Becoming an entrepreneur can be a lot of things at once: exciting, scary, confusing, fulfilling, stressful… With so many different things to do to get your operation up and running, knowing where to start can help you to avoid decision fatigue and get your product or service off the ground. This step-by-step guide to starting your business will help you to do just that!
Have the Idea
Chances are that if you’re reading this article, you already have a pretty good idea about what kind of company you want to run. Congratulations! That’s step one in starting your own business. If you have a general idea of what you’d like to do, you may also want to think about “niching down” (a.k.a. catering to a very small and specific portion of the market that you’re looking to enter) at this stage. If you’re not sure where to start, step 2 may be of help.
Do Market Research
Doing market research prior to launching your company will ensure that you’re set up for success. Some good questions to ask yourself when you’re doing market research are below:
o What problem is your product or service going to solve?
o Who is your ideal client or customer? Where do they live? What are their pain points? What kinds of things do they like to do in their free time?
o What companies are already in the market that you’re entering? What can you take away from their business model? How will you differentiate yourself from them?
Make a List of What You’ll Need
As Taxbuzz points out, the supplies and resources you may need to start your company will differ significantly depending on the type of service or product you’ll be producing. While a graphic design business will likely only require a laptop, the Adobe Suite, and some digital assets, a brick-and-mortar business also needs to factor in a rental space, staff costs, and inventory.
If you have significant overhead costs, the next step in starting your own business is to obtain funding. Whether you’re pulling from your own savings, approaching investors to fund your product, or crowdsourcing the startup capital you need, you should plan to have enough cash for at least 6 months of operations costs.
Establish Who You Are
This is one of the most fun parts about starting a business! Coming up with your business name, commissioning a logo, and launching your website are all essential in communicating who you are and what you do to your audience.
Make a Marketing Plan
Create a yearly marketing plan that details how you’ll get the word out about your business and how much it will cost. Decide how much of your budget will be allocated to TV and radio ads, social media marketing, PR, etc. This should be informed by the market research you did in step two.
Do the Work
Now that you’ve done all the research to get your business up and running, it’s time to do the work! Use the funds you obtained to purchase the supplies you need, launch your website, and begin advertising using your marketing plan. While it may take a while for your business to gain traction, putting in all the work leading up to its launch will make running it as fulfilling as you dreamed it would be when you originally had the idea.
If you need referrals to help you in any of these areas, feel free to reach out. We have lots of contacts who are willing to help. You can reach us at 310-534-5577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you need bookkeeping or payroll assistance, we are here to help as well.