A start-up can divert away from its original path due to different distractions. That is why it is essential to understand the proper steps to start a business.
Here are the key steps to start a business:
1. Refining and finalizing the idea
Every aspiring entrepreneur has a bunch of business ideas. But these are rough ideas that need further refining before moving on to the other steps.
You need to answer some general questions:
- What problem is your business going to solve?
- How big is the problem?
- Who will benefit from your services?
- How big is the target audience?
- Will your consumers pay for the solution?
- How much time will it take to launch the product or service?
2. Make a business plan
After refining and finalizing the business idea, you need to make a solid plan.
At the early stage, you do not need to spend much time planning for the business because a good business plan on paper makes no sense if the execution is poor. However, you must address certain points.
The business plan should be detailed enough and include the following points:
- Business model
- Market analysis
- Product or service information
- Marketing and sales strategies
- Financial projections
You also need to select lenders for getting funds for building your business.
3. Finalise the business name and establish a presence
The name of the business is the identity of the venture. You need to keep certain things in your mind while naming your business. They are:
- The name of your business should be easy to spell and remember.
- You must check trademark availability for the selected name.
- “.com” domain should be available for the selected name.
- The name should be related to your industry.
Once a business name has been selected, you must establish a presence on the internet. Keep the following points in mind to establish your business on the internet:
- Design a logo and write the brand policies.
- Create a business website.
- Set up social media accounts for your business.
- Apply for a trademark.
4. Build the essential foundation
Like any building, the reliability of a business depends on its foundation. It is essential to set up a strong foundation to ensure that the business grows as per the original plan.
To set up a strong foundation, you need to keep a few things in mind. They are:
- Seek professional help for financial and legal issues: In the early stages, it is important to take the necessary steps so that the business is not caught on the wrong foot to save cash. If you cannot afford a full-time lawyer or an accountant, you can hire freelancers.
- Finalize the business structure: Selecting the right business structure is very important for ensuring business growth. If you are starting alone or with few co-founders, it is important to finalize a business structure. It is better to set up the business as a limited liability company or a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship or partnership.
- Take care of the necessary documentation: As a business owner, you need to keep all your necessary documents well organized. In the case of a sole proprietorship or a single-member L.L.C., you will not require a separate P.A.N. card. However, the company will require a G.S.T. registration certificate and some other documents, depending on the industry.
- Insurance: Most businesses ignore this step and regret it later. Buying insurance will help you avoid headaches due to massive payouts in case of any unfortunate incident.
5. Set up daily operations
To keep your focus on business growth, you must set up a robust daily operation mechanism. The following things need to be taken care of in terms of setting up the daily operations:
- Accounting and payroll management: This is an essential point for all businesses. You must hire a good accountant to manage the cash flow. An efficient payroll management system is required to handle the salaries of the employees.
- Marketing and sales: After establishing your business, you should come up with a marketing strategy. You need to tell people about your business and your products or services. You should also develop a sales strategy to maximize profit and drive business growth.
- Team communication: Good team communication is essential for the growth of any business. Your employees should be able to work in teams and communicate with each other to increase productivity.
6. Build a solid team and grow your business
The next step is to build a team. The following things need to be kept in mind while making the team:
Hiring full-time employees: As per your business requirements, you should start hiring appropriate individuals so that work can be delegated to specialists, and the founders can invest their time in accomplishing business goals.
Hiring freelancers: It is crucial to finalize the roles for which full-time employees will be required. Then, you can hire freelancers or part-time employees for some other tasks. While choosing freelancers, check if they are eligible and qualified enough for carrying out the tasks. You can also hire interns.
Finalize Vendors: A business requires the support of vendors in addition to employees and freelancers. So, if it is necessary to outsource any business function to a third party, it should be done at this stage. Select reliable vendors who can provide you with goods at reasonable rates.
Set up a business growth plan: Once all the basics are in place, it is time to set up a business growth plan to accelerate growth. You can follow the S.M.A.R.T. principle. According to this principle, to achieve your goals, you should make sure that:
- Your goals are Specific
- They are Measurable
- Your goals are Attainable
- Your goals are Relevant
- They are Time-based
Setting up a new business can be a daunting task, especially when you do not have proper guidance. But, once you know the steps or have adequate knowledge of the things you need to do, the process may seem less tiring. So, go through all the points, evaluate all the things, set your goals, and begin your journey.