what people want and how are they expecting things to be done. It also allows you to get acquainted with the behavior of your competitors.
You can form your strategies accordingly. Market research even reduces the level of risk.
If you want to make flawless market research get demographic information of your area. It may include population data on age, family, wealth, interests, and many more.
After that consider other aspects that include, demand for your product, the size of your market or how many people are going to like your product, how much you can earn, the location of your business, price, etc.
Another crucial factor is the competitor.
You should make competitor analysis to have a perfect knowledge of your market. You should remain updated with the activities of competitors. You should also remain updated with the latest business trends.
How can you do market research?
There are different ways to do market research. You can directly go to the customer, or you can refer to existing sources. Using existing sources can save a lot of time. But if you want to do more personalized research then you should go for the direct method.
It is not feasible to knock on the door of every customer, so you can use these methods-
• Focus groups
• In-depth interviews
You need to find the best method for your business. If you are capable enough to find it by yourself then that is perfect. But if you are not able to do so, you can consult the firms that do counseling on such matters.
The whole process of market research gets accomplished as soon as you managed to gather the information on consumer behavior, economic trends, competitor’s behavior, and social expectations.
Step 2- Create a business plan
Now you have clarity and in-depth knowledge of your business idea. You know what do you want to sell, how do you want to sell or what is the purpose of your business. You have received the answers to these questions.
The second step asks for writing your business goals and other matters on a piece of paper. It simply asks you to narrate your business. It should include relevant and significant aspects of your business.
A business plan should include the problem your business is solving, the target audience, the solution you are providing, your plan, and the financial model of your business.
There is a second list of what should be included- SWOT analysis, USP (Unique Selling Proposition), the way you are going to operate your business. All these points should be included in your business plan.
Your business plan keeps you moving. You remain psychologically concerned about your goals and expectations. It even helps you in bagging investors. A promising and effective business plan allows you to convince potential investors. Your market plan should be based on the market research you have made.
Step 3- How are you going to pay for your business?
A business needs investment. You cannot think of establishing a business without finances. This is to be done cautiously. It is a detailed and exhausting task to prepare a budget for your business. Different factors are to be considered before preparing a budget for your business.
Now you need to calculate how much amount do you need in-total. You can conduct a break-even analysis as it can provide you with answers to the question like profitability, pricing matters, and how can you fix all your costs.
After analyzing, you need to check how much you can finance by yourself and how much do you need to capture from other sources.
If you cannot finance your business, what are different alternatives do you have.
You can finance your business either through business loans, investors or you can ask your friends and family for the same. Another way of arranging finance could be resorting to the partnership. You can start a partnership firm. You can become a partner with your friends, family, or anyone.
Before beginning any business in partnership, make sure you have a descriptive contract and each party should agree upon it.
Other sources of fetching finance for your business could be business grants, crowdfunding. Business grants are very much similar to business loans however, you don’t have to pay them back. It is not easy to bag business grants as it comes with many stipulations that your business must meet to get considered.
Whereas, crowdfunding refers to raising smaller amounts of money from multiple backers.
Now you are apprised with different sources of financing your business. Choose the most comfortable option and arrange finances for your business. If you are planning to consult a bank for a loan, you need to research and find the best business bank.
You should discuss interest rates and other factors beforehand.
Check whether it complies with your expectations and goals.
Is it providing what do you want?
Step 4- Business Structure
This is an important point to be considered. Before getting your business registered you need to decide what kind of entity you are going to run. Your business structure has a say in everything like taxes, profit sharing, etc.
The different kind of entities you can run include-
• Sole proprietorship– The simplest form of structure is a sole proprietorship. You are solely responsible for planning, earning profits, and bearing losses. You can register for a sole proprietorship.
• Partnership firm– It is a method where two or more people are held liable for all kinds of losses and profits. Everyone has an equal say in decision-making. You don’t have to possess all the skills. Now you can build a team of mixed talent and run your business effectively.
• Corporation– Another option is to establish a company. A company is a separate entity. The personal account of the owner is not linked with the company’s account. A company can make contracts, pay taxes, sue, and get sued on its level.
• Limited Liability Company– This is a hybrid form of business entity. Here you have legal protections of a company and tax benefits of partnership
Every business entity has its pros and cons. It depends on you which set of pros and cons you want to choose and you are ready to bear. Before choosing any kind of entity make sure you are aware of the benefits and systems of every entity and you have chosen the right one for you.
Step 5- Register your company
Now you have chosen the best entity for you, the next step is to get it registered. You need to acquire plenty of licenses to start your business. You need to register your business with local and state governments and prepare several documents before beginning.
Obtaining Article of Incorporation and Employer Identification Number-
If you want to begin as a company you need to register yourself with the government and obtain a document called “article of incorporation“.
Along with that, you need to have a unique Employer Identification Number from the IRS. This is not required if you are running a sole proprietorship firm with no employees.
But if you are planning to hire employees you must have an Employer Identification Number.
Federal, State, and Local licenses and permits-
You need to check your business type to know how many licenses does your business requires. Some businesses require federal, state, and local licenses to operate the business. You can obtain a license at your local city hall.
You can SBA’s database to check what all licenses are required for your business.
Step 6- Build your team
If you are not planning to operate as a sole proprietorship firm, you need to have a team. This task is to be done with utmost patience. An organization is known for its people. You should invest carefully in your human capital.
You need to analyze what is required by your company. You need to check what type of professionals can fulfill the purpose of your business. Your team should be a blend of every kind of skill your company requires.
Along with that, check how your team will operate. Defining roles and responsibility, allocating tasks everything should be done carefully. Train your employees for the task you are going to assign them.
Your team should represent your organization. Make sure you hire a dedicated, skilled, and hard-working set of people.
Step 7- Choose your vendors
It is not easy to run your business alone or with a team. Sometimes you need to outsource different tasks like recruitment, marketing, or others. Some firms are ready to help you with these services. Many firms provide recruitment services, digital marketing services, or others. This is called B2B communication.
When you choose B2B partners, you should be very careful. The reason being, you need to share your company’s information with these people.
They should be trustworthy and should not leak confidential information.
Go for the company that has high ratings and is experienced in their fields. Check the reviews of the previous customer and accordingly choose the organization.
Step 8- Brand Yourself and advertise
Before you begin to sell your product or service, you need to have access to the right people. You need to establish a brand and reach potential customers. This is a crucial step in running a business. You started a business but no one is aware of the product and services you are selling.
Do you think your business is serving its purpose?
The answer is no.
So, first of all, you need to find a brand and get it registered. You need to have copyrights of the brand. Your brand should be unique and easy to recognize.
You would need a logo for your business. Either you can design your logo by yourself or you can outsource the work to the team of designers. After having a logo, register your brand.
Now you have developed a brand, the next step is to inform the world. Here, the concept of marketing begins.
Marketing includes informing, convincing, and selling your product or services. It also includes customer satisfaction and after-sale services provided by the businesses. There are different methods of promoting your business.
Either you can use traditional methods or digital methods of marketing to promote your business. Traditional methods of marketing are comparatively costlier than digital methods.
Digital methods, on the other hand, are effective and fast.
In today’s world, every business chooses to promote its products digitally. Every business has marked its digital presence. And if you haven’t marked your digital presence you are giving your competitors a chance to move ahead.
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What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing means making the use of online methods to promote a business. It is an effective and affordable method of advertising your brand.
Usually, big businesses have their resources for digital marketing but small businesses lack the same. There are digital marketing agencies that provide this service at an affordable price.
If you are planning to mark your digital presence then-
• Develop a website– Your business should have a website that should narrate your story. It helps you in enhancing your reach and getting connected to potential customers. It also helps in increasing your reputation. A website is a digital proof of the existence of your business. Your website should be designed according to the theme and objectives of your business. It helps in getting connected to businesses and facilitates B2B connections.
• Social Media– Social media is Godfather. Use social media to advertise your brand or product. Social media is the most commonly used method of promoting your business. Every small and big business has marked its presence on social media. Although, it has heavy competition, but making the use of the right tools to promote your product can help. Social media optimization should be done regularly. All these aspects should be considered while taking your business on social media.
The market is flooded with digital marketing agencies and it is perplexing to choose the right one for your business. The one should comply with your budget as well. So, here is a solution to your problem- Traffic tail.
Traffic tail is here to provide you with supreme quality services at affordable prices.
Step 10- Grow Your Business Online
The last step is to grow your business. It can be done by spreading the good word for your business. Another tact of digital marketing can be used to grow your business online.
You can also set your business on Google My Business.
You may like to know- Why Do You Need Google Local Business Listing?
You can use different techniques of digital marketing to promote your business. You can also use offline methods to promote your business.
Entrepreneurship is a dream of many. If you are looking forward to becoming an entrepreneur then follow this 10-step guide and rock the market.
Also, do not forget to digitalize your business and we are here to assist your social media and other digital marketing tasks.