7 Steps to Starting a Business
Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s stressful and pretty much demands your complete focus. On the plus side, it can also be a fulfilling experience professionally and personally.
1. Know Yourself.
Not everyone has what it takes to start a company. That’s not to say that your idea is not brilliant, but are you ready for all the chores that come with it, like cold calling prospects and invoicing them until you’re paid when you start getting clients? It just means that you may not have the personality traits to handle launching a company of your own.
Before investing any time or resources, evaluate yourself and see if you have some the typical traits of an entrepreneur. Are you motivated, able to adapt and confident? Are you resilient?
2. Develop an idea.
Don’t just start a business because something is in vogue and you think commercializing it will make money. Develop a business concept that you’re passionate about related to something that you have experience with. And, NO, hobbies don’t necessarily make the best businesses. From there, come up with a product or service that you believe can enhance the people’s lives.
3. Test the plausibility.
Once you’ve settled on an idea, figure out how you can make it become a reality. Is the product or service something that people want or need? Can you make a profit selling it? Does the product work?
4. Write a business plan.
A solid business plan will guide you going forward, even if your plan is to be a sole proprietor or freelancer. It’s also needed for presenting your idea to potential investors. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, an executive summary, a service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the cost of the operation. check with your local chamber of commerce to learn about how to write a business plan. Many offer classes or can point you in the right direction.
5. Identify your market.
Even though you may have detected some interest in your business, you need to do more homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment – remember to include the internet in your research.
6. Determine the costs.
Do additional research and find out the standard cost factors within this industry. Not only will this help you manage your business more effectively, investors will want to know this.
7. Establish a budget.
Once you determine how much money you’ll have to work with, figure out how much it will take to develop your product or service and create a marketing plan.
These are just the initial steps. Stop by your local chamber of commerce to get more information and ask questions. They are there to help you succeed.