How Do I Start a Business?
“I want to have my own business” is a phrase we often hear people say when asked what they would like to do with their life. “How do I start a business?” is a question that is not uncommon.
There are over 28 million small businesses in the United States, making up 99.7 percent of U.S. businesses, according to the Small Business Administration. When you consider a few reasons to own a business, such as having a unique business idea, a career that drives you, achieving financial freedom, and investing in your future — it’s clear to see why small businesses are all over the place.
However, not every small business has a guarantee of success. In fact, nearly two-thirds of companies with workers survive for at least two years, and about half survive more than five decades. So there’s a lot to think about before you decide to move forward with your idea and ditch your day job to become a business owner. Setting the right foundation for success is crucial. Take the time to understand the correct steps necessary to ensure your business takes off correctly.
Here are some steps that are crucial when starting a business. Make sure your first actions are right, and you will be on your way to successful small business ownership.
The first step to take when asking how to start a business, think about what you love, what drives you. What wouldn’t you mind waking up every day at 4:00 am to get to work. What problem are you solving? Even if the odds are that you won’t succeed, is it worth doing? Be inspired! Then get ready to validate your idea.
2. Research your market
Okay, the second step to take is to balance your plan with a little reality. Does your idea have the potential to bring you success? Are you solving a problem or focusing on the right pain point?
A few questions you should ask:
- Is there a need for your products or services?
- Who are the people that need it?
- Who will be your competition?
- What will make your business stand out? You don’t want to be just another company.. if you’re not 10x better you will not stand out.
The answers you come up with will assist you in crafting a firm plan for your company.
3. Produce a plan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
4. Decide on a business structure
There are different types of business structures they can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, an LLC(limited liability company) or a corporation. The structure you decide on will impact your business name, the liability, and will also come into play when you file taxes.
When you’re deciding what type of business to register as it’s recommended you consult an attorney to ensure you’re choosing the correct structure, you can always reevaluate and change your structure as your business continues to develop.
You can learn more about the pros and cons of each business structure here.
5. Choose and register the name for your business
Your business is your baby now it needs a name that represents every aspect of your company. Take the time to write down all your ideas;
you will have to verify that the name you chose isn’t currently in use by another business or is trademarked.
Once you have chosen a name, A sole proprietor will have to register the name with their state or county clerk. Corporations, LLCs will usually register a name when the formation paperwork is registered.
There are plenty of sites online that can help with this process.
6. Decide on your company’s brand
Branding is vital when bringing your company’s identity to life. When it comes to branding the first step is a logo. It will be the face of your company. Don’t worry your logo and develop and evolve as your business expands. However, you will want to keep it along the same branding guideline as to not ever confuse your customers on your company.
It can be difficult finding the perfect logo that meets your vision. Graphic design plays a
significant role when starting your business. You need to sure of what type of personality you want your business to have and then build your brand along those guidelines.
A few brand related steps to take into consideration when starting your business.
- Business Name
- Focus and personality
7. License and permits your business
Well, paperwork is always part of starting a business. Depending on the type of business you’re registering and where your business is located are the type of permits and licenses that are required.
The Small Business Administration has a service called “Permit Me,” it will allow you to search zip code and business type to find business licenses and permits in the area. There are different types of licenses and permits such as federal, state, local.
8. Develop a beautiful website
A powerful, superior website will be a strong backbone to bring credibility to your business. Now and days having a strong digital presence can make or break a company. With so many ways to get a website now, its smart to take the time to analyze what makes a strong website that will “wow,” any potential client or investor.
- Mobile friendly(57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site. (socPub))
- High-resolution media
- High-caliber content
- Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
- User-friendly Experience (UX)
- Optimized for speed (40% of users leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load (Kissmetrics))
With so many factors that come in to play when building a useful website, it’s important to consider that quality of a site will make a massive difference in performance. It’s easy to tell the difference between a custom website, or a free build it yourself template website.
9. Arrange a business location
When starting a business, deciding where your place of business will operate from is critical. From a home office, a private or shared office, or even a retail location.
You will have to consider many things.
- Staying within budget
- Office set up
- Will you buy or lease?
Look throughout all your options and decide which will best work with your business. Don’t forget the garage is never out of the question.
10. Employees, freelancers, outsourcing
“Startups are about people”
What your company produces depends on the work created by the people you hire. Take the time to analyze and outline the positions you will need to fill. Here is a fantastic guide to hiring employees by The Small Business Administration.
If managing employees isn’t for you, outsourcing can be a great way to get work done. Get together with an attorney to develop an independent contractor agreement. Then begin to look at the countless of people you can connect and get work from. There are great sites like Linkedin to help you meet and reach people.
11. Market and develop your brand and company
Once your business is established and running, its time to start focusing your energy on building clients and customers. What is your unique selling proposition? With the internet allowing us to connect and share ideas to people all over the world having a concrete digital marketing plan can boost your business dramatically.
We hope we answered your questions and can come back to this post next time you wonder, “How do I start a business?”
Once you’ve followed these guidelines and steps, you will have the most significant base covered now execution is up to you. Don’t forget, success does not happen overnight. These steps can’t guarantee success but will help you be better prepared for your new journey. To make a profit and keep your business afloat, you will have to grow your business continuously. It will take time and effort. You will get out what you put in. So, go out there, never stop learning, and stay hungry.
Fortune said that 1,700 People in America Are Becoming Millionaires Every Day, are you next?
Thank you for reading, share with your friends next time they ask, “How Do I Start A Business”