How To Start A Business: A 20-Step Guide for 2018
No matter what kind of business you are planning to set up, it is important to do it in a strategic and professional approach. There is so much of competition today in every filed that if you lag in a little aspect, you may lose a lot. Having a right approach from the beginning can help you establish your business with the right base.
In this article, we will be discussing the 20 basic steps every would-be businessman must consider to get the desired success in his field for 2018.
- Do a thorough research:
It is important to do a thorough and deep market research before you start out with your venture. Google the idea you have in your mind for your business and see if anybody else has taken it or not. If yes, decide whether you can provide the same services to your clients with better results or at any cheaper rates? Analyse the competition in the market and decide what new or different you can offer to your customers. Determine who will be your target customers and what do they expect from the various service providers. Be truthful to yourself while market research and do not neglect any good competition.
- Look up to your mentors:
The mentors can be anyone, from your friend or colleague to any person who has a knowledge in the field. A professional from your field can guide you through the whole process and give you valuable insights and knowledge. They may introduce you to new people that may help you in the long run.
- Make a business plan:
To start with, write down the idea for the business you have in your mind. Decide on-
- what resources will you need and how will you get them
- what medium will you chose to reach out to your customers and sell them your services
- how much does your budget allow
- what ways will you adapt to measure your success and areas of improvements, etc?
You can not just start a business without having a solid plan for it in mind. All your efforts may go in vain if not done with a professional approach.
- Know your products and services in and out:
You should have a solid understanding of the products and services you offer. Know what materials are used in the products and how is it made, what are its key features and characteristics. Only if you have a deep knowledge of your products/services, you can convince your customers to buy from you. Tell them the benefits of the products and services you are offering them and this can be done only when you yourself know about it.
- Marketing strategy:
It is important to have a strong marketing strategy for your business so that you can reach the maximum number of potential customers. There are many marketing techniques available in the market like Google Adwords, Facebook marketing, print media, TV and radio advertisements, etc. Write down in bullets who are your target customers and what method would be the best to reach them.
You can even test that which marketing strategy can be best for you. You can direct small traffic from your Google and Facebook ads to a landing page and check if people respond to the Call-to-action on that page. See if people are giving their emails in the required information. This way you can have a rough idea on how much will be the cost of a lead.
- Decide on budget and expenses:
Decide on how will you get funds and financial help and from what source. Starting a business isn’t a cheap thing. You need to have sufficient budget to at least start your business, you can always increase it when your business starts growing. You even have to take loans, work overtime or borrow money to continue your business venture until you are financially sound to handle your business on your own. This should be pre-planned so that you do not have to face a glitch in the middle of your business.
- Decide a catchy business name:
Decide a brand name that attracts your potential clients instantly. You should also make sure that the name is already not taken and is not a registered domain name. Try including your own name in the name so that people can easily recall your brand name and include your key service in it.
For example, if your name is Alie and you want to start a cupcake store, you can choose your brand name to be Alie’s Cupcakes. Brand names like these are usually available easily and also add a sense of personal touch.
- Decide your business legal structure:
Decide on whether your business will be a,
- sole proprietorship
- partnership, corporation
- S corporation and C corporation
A sole proprietorship involves just one person who manages the whole business. A business in partnership is managed and taken care of by more than one person. In a corporation, the business owner has to comply with many rules and regulations. It is a separate individual entity from its owners. S corporation is generally good for small business owners as it has many tax benefits.
- Get funds for your business:
Invest only when you are sure of your profit model and know what can be your approximate revenue. This step is somewhat related to your business plans and budgets.
- Manage your accounting strategy:
There are many accounting software available in the market that can keep a track of your income and expenditures. You can also hire accounting professionals for this. Having an organized accounting system for your business can help you know your business revenue better and you can decide your financial plan for the coming time accordingly.
- Get a business insurance:
This is an important thing to do to get your business covered from any harm or damage. In case of any theft or physical damage, insurance can be of great help to you. The insurance can be of great help if any of your employees gets hurt while work, your office catches fire, theft or any such unpredictable misshapen.
- Your business bank account:
Get a separate bank account in the name of your business. It is important to handle your personal and business finances separately. Paying your employees through your business account is considered to be more professional. You just have to get your original documents and your business account can be made easily. Do all your business related transactions through that account only.
13. Get a business license:
It is important to get your business license and registered. This needs to be done for your business security and for getting an office at the required location. Check with your local government what all permits and license are needed to set up your office and get them without any fail.
- Get a nice and affordable office:
Once you have all your licenses and permits, set up a nice workplace for your business. You can always work from home if your business doesn’t need an office. But if it does, keep the following points in mind:
- Office furniture- If your budget doesn’t allow much you can use minimal furniture in the starting. Just get the basic things needed like tables, chairs, desks etc. You can also get second-hand items from any local market.
- Communication medium- A landline phone and high-speed internet service is a must for any office setup. You can also get a good quality smartphone so that you can use the latest apps and features to increase your business growth.
- Use the latest technology- Get the latest technology equipment for your office like desktops, keyboards, printers, photocopying and scanning machines etc. Giving your employees a good work environment and condition can help in increasing your employee as well as business performance.
- Get a website for your business:
The concept of having a website is not a new thing today and you might already be knowing about its importance. If your budget doesn’t allow much, you can build your website on your own with the help of many free online tools Weebly, Shopify etc. Get a good domain name, good website content and interactive images and videos on your site.
You can take professional help if you want a website that gives better results. Get a good website development company hired for designing an attractive and affordable website for your business. You can always customize your website according to your needs and budget.
- Brand identity:
It is important to develop a brand identity for your business so that people can easily remember you. You can get customized uniforms for your employees, develop a brand logo. This way your customers will remember you for a longer time and can easily recall you. Professional service providers offer uniform printing service, logo design service, and printing services according to your budget and needs.
- Marketing and promotional strategy:
It is important to decide on a marketing and promotional strategy for your business so that more and more people can know about you. You can take advantage of many promotion tactics like setting up trade shows in your field and market area, giving offers and discounts. Try to engage your audience as much as possible because the more time they spend on your trade show booth the more will they want to use your services. It is important to set up an attractive trade show booth so that it catches the attention of people. You can hire some professional company that can set up your trade show booth and provides you with the best and affordable trade show items, promotional giveaways, etc. You can use many marketing strategies like-
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Content marketing
- Email marketing and newsletters
- Mobile marketing
- Local marketing, etc
- Measure your results and outcomes:
After you have put up so much of efforts, it is important to see where have they taken you. See what is the result of your investments and hard work. You can use Google AdWords and Facebook ads to measure your customer base and.
There are many tools available that can help you track your business analytics. One of them being Google Analytics. It is a free tool offered by Google that gives you an insight into all your business analytics. You can see how many people have visited your site, clicked on your links, what do they expect from you, what did they not like, etc.
- Increase your business network:
It is important to make networks and connections with the influential people in your field. Get a business card for yourself and give it to everybody you know or meet. Expand your network, start catching up with people from your field. You might just learn new things from them that can benefit you in the long run.
- Kick start your business:
Now that you are all set with your business, office, marketing strategy, start selling your products and services. Be confident and start interacting with your customers. There might be many obstacles in your way. You may have to wait long for your first client, but do not lose hope. Just trust yourself and your hard work and let your business grow gradually.
Just believe in yourself and don’t feel disheartened if success takes time. You just keep putting in your efforts honestly and do your hard work and you will definitely get fruitful results.
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