Starting a business can be a daunting task. Even if you have a business idea, it is only one of the first steps in starting a new business. Many things can go wrong if you don’t plan well and implement the plan even better. But, as long as you follow certain basic steps to the letter, you should be well on your way to starting a successful new business from scratch.
So without further ado, here are the basic steps to starting a new business from scratch:
1. Make an effort in research
Any business starts with an idea. So if you are someone who already has an idea of what kind of business you want to build, you have already taken care of the first basic step. But don’t rest easy just yet. Chances are there are a billion brands selling the exact product or service that you offer. So what is it about you, your brand, and your product that sets you apart from the crowd? This is where research comes in.
If you have a business idea, it’s time to start researching it. Market research and competitor analysis is arguably one of the most important steps in starting a new business. So remember to push yourself. Find out which brands are selling the same products and services as you and see what they are doing, what demands they are meeting, and what demands they are missing. If you can fill that gap that your competitors are not meeting, you have your Unique Selling Point (USP for short). And by the time you have your USP, know that it is officially part of the game.
2. Set your goals
You already know what your idea is. Hopefully it also has its unique selling points. Now is the time to write down the who, what, how and why of the business plan. Who is your target demographic? Knowing your target customer base is the most important information you’ll need when choosing your location, deciding your budget, and planning your marketing campaign. You already know what you plan to sell and how you are going to sell it (which is basically the USP of your product or service). Finally, state why. Why this business idea? What’s its purpose? What gaps does it fill?
Once you answer these questions, you will have your business objective.
3. Write the business plan in detail
You’ve already done your research. Know the why, how, who and what of your business plan. Now is the time to put it all together, write it down on paper and give it structure.
As part of your business plan, you will decide on your business vision, that is, what are your goals? Where do you want to be in 5 … 10 years? Write this down before proceeding to the mission. The mission is where you write down in detail the features and functionalities of your product and service, the demographic details you plan to target, the unique selling points that you discovered in the previous phases, etc.
Then comes the price. How are you going to price your items? Product prices should be competitive enough that customers are inclined to choose your brand over the competition. And it should also be able to help you take advantage of it. The goal here is to hit that sweet spot between affordable and profitable. The last sections of your business plan should focus on promoting the market, goals and objectives, and action plans. Once you decide how and where you want to market your product, the business milestones you want to achieve, and the actionable steps you plan to take to achieve the same, you have your business plan.
4. Create a budget
Creating your budget is again one of the most important steps to start a new business. It allows you to understand what you are getting into. Ideally, your budget should be part of your business plan and include all estimated charges, from cost of production, marketing, overhead, etc.
5. Plan the structure
This is the step where you work through the heart of the business, from choosing a name to deciding on a business structure. Is it going to be a sole proprietorship business? Do you need partners? This is also where you register your business, obtain the appropriate licenses, and purchase a website domain.
6. Work on your financing
How are you going to finance your business? If you don’t have enough savings to spare, you’ll need to work to get investors to fund your business. Your business plan will come in handy here. Include an estimated budget, with production costs, overhead, marketing, etc., and start pitching your idea to investors.
7. Find a location that works
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re investing in brick-and-mortar stores, do your best to research your location before finalizing. Obtaining the proper permits and license to own a store in a particular location can be much more expensive than others. But those same locations could be the top where a large portion of your store demographics are located. If you are lucky and put in the effort, you may find a location that is not only affordable but also extremely underused.
8. Create prototypes
One of the basic but most important steps in starting a new business is knowing that nothing is more important than feedback. Customer feedback will let you know not only what you are doing right, but also what you are doing completely wrong. But don’t worry if your product seems to have more flaws than you expected. That’s what the beta testing stage is for.
Before deciding on the final design of your product or service, prototype your product and submit it for beta testing. This part of the market research is extremely important because it can pinpoint problems with your product, if any, before you’ve officially invested all of your money in the final version of the product. Collect data from feedback you receive from beta testers and use it to cover flaws and flaws in your business plan and product design before deciding on the final version. This stage will most likely help you not only recognize issues, but also certain USPs of products that you were previously unaware of.
9. Work on your online presence
The world has moved online and brands are doing their best to keep up. The digital world, with its millions of e-commerce platforms and social media channels, can help decide the fate of your business from the moment of conception. So, work on creating an online presence for your brand, from Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, to dedicated websites that spell out your brand’s tone, style, and reputation in clear and concise detail. Remember, your brand’s online presence can create an indelible image of your brand in the minds of potential users. Make good use of social media channels and your business may go viral from the day you first open your doors.
10. Invest in marketing
There’s a reason all brands, large and small, have a separate fund for promotions and marketing. The quality of your product is secondary. The main thing is the image you create of him in the minds of potential clients. And marketers can help you build just that. They can predict market trends and help you build USPs, creating market demand for your product from nothing more than a simple Instagram carousel post.
Image credit: Pexels; Provided by the author; Thanks!