Ask 10 people out of a crowd, “Do you want to own a business?” Eight would most likely say, “Yes I do.”
Everyone wants to own a business, and that’s why you’re here. But the question is, “Are you ready to do all it takes to start your business?”
In starting a business, you may face some challenges, but the passion you have for the business, and the goals you’ve set will keep you going strong.
Many people have awesome business ideas but don’t execute them because they don’t know where to begin.
Well, there’s good news. In this post, I’ll take you through 15 steps you should take in starting your business.
As far as you have the vision, the drive, and the required information, then you’re ready to go.
However, I am here to equip you with the information you need.
STEPS IN STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
In starting any business, there are steps that you should take. Let’s begin with self-examination.
SELF-EXAMINATION (EXAMINE YOURSELF): In the business start-up process, the first thing you need to do is to ask yourself some crucial questions which will determine the nature and purpose of the business you’re about to commence.
Asking yourself these questions will make everything you need to do clearer.
You need to find out what type of business you want to start. Each business type has certain requirements, so you should ask questions like:
What are my capabilities?
The things you are capable of doing will go a long way in helping you decide what type of business you should choose.
The natural or learned skillset which you possess should point you in the right direction when choosing your business.
Where does my passion lie?
The worst mistake you could make in choosing a business would be choosing a business that you have no interest or passion for, especially if you’ll be running it yourself.
In choosing a business, the amount of money that the business is likely to produce should not be the only deciding factor.
Something should drive you even when your business isn’t going as planned, and guess what that is, it’s passion. Make sure you have some passion for whatever business you plan on undertaking.
What do I love?
Whatever you love, you put in the effort to make it better. That is the motive behind asking yourself this question. This question gives you a clue on what business to go into.
What do people think?
It is a great idea to know what people think about you as regards to your skills and capabilities as well as business opportunities that would suit that distinct personality of yours.
This does not mean that you should pay excessive attention to people’s suggestions as they could often be sentimental, a wrong interpretation of your characteristics or negatively criticizing.
However, people’s general opinion, especially people that know you, will turn out to be right.
What kind of person am I?
I cannot overestimate how important personality is in business start-up decisions.
Your unique personality is an indispensable factor in making decisions like what type of business to start and it determines how well your business will perform especially as a sole proprietorship.
REFINE YOUR BUSINESS IDEA: After asking yourself the sample questions above, you should have a tangible business idea at hand. Now what you have to do is refine it.
You may be wondering, “How? How can I refine a business idea?” Think of ways to refine your business idea. Creatively turn a seemingly plain idea to something amazing.
You can do this by adding value to a good or service in a spectacular way. One way of doing this is by finding out an unsatisfied need and using your business to satisfy that need. Putting people’s needs as the priority will put your business at the top.
RESEARCH AND ANALYZE YOUR MARKET: A business may not be what it seems until you properly research it .
You need to find out what the market wants and how it works. Look for ways to improve the product or service you offer, over that of your rivals. Note that you can hardly come up with something brand new but you can improve on whatever currently exists.
Know your market. You can achieve this by giving out surveys, face to face interaction and other research resources. Get your unique research results by carrying out your research. Try as much as you can to reach a wide audience of your market in your research.
Use your research results in devising the most suitable and profitable products, techniques and designs.
Make sure you pay attention to both your industry as a whole (its technicalities and challenges as well as its benefits and upper hands) and your audience. Closely monitor how they behave and shape your goods and services to satisfy their needs.
Three necessary points in market research are:
Ask questions and research.
Fix the bug.
WRITE AND DOCUMENT A BUSINESS PLAN: If you want something, you have to know that you want it, how you can get it and where you can get it. It’s the same for your business.
You have to write a business plan which contains what you want for your business, how you plan to achieve that and a time limit or a means of measuring progress made.
In essence, it is important to write a business plan to know the goals you are working towards. Set specific goals, make sure there is a way you can measure your progress, make achievable plans that are realistic and give some time limits just to make things a little bit fun and challenging.
Generally, it is very important for your business to make plans and to know what the final destination of the business is.
MAKE YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN: Every bit of finance that flows into the business should be accounted for because making a plan ensures efficient control of finances through knowledge of the business’ current position.
A plan on how money is spent within a given period is necessary. Making a financial plan is essential for any successful business.
LEGAL PLAN: Pick a business structure that best suits your business’ needs.
The business structure that you select affects a variety of factors in your business like;
How much tax you pay,
Where the liabilities of the business are borne,
Ease or difficulty in raising money for the business,
Documents that you need to prepare.
Some business structures that you can choose from include:
Limited Liability Companies
It is important to analyze the pros and cons of each before choosing one that suits your business the most.
ACCOUNTING SYSTEM: There are several accounting systems suitable for different businesses. Some accounting systems are more suitable for sole proprietors and some for other business types.
Some accounting systems include:
Manual Accounting Systems
Computerized Accounting Systems.
DECIDE ON THE BEST BUSINESS LOCATION: One of the most important business decisions made by any entrepreneur is where to locate their business.
There are many factors to be considered in choosing a business location, which include:
Closeness to the market
Availability of labor
Safety of the business and its stakeholders
Ease of transport
Accessibility of the business
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TEAM: Structure a recruitment program. One that will not only allow the best into your business but also the most passionate. The people you work with can affect the output of your business and therefore, you should
Choose people that share your goals and that you have a good relationship with. Learn to motivate them and get the best out of them. Build up a strongly bonded team.
PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS: For the public to know that a business like yours exists, you have to do something. This is where business promotion comes in.
No matter the size of a business, it needs promotion. This could be in the form of marketing and therefore you need a marketing plan for the long term to ensure effective results. Marketing is important as well as the use of social media.
NETWORK WITH PEOPLE: Connecting with the right people will present you with more opportunities. Reach out to prospective investors and top buyers as well as other sellers and find out their secrets. In general, networking with people puts your business ahead of others.
GET A MENTOR: The importance of having a more experienced person to look up to for advice cannot be overestimated. Having a mentor can save you from making some costly business mistakes.
You should have something peculiar to show that you are worth mentoring. A more experienced person will help you in times of business crises and help you get through the rigors of business. Having a mentor puts you ahead of the competition because most mistakes will be avoided and less time wasted.
BE READY FOR TRIAL AND ERROR: In starting your business, bear in mind that most of the things you will get into will not turn out as planned. Every business makes progress by trying out new things, some of which they are not completely sure of.
You’ll make some mistakes which you will certainly learn from and become better. Don’t shy away from uncertain opportunities as they could turn out tremendously beneficial.
ENLARGE YOUR BUSINESS: Starting up your business is not enough; you should plan on expanding your territory. Think of ways to increase your market share.
Growing your business is necessary and this can be achieved by a variety of ways some of which include marketing, merging, opening smaller branches and franchising.
EXECUTE: We’ve done enough talking already and by now you’re ready to start your own business. It is also important to get as much expert advice as you can but don’t spend exorbitant amounts of time trying to plan everything into perfection.
At the beginning stage, you can’t get it all correct, but the experience as you go as well as the advice from your mentor should keep you going. The key thing is, don’t spend all the time in the world planning. Get crucial things done and launch your business. No matter how beautiful a plan sounds, without execution, it remains unachieved.
You read to the end. Great! We have some bonus tips for you. Enjoy.
FUND YOUR BUSINESS: Every business gets to a point where extra funds are needed for projects and operations. Fortunately, there are numerous ways available for your business when you need the funds.
EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT: Having efficient management is key to having a successful business. The management is in charge of coordinating business’ activities.
Efficient management sees to the achievement of the business’ goals. If you’re envisioning a great, successful business, get good administrators.
Starting a business is not impossible, all you need is the proper information and guidance which has been provided for you in this post. You haven’t started till you execute your plan. Don’t stop here, keep researching, exploring and learning.
Is there anything we missed out? Share your thoughts below.
Esther Alu, the Founder of TheAceBusiness.com is an entrepreneur who writes step-by-step guides for starting several business ideas. She is constantly learning and discovering effective ways to help her readers launch and grow successful businesses.