How to start a business: The 5 general steps

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 Starting your own business may be that one thing you have always wanted to but something is always dragging you down. What could that be? Most of the time, many would-be entrepreneurs are faced with the problem of uncertainty, fear, and the question of the validity of their business ideas. If an entrepreneur is not quick to act against the challenges they will end up weighing his dreams down to nothingness. To help you avoid falling to this trap we have discussed the five general steps you can follow to get your business up and running and here they are.

Step #1: Market Research

Market research should be the first step regardless of the type of business you would like to start. In market research, an entrepreneur seeks to understand the market dynamics of the intended products and services. It is in this stage that the validity and viability of a business idea are evaluated and confirmed. Every new business should either solve a particular problem or provide a service that is needed in the market. As such, every entrepreneur needs to if the anticipated products or services are needed and if so, by whom. Market research should also reveal if other companies are offering similar services in the market and if so, a distinction between the anticipated services and the already existing services should be drawn. 

Step #2: Planning

Planning is important for any form of business you may wish to start. It is through planning that you write budgets for your venture, choose a legal name for your entity, plan on how to get finance, and decide which business structure best fits the business idea among other important activities. Operational mechanisms and location specifics of your business are also defined in this phase. Note that nowadays increasingly more businesses are shifting from physical outlets to only expose their identity and services through websites on the internet. At this stage, you may need to come up with a business plan.

Step 3: Fund your business

When all the essential plans are in place and you have decided on how to reach your clients, it is now time to fund your business. The first step in funding is opening a bank account for the business entity. Once this is done, you can fund the business from your savings, a bank loan, or crowd funding sources. Getting a partner or cofounder maybe the best thing, if you are low on finances and are not willing to take a bank loan.

Step 4: Registration

You already proposed a name in the planning phase it is now time to register your business with the necessary legal bodies. Your business name ought to be unique and if possible let the business name reflect the activities you are involved in.  Depending on the nature of the business you may need to obtain further licenses and permits and sometimes insurance

Step 5: Acquire the necessary infrastructure and open your venture

Registration is essentially the last step in setting up a business as far as legal issues are concerned. The acquisition of necessary infrastructure is however necessary. This may involve the acquisition of office space and furniture, setting up a business website, or hiring new staff.

When all is set up and done, you are ready to open your business to clients. One important task at this stage is promoting your business either through advertising, or word of mouth among other channels.

Tips on starting a successful business

Get help from experts

You may not have all the necessary knowledge required to start and run a business successfully but there are other people you can reach and get things done in the right way. Joining a mentoring network, or seeking start-up loans are just a few ways through which you can get real-time help.

There is no “right time” for business

People postpone the idea of starting their businesses with the excuse that the right time is not yet. The truth is that such people never get started since they lose interest in the business idea. Worse even, they may end up starting the business when somebody else is already profiting from their idea. Start any time and brace yourself to face the challenges.

Go digital

We are living in a completely new world of connectivity. This brings along unlimited opportunities that can only be tapped through online platforms. A new business is more likely to win clients through online platforms than physical locations and even advertising. It is also a good way to clients updated with what you are up to and keep the conversations going.

Outsource instead of hiring

As a young business owner, you may not have adequate finance to permanently hire employees. You can, however, outsource labour for some of the general tasks. This leaves your business with funds to continue running other activities while maintaining productivity.

Bottom line

We have looked at the most general steps to starting your business. However, except for the legal steps and requirements, the rest of the steps are dynamic depending on the nature of the venture in question. In modern days, an online business may get further reach to clients compared to offline ventures. It is for this reason that you should strive to combine the two aspects in favour of your business. Market research and planning are the most important steps in starting your business since they spell out the future of your business.

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