Are you ready to start a business?
Starting a business is no child’s play as it takes a lot of effort and time. Before starting a business, you have to undergo various steps such as planning, decision making, market research, and legalities. So now, are you ready to start a business?
Undoubtedly the idea of entrepreneurship seems fascinating to many people but when you actually take to start a business, it can be overwhelming. Each business is different, in various terms, from one another. Still, every business requires enough hard work from you to be successful, and that’s why the question of ‘Are you ready to start a business always comes to mind in the beginning.
All the industries work differently, but it takes similar kind steps to make it successful and achieve greater heights. So, if you plan to start a business, you must be aware of some important things.
Are You Ready to Start a Business? Here are 11 tips
1. Working on Ideas and Determining the Type of Business
Before starting a business, you must be having an idea about what you are going to sell. That is to say; you need to determine the type of business beforehand. You must decide which industry or market you want to enter and look at other existing companies for inspiration. After all the decisions, it’s time to decide ‘Are you ready to start a business’ finally.
Once you are sure that you can deliver something that other companies cannot, you are ready to take further steps.
“Always start with why” says Simon Sinek. You don’t just need to determine the type of business; you must have a clear idea about why you want to choose that field.
Always choose a field about which you have enough knowledge. Your business must have the ability to fulfill market needs.
Many people jump into launching their business without working upon their ideas, which eventually leads to disappointment.
2. Market Research
If your answer to the question ‘Are you ready to start a business’ is yes, then it’s about time to move to the next step.
After you have decided the type of business, you must make sure that you can make money through that niche of yours. A good way to do this is to conduct market research to understand the trends in the market and economic behavior.
If you do market research before starting your business, it lets you add things that add to the success of your business and eliminate the risk factors.
You can either use existing sources to get to know the market or research yourself by talking to the consumers. Though using existing sources saves your time, the information provided by them might not be entirely accurate.
If you research on your own, it gives you a more nuanced knowledge about your industry and audience. Though it requires time and effort, the result received is more accurate and solves your business-related queries quickly.
3. Choosing a Location for Business
Now when you know the answer to the question ‘are you ready to start a business’, you must first choose a suitable location for your business.
Picking the right location for your business also plays an important role while starting a business. The business location determines the zoning laws, taxes, and rules and regulations that your business has to abide by.
Your decision to choose a business location depends on the location of your business partners (if any), target audience, and personal preferences.
While deciding the location, it’s necessary to consider the costs, state taxes and expenses, etc., depending upon the location, as it makes a great difference.
4. Business Plan and Exit Strategy
Just because your answer to the question ‘are you ready to start a business’ is yes doesn’t mean your job is done. You must have a good business plan as well as an exit strategy before starting a business.
Writing a Business Plan
One of the most significant steps before starting the business is to write a business plan, as it lays down the foundation of your business. A business plan is a record that covers all the details of your business.
A good business plan gives the guide you need through all the stages of starting, managing, and making your business successful. Moreover, it helps you get funds, brings new business partners, and convinces other business owners to believe and invest in your business.
No right or wrong format is there to make a business plan. It just requires you to meet your needs. Your business plan should include all the necessary details about your business such, as a description of your company and product, ways of management, sales strategy, marketing plans, financial plans, and a summary of everything regarding your business.
It’s always a great idea to keep the future in mind. Whenever you start a business, plan the exit strategy, as it makes you a good entrepreneur. An ideal business owner is one who keeps both success and failure in mind.
Whenever you enter something, you get to know where you are supposed to exit from. Just like that, you must be knowing beforehand what your strategy would be if you don’t get successful.
5. Business Structure
While answering the question ‘are you ready to start a business’, you must answer one more problem regarding the business structure.
Before starting a business, you must decide the business structure. It influences everything in your business (be it the day to day operations, risk factors, or taxes you pay). Always choose the business structure that suits your business.
You can even convert into a different business structure in the future, but you may face restrictions based upon your location. Some common business structures that you can choose from are:
Sole proprietorship: This means that there will be a single owner of the business. It is easy to form, and you have full control over your business under this structure. But, you will be the one liable for the risks at the same time. This implies that your business assets and liabilities are not different from your investments.
Partnership: This business structure has two or more owners of the business. It is of two types, i.e.: Limited partnership and limited liability partnership. Limited partnership businesses have one partner with unlimited liability and other partners with limited liability.
On the other hand, the Limited liability partnership has all the partners with limited liability.
Limited liability company: This one has the benefits of both the corporation and partnership business structure as it provides legal protection of a corporation and at the same time allows tax benefits of a partnership. It is one of the most common structures for small businesses. LLC can be the right choice for a business with medium or high risk.
6. Funds and Expenses for Business
Say yes to the question ‘are you ready to start a business’ when you have enough funds or money to bear the expenses.
You need money to start a business, and funding your business is one of the most important things before launching your company. You need to decide whether you have enough means to cover the costs and fund your business or do you need to borrow or find investors.
If your business runs out of money before making a profit, your business will be a failure. The funds you have affects the determination of the structure of the business.
You can self fund your business if you have the required amount of money. You can even ask for help from your friends or family.
When you do self-funding, you get complete control over your business, but you have risks too.
If you don’t want to share the ownership and control over your business, but at the same time you are not able to self fund your business, you can take a small business loan from the bank.
To secure the loan, you must have a business plan and financial projections ready so that the bank knows that they can believe in you and sanction your loan.
When you cannot self-fund all your business, you can get funding in the form of venture capital investments from investors. Venture capital generally offers an ownership share and an active role in the business in return.
We are aware that everything has a price. If you need investors to invest in your business, be ready to share control and ownership of your business with the investors.
To get funding from investors, you first need to find interested investors, share your business plan with them, and discuss all the terms and conditions. It is only after they know and believe in your company that they will invest in your business.
This is yet another way to get funds for your business. If you do not want to share the ownership and control over your business with others, this is a good way to help you. Crowdfunding means raising funds for a business from many people (who are called Crowdfunders).
They are not investors as they don’t receive share or control over your business. Crowdfunders don’t expect financial returns on their money as well. They expect a ‘gift’ from your company in return of their contribution. You can either give them the product you will sell as a gift or give them their due credits.
Crowdfunding has a low risk for the business owners as you are not obliged to repay the crowd funders if your business fails.
While funding your business, keep in mind one thing that you must not overspend money when you are just starting your business. Make only those necessary purchases for the business and enough to help you achieve your business goals.
Always keep a record of your expenses while starting your business as you don’t want to regret and incur a huge loss if your business fails.
7. Business Name and Registration
Are you ready to start a business? If yes, then be prepared to give it a good name and register the business.
After you are done with all the planning and funding, it’s time to decide a name for your business. Everyone wants a business name that reflects your brand and is different from others.
After you choose the business name, you need to register it, and there are four different ways to register the business name to protect it:
Trademark: It protects your business’ name, goods, and services at the national level.
Entity Name: This protects the name of your business at the state level. Your entity name is the way the state identifies your business.
DBA: Doing business as DBA doesn’t provide any protection, but it might be legally required in a few states.
Domain Name: Everyone wants an online presence of their business nowadays. Your domain name must be registered so that no one can use it as long as you are using it.
After you choose a business name, get your business registered. The registration of your business depends upon your business location and structure. If you have a small business, then the registration process is as easy as registering the business name.
On the other hand, in some cases, there’s no need to register your business at all. If you plan to conduct your business as yourself, using your legal name, then there’s no need to register it.
8. Open a Business Bank Account and Get a Tax ID
Are you ready to start a business? Well, then be prepared to open a bank account and get your tax ID.
Once you are done registering your business, apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) straightaway as it’s free of charge. Your EIN is your federal tax ID. It’s mandatory for your business if you need to hire employees, pay taxes, open a bank account, work with certain types of organizations, and apply for licenses and permits for your business.
When you are ready to accept and make payments, open a business account as it helps you stay legally protected. Business accounts generally include savings accounts, checking accounts, credit card accounts, and merchant services accounts.
You are allowed to open a business account after you get your federal EIN. Choose the right bank to open your business account in. Opening a business account is easy as you just need the required documents to do it.
9. License and Permits
If you can perceive the answer to the question ‘are you ready to start a business’, then be ready to get all the required licenses and permits as well.
After registration of your business, you need to apply for all the necessary licenses and permits. Most of the small businesses require license from both federal and state agencies.
All the requirements and fees for getting a license and permits vary based on your location, business type and rules. You need to get a federal license or permit if a federal agency regulates the business activities.
Not only this, you need to get state licenses as well, as states regulate more activities than the federal government. The state licenses and permits vary in every state based on the rules and regulations of the state concerned.
Are you ready to start a business? If yes, then start finding measures to protect it from risks as well.
While starting a business, many people ignore this step but purchasing an insurance policy for your business is important. Whenever you start a business, there’s always a risk of expected and unexpected damages (be it theft, property damage, or some natural calamity).
If you buy a suitable insurance policy for your business initially, you’ll be protected appropriately. You should always choose a policy that’s right for the type of business you are starting.
11. Build your Team, Launch your Business and First Product and Market your Business
When you say yes to the question ‘are you ready to start a business’, then be prepared to build a good team for the success of that business.
Building a good team for your company is one of the most important factors that determine the business’s success. Unless you plan to run the business all by yourself, you need to hire talented and efficient employees and workers for your business.
After you have a team, you are finally ready to launch your business and serve the target audience. You can keep hiring more people after the launch, according to the needs of your business.
After the final launch of your business, you need to launch your first product and make it available to your audience. We all know the saying, ‘First impression is the last impression’. Ensure that the first product of your business is powerful enough to attract more clients towards your business. Always keep consistency in the quality of your product.
Before selling your product, you need to brand yourself and then market your business and product. Create a logo so that people can identify your brand and use the same logo across all the platforms.
To market your business, you need to spend money on advertisements as well. Make sure that you don’t spend much. A good marketing plan must be present to advertise your business and attract the audience.
So, now that you know how to start a business successfully. Are you ready to start a business? It might seem a bit challenging and difficult initially, but everything takes effort, and to start a business, it requires a lot of hard work, knowledge, and dedication.
Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes in the beginning as we learn from those mistakes so that we don’t repeat them in the future. You may face a few obstacles in your way, but it’s all about how you handle things while starting your own business. Just make sure that your answer to the question ‘are you ready to start a business‘ is yes, and then follow all the steps given in this guide.