There are no limits on who can become a successful entrepreneur. A person does not necessarily need an academic degree, much money, or even any business experience to start something that could become the next major success. But if you want to start a business, you will definitely need a business research or business plan. We have composed a comprehensive written essay and detailed guide to help you turn your idea into a prosperous business.
Step 1: Evaluate Yourself
Begin with the most straightforward question: Why do you want to start a business? This question can become a starting point for starting anything. For example, if you want more money, you should probably start some side hustle. For getting more freedom, an option may be leaving your 9-to-5 and starting something new.
Once you realize the reason, ask yourself more questions that will help you figure out the kind of business you can start, and whether you have everything necessary for it. Consider the following questions:
- What skills do I have?
- What am I passionate about?
- Where is my field of expertise?
- How much can I afford to spend, knowing that a lot of businesses fail?
- How much capital is required?
- Am I even ready to become an entrepreneur?
It is crucial to respond honestly. Your answers will become a basis for everything you do moving forward.
Step 2: Think Of A Business Idea
If you already have an excellent idea for your business, lucky you are! In this case, proceed to the next step. If not, here are some tips that can help you brainstorm something unique:
- Ask yourself what is next. Figure out what advancement or technology is coming soon. Will it have a significant impact on the business world as we know it? Do you have any chances to get ahead of the curve?
- Fix something that worries you. Most people tend to rather have less of a bad thing tan more of a good thing. So, if you can offer something that will fix your clients’ problem, they will be grateful for it.
- Apply your skills to a new field. Most businesses do things one way since that is the only way they have always been done. With that in mind, a fresh set of eyes from a new perspective can make a difference.
- Use a better approach. Do you have a business idea that is not entirely new? If yes, think about what is currently offered on the market and concentrate on how you can come up with something better or cheaper.
You can also get inspired by asking questions to your friends, family, and acquaintances, seek advice from other entrepreneurs, look for ideas in the web, or use any other method you like.
Step 3: Research The Market
Is any other business already offering what you want to start doing? If not, try to understand the reason why. Here are some ideas on how to conduct research. Make sure to perform both primary and secondary research.
The goal of primary research is to collect information by analyzing current sales and the efficiency of current practices. It also takes into account the competitors’ plans, providing you with information about the competition. You can conduct primary research through interviews, surveys, questionnaires, and getting direct feedback from your clients.
Ask your customers the following questions, among the others:
- What factors do you take into account when buying this product?
- What do you like/dislike about the products that are currently available on the market?
- What would you like to be improved?
- What price is appropriate for such a product?
The goal of secondary research is to analyze the information that has already been published. With such data, you can identify competitors and your target segments. These are the people who fall into your targeted demographic — those living a particular lifestyle, display specific behavioral patterns, or fit a predetermined age group.
Step 4: Get Feedback
Let consumers interact with your product and be grateful for their feedback. Here are several steps of handling feedback:
- Slow down and take some time to process what you have just heard. It is crucial since you will probably be in an excited state when receiving feedback, which might start racing to wrong conclusions.
- Always say thank you. Clients who give you negative feedback do not expect you to be grateful for it, but doing so will likely make them respect you. Also, you should remember that these people are trying to help, and they might be indicating a problem or solution that you should notice.
- Ask questions, and listen with curiosity. Figure out why the customer is not satisfied with your product. Ask how you could make it better. Be willing to maintain a conversation with the customer.
- Create a “wall of love” and post there all the positive comments you have received from your clients. Not only will it inspire you, but also you can use these messages later when you start selling your product.
Step 5: Make It Official
Figure out everything about the legal aspect beforehand. By doing so, you will enhance your confidence that you are doing everything right. Here are the essential things to shore up: business structure, business name, registering the business, federal tax ID, state tax ID, permits, license, bank account, trademarks, or copyrights.
While there are specific points you can do on your own, it is still better to consult with a lawyer when starting out. This will help you ensure you have covered everything necessary.
Step 6: Write The Business Plan
Simply put, a business plan is a description of how your business will develop from the very beginning to the final product.
It is recommended to include the following chapters in the business plan:
- Executive summary. It can briefly describe the company and the problem that the business is solving.
- Business description. Here, you should answer what kind of business you are going to start, what your industry looks like, what it will look like in the future.
- Market strategies. Describe your target market and your selling strategy.
- Describe their strong and weak points and how you are going to beat them.
- Development plan. Describe your product and how it will develop. Include the budget for product development.
- Operations and management plan. Describe how the business will function on a daily basis.
- Where is the money coming from?
Devote one to three pages for each question. Do not think that it is a constant document. You will be continuously updating it as your business matures with time.
Step 7: Finance Your Business
There are multiple ways to get the necessary resources to start your business. Here are great options to consider:
- Fund it yourself.
- Ask your family or friends for a loan.
- Request a small-business grant.
- Start a crowdfunding campaign online.
- Request to local angel investor groups.
- Turn to venture capital investors.
- Join a startup incubator or accelerator.
- Negotiate an advance from a strategic partner or customer.
- Trade equity or services for startup help.
- Seek a bank loan or line of credit.
Step 8: Develop Your Product
Do not forget that it takes a village to create a product. For example, if you want to create a mobile application and you are not an engineer, you will have to hire a technical person. Or if you are going to mass-produce a particular item, you will have to cooperate with a manufacturer.
Once you are ready to develop your product, make sure you:
- Fully control the process.
- Reduce risks by hiring a team of professionals.
- Hire specialists, not generalists.
- Have insurance and will not lose all the progress if one freelancer leaves.
- Hire relevant people. Rates are different for every engineer depending on their specialties, so do not hire an overqualified engineer when you have a chance to get the same result for a much lower price.
To be more confident and calm, start learning everything possible about the production, so you have the ability to improve the process at any moment where there is a need.
Step 9: Start Building Your Team
You will likely hand off some responsibilities to other people. You should build a team. Here are some tips that can be useful when you need an employee, partner, or a freelancer:
- Have clear goals and let everyone understand their role within your business’ mission.
- Follow hiring protocols. It is necessary to consider numerous things, from screening people to asking the proper questions and having the appropriate forms.
- Establish a company culture. Do your best to create a positive atmosphere in your company. A great culture means respecting and empowering employees through a variety of channels, including training and mentorship.
Step 10: Find A Location
Whether you need a store or an office, you have to take into consideration numerous things. Here are some of them:
- Style of operation. The chosen location has to be consistent with the style of your business.
- Think carefully about who your consumers are and whether their proximity to your location is crucial or not. If you want to run a retail store that relies on the local community, this is vital. If you have another business model, it might not be that meaningful.
- Ensure your store can be easily found by the clients. It should also be accessible. Your clients should not go to another place just because they do not know where to park.
- In some cases, having competitors nearby is great. However, often, it is not that good. Since you have researched the market, you know which fits your business best.
- Rent and other costs. Check out all the costs aside from rent and if they are included in the lease.
Start Getting Some Sales
You can use plenty of sales strategies. We will share our four favorite pieces of advice:
- Listen to your customers to figure out what they need and how you can make them satisfied.
- Do not be afraid to hear “no.” Most people are too polite. They are likely to let you have your speech even if they are not interested in making a purchase. And that is the main problem. Your most meaningful resource is time.
- Make it a priority.
To actually start making those sales, first identify targets who want your product. Build a team of experts, grow your client base, and develop the best sales strategy to convert these leads into revenue.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.