Starting your own venture sounds tempting, doesn’t it? The idea of being your own boss and doing things the way you won’t drive you to build your business. However, entrepreneurship comes with its challenges: responsibility, workload, finance, and anxiety.
If you are planning to plunge into your entrepreneurial drive and start a small business, there are a few key questions you must ask yourself.
- Why do you want to start a business?
- Are you passionate about the idea?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who are your competitors?
- What makes you unique?
- Will your product or service generate sufficient money?
- How do you fund the business?
- What are your marketing strategies?
- Do you need investors?
- What resources do you have, and what more you need?
- How many employees do you need?
- What are the legal aspects of your business?
Unfortunately, most small business owners overlook these questions and directly head to production and marketing – which is wrong. Sure, starting a business is risky and stressful, and you want to give it your best. But it’s also important to direct your time, effort, and resources to the right place at the time for fruitful results. Below I’ve prepared a checklist of things you must do to bring your business into reality and avoid unfortunate surprises.
10 Things to Do To Transform Your Idea into Your Dream Business
1. Make a business plan
A study shows that the chances of success are 129% higher for entrepreneurs with a business plan. At the same time, another report states that businesses with a business plan are likely to grow 30% faster. Successful entrepreneurs and industry experts believe that an aspiring business person should create a business plan to track progress and forecast trends to improvise strategies according to the changes.
A business plan is also essential if you want to rope in investors. It will give the investors a complete understanding of your vision, the market, potential possibilities and challenges, and the monetary requirements.
2. Derive a mission statement
Since you want to start a business, it’s apparent that you have a specific purpose. It doesn’t matter what product or service you plan to sell, whether a commercial product or the services of an essay writer or essay helper; you must stand out from the rest in the industry.
Standing out in the crowd is no easy job, and no trick under the sun assures guaranteed results. However, having a solid business mission will help you make crucial business decisions and expand your reach in the industry.
3. Conduct audience research
The audiences are the driving force of any business, whether it’s an online apparel store or academic services of essay writers. So focus on studying the demographics and understand where the maximum demand of your target products or services is.
Research and learn about their purchasing habit and divide your potential customers into multiple categories, including age, interests, gender, profession, etc. Understanding your consumers’ needs will allow you to fine-tune your products and ensure that they reach the right audience, and bring new and repeated buyers.
4. Identify the competitors
In life, a little competition is what drives us to excel and achieve our goals. Likewise, having competitors allows businesses to give the best to their existing and new customers. Therefore, before starting a business, it’s pivotal to know who your competitors are, their marketing agenda, how they meet customers’ needs, and how you plan to compete with them.
Understanding your competitors and potential market threats will allow you to prepare a suitable proposal for your investors. If you fail to show your investors how your business plans to surpass the competition, you are less likely to strike a deal.
5. Plan business finances
Before you start making money, you have to fund your business. But, unless you have a degree in business economics or belong to the finance industry, you cannot quite get a grasp of the amount necessary for your business to take off.
Your potential investors will want to know:
- How much money your business needs?
- What much are you funding your business?
- How much would you need from the investors, and for how long?
Take help from a professional financial advisor if you alone cannot budget your business finance. Whether you intend to fund your business with a credit card, personal savings, equity, or bank loans, note everything in your business plan, so it’s transparent to the investors.
6. Budget yourself
Most often, entrepreneurs forget one crucial factor when making a business plan – their personal finances. You cannot forget about your expenses such as rent, insurance, or mortgages if you have any. Prepare your living costs before funding your business to avoid unforeseen conditions. Also, make sure you keep some money aside for the “rainy” days. Talk to your financial planner for expert guidance with your finances.
7. Fix the legal entities
One of the most critical factors of a new business is its legal structure. It includes the taxes, liabilities, paperwork, number of employees, and other legal aspects. In addition, everything must be well-recorded, from owning the company name to getting the required business licenses and registration certificates from the legal and local authorities.
Your legal framework will help determine how much taxes you need to pay, what paperwork you’ve to file for, and other liabilities. Although different legal entities come with unique requirements, I highly recommend you to have in-house legal counsel for precise and timely guidance.
8. Determine your workforce
People are the driving force of a business. They work hard and deliver the best, so you realize your vision. Whether it’s your online business or a brick-and-mortar office, the number of employees you need should be fixed before starting a business. This including production, management, marketing, sales, and customer service.
You can’t manage everything on your own. Bringing experienced professionals can prove to be an asset for the business and help you operate in the best possible way. So start with a small team of 4-5 members and gradually expand when revenue starts rolling in.
9. Understand and plan for risks
Of course, there are risks involved with all business ventures. So you need to identify the possible risks, calculate the potential damages, and plan before launching your business. This means assessing the industry and risks involved. That way, you can obtain the right insurance policies to safeguard your new business.
Generally, most businesses consider insurance for healthcare, life, vehicle, and liability, but be sure of the local regulations related to the types of insurance your business is eligible for. For example, if you a restaurateur, you may need liquor liability insurance, which might not be necessary for other industries.
10. Be prepared
Starting a business right from scratch is stressful and demanding. From business planning, product development to launching and promoting for continuous growth, you have to put your best foot forward and make the most of your time, money, and resources.
The entire journey will be a roller-coaster ride. Be mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to bear all the stress, pressure, failure, or success. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely and extremely busy at the same time. You cannot allow negativity and letdowns to play with your passion. Always remind yourself why you started this business in the first place and drive on.
Above are wonderful tips to thrive as a modern entrepreneur and if you dream of starting something with your name on it, make it happen. But before that, make sure you invest your time in planning your business. Let’s quickly revise the factors that you must consider before starting with a new venture:
- Make a business plan
- Derive a mission statement
- Conduct audience research
- Identify the competitors
- Plan business finances
- Budget yourself
- Fix the legal entities
- Determine your workforce
- Understand and plan for risks
- Be prepared