A lot of people think starting a business is hard. Too many would-be-entrepreneurs get stuck early in the process because they think only a certain type of person has what it takes to make it as a successful business owner. The reality is, most people have what it takes: a good idea, the right amount of capital and the creativity.
What most people lack, however, is the patience, determination and ability to plan. It’s easy to become overwhelmed in the early stages of starting a business. The key is to have a working plan to stick to. Use something simple to guide you along the way.
Here are a few steps and guidelines you need to follow in starting a business:
1. Take Time to Brainstorm Ideas:
Every new business starts with an idea. Maybe there’s something you’re really knowledgeable and passionate about, or perhaps you think you’ve found a way to fill a gap in the marketplace. Wherever your interests lie, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s a way to turn it into a business.
Once you’ve narrowed your list of ideas down to one or two, do a quick search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what the current brand leaders are doing and figure out how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, but faster and cheaper), you’ve got a solid idea and are ready to create a business plan.
2. Build A Business Plan:
Now that you have your idea in place, there are a few important questions you need to ask yourself. A business plan helps you figure out where your company is going, how it will overcome any potential difficulties, and what you need to sustain it. These are the basic sections you will need to cover:
What your business is about and how you will accomplish your goals.
Your extended goals, and how you will fill your market’s needs.
Your research on your target market.
Organization and management of your company.
Your service or product line, including copyright information and R & D activities.
Strategies for market penetration and growth.
Estimated costs and funding request.
3. Evaluate Your Finances:
Starting any business has a price, so you need to determine how you’re going to cover those costs. Do you have the means to fund your startup, or will you need to borrow money? If you are planning to make your new business your full-time job, it’s wise to wait until you have at least some money put away for startup costs and to sustain yourself in the beginning before you start making a profit.
While many entrepreneurs put their own money into their new companies, it’s very possible that you’ll need a little bit (or a lot) of financial assistance depending on the type of business you’re starting. A commercial loan through a bank is a good starting point, although these can often be difficult to secure.
To be continued…