Starting your own business is not for the faint of heart. It’s stressful and demands their full attention. On the positive side, it can also be a rewarding experience professionally and personally.
Here are some helpful tips on how to make your business come alive – start your own business right now, don’t waste your time!
Here are the practical steps for starting a business.
Part 1. I Have an Idea for Starting a Business
Arriving with a business idea
You’ll have an idea for a business before you do anything.
You can do market research to get a clear picture. This should be something you are passionate about as your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.
Come up with profitable business ideas by identifying things that people need and are willing to pay for, that are not provided in your area, or that you can provide better than anyone else.
If you have yet to decide exactly what you want to do with your business, brainstorm first. This might mean writing down some ideas on paper, talking to a friend or two about your ambitions and interests, or simply searching the Internet for ideas.
The “do what you like” tips are given for a reason, of course – it is easier to start a business if you are passionate (and informed) about what you are offering. So, if you have a passion for model trains, don’t force yourself to start a golf equipment store just because you think it will make more money!
After brainstorming, you should do some research online to see what kinds of companies already exist, and may potentially be in the same niche as the one you are considering. This can open your eyes to potential competitors, or even spaces where the market is more saturated than expected.
After completing your research, narrow down your options and try to make a final decision for your business. Again, you don’t have to choose based solely on the products or services you plan to offer – you can have a niche based on location, price, etc., or a combination of things.
Share your business ideas with friends and family
Your friends and loved ones will probably be more honest with you about your business. Don’t hesitate to ask for their advice and suggestions.
Consider if it’s possible
Before going too far, think about how your idea is plausible. Is it something that people will pay for? Will it generate enough benefits to be worth the time to do it? You’ll also need to be sure that it’s possible to put it into action. While it would be great to have a computer that magically makes food appear out of thin air, this is simply impossible.
Make sure it’s unique
Whatever your idea is, make sure it’s as unique as possible. This will help you eliminate or significantly combat the competition, making your business more successful and profitable. Simply making a small change to an existing product (making blue wines or something similar) is usually not enough to build a profitable business, so keep thinking!
Select a business name for your company
Decide on the name that best suits your business. Then, check if the domain name is available online, as well as if it is free to use in your county, state, and country.
Part 2. Make a Business Plan
Determine the cost of the operation
You will need a solid business plan to present to any investor and the best place to start would be to determine the cost of basic operations. This will outline and help you determine how much money you need to manufacture the product or provide the service you intend to offer or produce. This includes production costs, shipping costs, taxes, salaries, rental of work space, etc.
Knowing the cost of operations will be vital in determining whether your business will be profitable, as you will need to do more than just be at the baseline in order to stay in business.
Determine Market Potential
Be realistic. How many people will realistically use your business? How many will pay to use your services? If the number is too small compared to how much it will cost you to stay in business, then you should reconsider or change your plans.
Determine the obstacles
You will need to plan ahead for all the problems you may encounter in running a profitable business.
Evaluate your competition; if your market share or product offering is too strong and stable, then you will have a very difficult time entering the market. No one is going to want to buy an equally priced or more expensive version of a perfectly good product or service that already exists.
You will also need to study the related laws and regulations, especially regarding taxes. You should ask your local state government office as well as obtaining information from the IRS.
Make sure there are no prohibitive costs, such as equipment that is too expensive to make the business profitable. For example, cars didn’t take off until Ford found a way to make them cheap by creating more efficient equipment.
Part 3. Make a Marketing Plan
Write a budget
Once you have a general idea of how much money you have to work with, write a marketing budget that indicates how much money you have available to spend on advertising.
Create ideas that fit your budget
Once you know how much money you have, research the costs of different types of marketing and come up with ideas that fit into these methods and are effective for the price range. If you have a lot of money to spend on marketing, for example, you might consider filming a commercial. If you have almost nothing, you will want to think of ways to effectively use social media, which are very effective for requiring little money.
Distribution and location marketing plan
Once you know what kind of marketing you intend to do, think about the most effective places to advertise and what time of day, month or year they will work best to reach your target market.
You will want to make sure you are using marketing that is appropriate for the type of people you expect to be interested in your products or services. There is a small point in using social media, for example, advertising a cruise line for people over 55. In the meantime, if you are advertising for your new dance club, a printed newspaper is probably not going to be your best bet. It also doesn’t make sense to advertise a business available only in Chicago to people in Seattle, so consider the physical location.
If your services are seasonal you will have to consider what is the best time of year for advertising. In addition, TV ads will have to be scheduled so that the right demographics are watching when they air.