Deciding to start a business can be one of the most exhilarating decisions you make in your life. But there are a lot of moving parts and many different elements to consider. Here are 10 steps that provide an overview of the basic steps required to start a business successfully. Take one step at a time, and you'll be on your way to samall business ownership.
Step 1: Get Inspired
All businesses start from a common point —an idea.
You may have dreamed of starting your own business for years, or inspiration may have hit you unexpectedly. Regardless of the source, the first step of starting your own business is coming up with abusiness idea.
Step 2: Do Your Research
You've identified your big idea, now it's time to balance it with a little reality. Are you really ready to start a business? Take thisstarting a business quizto gauge your readiness and see what you need to prepare yourself for business ownership. The next stage of research you conduct in your small businessstart-up processwill help you figure out if your business idea has potential.
In order for a small business to be successful, it must solve a problem, fulfill a need or offer something the market wants. There are a number of ways you can identify this need, including research,focus groups, and even trial and error. As you explore the market, some of the questions you should answer include
· Is there a need for your anticipated products/services?
· Who needs it?
· Are there other companies offering similar products/services now?
· What is the competition like?
· How will your business fit into the market?
Don't forget toask yourself some questions, too, about starting a business before you take the plunge.
Step 3: Make a Plan
You need a plan in order to make your business idea a reality. If you intend to seek financial support from an investor or financial institution, a formal writtenbusiness planis a must.
Even if you don't anticipate seeking financial support, asimple business plancan give you clarity about what you hope to achieve and how you plan to do it.
In general, yourbusiness planshould outline yourbusiness goalsand the motivation behind them, as well as your plan for reaching your goals in terms of marketing and funding.
Step 4: Plan Your Finances
Starting a small business doesn't have to require a lot of money, but it will involve someinitial investment. There are a number of ways you canfund your small business, including:
· Small business loans
· Small business grants
· Angel investors
You can also attempt to get your business off the ground bybootstrapping, using as little capital as necessary to start your business.
Step 5: Choose a Business Structure
Your small business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, alimited liability company(LLC) or a corporation. Thebusiness structureyou choose will impact many factors from your business name, to your liability, to how you file your taxes. You may choose an initial business structure, and then reevaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs change.
Read more in second part….