You probably have been working your 9-5 job, wanting a change in your life, seeking financial freedom, and wanting to be your own boss. You want to quit the rat race that you’ve been living in and want extra time on your own to spend with families or friends. You take a leap of faith and decided that you want to start your own business. But how do you start your own business?
If this sounds like you, then you should read this article.
Here are 11 steps for you to start your own business.
1. Brainstorm business ideas
Every business started off with just ideas that they turn it into a reality. That is the origin point to embark in the entrepreneurial path. These ideas can be generated from anything. It can be from something that you are passionate about, it can be from something that you faced every single day of your life, it can be from small chat with your friends, it can be anything!
Here are some brands and how they started.
- Red Bull, the energy drink started when the owner went to Thailand and wanting something to cure his jet lag
- Airbnb started when hotels were fully booked in San Francisco one day and decided to make a “hotel”out of their place
- Dassler brothers had different views on how to run a business that they split up that forms Adidas and Puma
2. Identify your business niche
Identify the niche that you’re in and understand who’s in that niche. If you are starting a travel business, then your target customers would be travelers and your competitors are travel agencies. If you are starting a sports brand, then your target customers would be athletes and your competitors would be major brands such as Nike, Adidas,and Puma. Understand this would let you to have a grasp on your business and industry for you to penetrate the market.
Also, do some market research on your market. How’s the demand looks like? What about the supply? This is to ensure that they are people who’s going to buy your products if you start selling and suppliers would be a ton of them for you to find, supplying at a cheap price.
3. Decide your business model
Business model is important because you’re going to make money out of it. Let’s say you want to make money from an app that you’ve created. How are you going to make money? You can earn some profits off advertising that you’ve put on app or through affiliate links that you’ve put on them. You decide.
Perhaps you want to do dropshipping or sell products on Amazon, then you would want to set a profit margin on top of the cost that you incur from sourcing it out from. Perhaps you want to have a real estate business where you rent out properties to other people. Then, your rental should be higher than your mortgage.
4. Name your business
Naming your business is crucial.You want to name your business that is marketable and commercial – name that can sell. You don’t want to make a mistake of naming your business that will cost your reputation and your brand. Naming your business is a part of branding efforts. So, don’t just choose any name but be sure to put some thoughts into it, the one that you think people can accept.
5. Create a business plan
Now, it’s time for you to table it all out in a business plan. You should put down all the details there is to develop your business. From the purpose, your vision, your target customers, your competitors, the how-to part, sourcing from vendors, marketing plan, as well as your cash flow projections. This is to ensure that you have already planned out before you would even execute or develop your business.
6. Choose your business structure
You should be ready to register your company now, but you’ll need to decide what kind of entity you want it to be. Your business structure will determine legally how it will affect you from filing taxes to personal liabilities if something goes sideways.
- Sole Proprietorship: Wholly-owned by a single individual using personal name
- Partnership: Two or more people manage and operate the business and share profits and liabilities
- Corporation: A legal entity that separates from its owners, liabilities is held by the corporation but not the owners personally
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): Similar to corporation but does not pay corporate income tax. Owners receive incomes and they are taxed like partners in partnership
7. Fund your business
Next, you probably need funding for your business. You can choose to fund it yourselves using the money that you’ve saved from your 9-5 job. Or pitching the idea of your business to your family or friends. Even Alibaba’s Jack Ma started off by pitching to his friends about it.
If that’s not enough, you can request the bank for a loan for your business. This may require you to show them a business plan and cash projections (it’s OK, you should have done it in Step 4) as proof that you are serious with your business and that you can pay them back when your business is profitable. Another option would be crowdfunding through sites like Indiegogo or Kickstarter where you raised fund for your business through the public support.
We also have compiled some funding sites that can get funds for you.
8. Get business insurance
Get your business protected to manage risks associated with the nature of your business by applying for a business insurance. This is to ensure that you are prepared and have a safety net in the occurrence of any unforeseen event, incidents, disaster or even litigation if it comes to that.
9. Build your team
After you have everything set, you have your business plan ready and a way to move forward, you’re going to want to build your team. Be sure to hire a great team of people that can help you and your business in each function needed. That way, you can focus more on the important aspects of your business and leave the rest to your team.
We have compiled a few apps that you can use to work effectively in a team.
10. Choose your vendors
In any business, you probably need vendors to supply you with whatever it is needed for you to sell your products. Be sure to filter the best and reliable suppliers that you can find and having them to provide with cheaper price is a bonus. You would want to create a business relationship with them to ensure long and sustainable partnership. So, choosing your vendors wisely is also vital in the success of your business. For example, if you were to sell a product that is made in China, you would want to have a good relationship with the manufacturer so that you can trust them making the products for you in the best form which will benefit you and you customers.
11. Promote your brand and advertise
This is very straightforward. If you don’t promote and sell, people won’t know about it and buy. What matters for a business is for you to make a sale and gain profits. With that being said, be sure to promote and deploy any marketing tactics that you can find to increase sales. This can include email marketing, posting on social medias, advertise on Google, reaching out to influencers, and more.
Nowadays, there are many tools that you can use to pursue your marketing efforts. Startup Checkr has built a list of tools in each category that you can find as follows:
- Create email marketing campaign
- Be active on all existing social medias
- Reach out to influencers in your niche
- Optimize your ads campaign
- Send SMS notifications to your loyal customers