Do you wish someone could hold your hands and walk you through the process of starting a business?
Finding a mentor that could guide you throughout your entrepreneurial journey may not be as easy as it sounds, especially these days when mentorship fees are quite pricey.
Alternatively, you could rely on family and close friends who are already into business.
However, they may not have the time or patience to commit themselves to coaching you effectively.
Fortunately, the entrepreneur world is filled with many self-taught entrepreneurs.
They started their business on the right foot by equipping themselves with the information on how to start a business from scratch.
So, you can still start and launch a successful business by learning the step-by-step process of starting a business.
We’ve equipped this post with all you need to know regarding the basics of starting this business.
It’s up to you to learn and implement to achieve your entrepreneurial dream.
Let’s get started.
Step-By-Step Guide To Starting A Business; Process Of Starting A Business
1. Gain Clarity On Your “Why”
This is a crucial first step in the process of starting a business.
Without a clear sense of purpose, you can easily get distracted from your goals.
So, you need to ask yourself why you want to start a business.
When you question yourself, make sure you’re honest about every answer you provide to the question because that’s the only way this step can be effective.
Perhaps, you have a full-time job that you’re about to quit to start a business; you need to question your intentions behind this action.
- Is it for money, fame, flexibility, and freedom from strict working hours?
- Or are you starting a business because you’re passionate about solving people’s problems?
- Do you see starting a business as a way of impacting lives positively?
- What excites you about the idea of owning a business?
Asking these self-assessment questions can help you identify your purpose and give you a clear sense of direction.
2. Come Up With A Business Idea
Every business is based on a business idea, either a new or an existing idea.
Hence, you’ll need to come up with one for your business.
Even if you’ve decided to start your business based on an existing idea, you’ll need to think of ways to make yours unique from what’s already available.
Perhaps, you’ve decided you want to be a pacesetter in a specific industry.
In that case, you’ll need to develop your own original idea.
Here’s how to go about this process;
First, Get A Notepad
You’ll need to get a notepad to jot down the thoughts that come to your mind during this brainstorming session.
It could be a virtual or a physical notepad.
Stick to whatever you’re comfortable with.
Look Into Your Natural Gifts/Talents
Find out what you’re naturally good at.
It could be drawing, teaching, painting, cooking, acting, organizing parties, etc.
If you’re good at many things, write them down and filter by (average) and (excellent).
You can’t be equally good at several things.
So it’s best to focus on those that you’re great at.
Look Into Your Skills
You must have picked up certain skills in life, either through formal education, informal education (coaching/training), or from life experiences.
As you look into those skills, think of how you can use them to solve people’s problems.
Jot down the ideas that come to your mind in your idea notepad.
Look Into The Challenges People Are Having
This is another way to come up with your ideal business idea.
You can start by looking within your close circle; friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, etc.
You can also expand your research by looking online.
During this process, pay attention to the words people use to describe their pains and frustrations.
Think of ways you can help them solve their problem.
Whatever you come up with should also go into your idea notepad.
Gain Insight Into What You’re Good At From People Around You
You can also gain inspiration from friends, family, and close associates.
You can ask them what they think are your specific areas of strength.
From their honest feedback, you could gain insight into potential business ideas.
These are some of the ways you can generate business ideas.
Overall, there’s nothing like a perfect business idea.
All successful businesses started with a simple business idea and walked their way to perfection.
So, don’t judge yourself if your list of business ideas isn’t looking great.
When you’ve listed down your thoughts, go through your business ideas list and pick the one you’re most passionate/comfortable with.
3. Evaluate/Validate The Business Idea
This is another important step in the process of starting a business.
First, you’ve identified what you want to do as a business (idea).
However, don’t get too carried away with that.
You need to evaluate your business idea to be sure that there’s a need for it.
Every business exists to fulfill a specific need for a defined group of people.
So, evaluating your business idea is important for the following reasons;
- To determine if there’s a need for the business idea.
- To determine who the business idea appeals to the most.
- Also, it is necessary to determine the feasibility of your business idea.
- It will also help you identify your competitors and the level of competition.
Overall, it’s not just enough to have a business idea; the business needs to be able to withstand the test of time.
Hence evaluate your business idea by conducting thorough market research and speaking to your potential customers.
4. Decide On A Business Name & Check For Availability
Next, it’s time to decide on a business name.
Your business name is an important part of your brand identity that represents your business in front of your customers.
So you should make an effort to get it right.
There are several free and paid business name generator software that can help you come up with the perfect business name.
You can explore those tools to help you out.
Nonetheless, here are a few pointers to help you decide on an ideal business name;
- It should be short, catchy, and easy to remember.
- Avoid long and hard to pronounce business names – one to two-syllable words is ok.
- The business name should reflect what you do.
- Lastly, it should also represent your business values and vision.
5. Decide On The Business Model/Type; Process Of Starting A Business
The next important step in the process of starting a business is choosing the business model.
Here, you’ll need to decide what type of business you want to set up, either a physical company, an online business, or both.
You’ll also need to decide on the business model.
The business model will define your business operations.
Specifically, your business model is a projection of how you intend to position yourself in the marketplace and deliver your value (products and services).
To give you an idea of what this means, some examples of business models include E-commerce businesses, franchises, distribution-based businesses, service-based businesses, etc.
Ideally, your business idea will determine the best business model for you.
6. Set Your Business Goals
This next step in the process of starting a business is all about visualizing everything you want to achieve in the business.
Obviously, the primary goal for most profit-based businesses is to make profits.
Other than that, other milestones translate to business success as well.
Hence, you would want to clearly define what these milestones will be for you.
It could be that you want to have a specific number or target audience after the first few years.
For other business owners, their goal could be gaining global relevance or generating a specific amount of revenue yearly.
Whatever yours may be, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
More importantly, the goals should reflect what’s most important to you as the business owner.
7. Create A Business Plan; Process Of Starting A Business
A business plan is an important aspect of starting a business because it outlines every step you intend to take in your business.
You can also call it your road map or implementation plan to guide you towards actualizing the goals you outlined earlier.
Depending on your choice, you can settle for a simple business plan or a formal one.
A formal and detailed business plan will be ideal if you intend to pitch to investors for financial assistance or secure bank loans.
Fortunately, there are dozens of free business plan templates on the internet to help you draft a business plan.
Alternatively, if you have the financial capacity, you could hire professionals to help you with this process.
You could also settle for a simple business plan for the first few years in business.
As the business grows, you can make adjustments where necessary.
Whatever the case, ensure that the business plan covers the essentials like;
- The objectives ( the problems you intend to solve)
- Executive summary ( a brief overview of what the business is about)
- Market research insights.
- Marketing and sales strategies.
- Means of financing the business.
- Revenue projections/expectations after a defined time frame.
- Competition insights, etc.
8. Take Care Of Financing
This is also a crucial step in the process of starting a business.
Depending on the size, type, and business models, several financing options are available to start-up business owners.
- Financial support from investors in exchange for some share in the business profits.
- Bank loans.
- Loans from families/friends
- Bootstrapping ( using your personal finances).
You can explore the most feasible financing option available to you.
9. Find A Location For Your Business
Finding a location for your business also depends on your type of business.
If yours is an online business, you wouldn’t necessarily need to worry about getting a physical location as you can easily operate it from home.
Hence, what you’ll need to do may be to;
- Build a website
- Build an online store
- Social media page
However, if you’ve decided to get a physical location for your business, keep the following in mind;
- Proximity to your target market
- Road network/accessibility
- Market saturation/competition
- Price/Your Budget
- Regional/State regulations, among other things.
Whether online or on-site location, weigh the pros and cons to determine which will be best for you.
Specifically, an online store will help you save costs on inventories, hiring staff, and office supplies.
However, there are a lot of technical complexities regarding setting up a fully functional online business.
On the other hand, a brick-and-mortar store may be easy to set up.
However, setting it up, keeping up with operational costs, and hiring staff may be financially burdensome.
10. Take Care Of The Legalities; Process Of Starting A Business
Now it’s time to take care of the legal aspect of running a business to prevent problems in the future.
The legal requirements for setting up a business may differ from region to region.
It may also differ based on the business structure.
Notwithstanding, here are some basic things you can do to legalize your business;
- Get your licenses/permits, especially if you offer special services to the public.
- Tax registration
- Employers Identification Number (EIN) if you plan on hiring employees for your business.
- Register your business name/structure.
- Insurance for both your personal and business assets, etc.
To prevent errors on your part, do your due diligence to find out the legal requirements for setting up your type of business and fulfill them from the onset.
11. Create A Business Account
One of the major causes of business failure is the mismanagement of funds.
You’ll need to keep a separate business and personal account to avoid this.
Doing this will make it much easier to track business expenses.
It will also make keeping accurate tax and other financial records easier.
12. Build The Right Team
This is also an important step in the process of starting a business that you cannot neglect.
Without the right team, it will be difficult to actualize your goals.
Hence, it is crucial that you get this step right.
If you plan on hiring employees, you should ensure that you hire people with the right skill set and mindset.
Also, if you’ll be working with business partners, ensure that you all share the same goals and vision for the business.
Overall, working with the right team will ensure maximum productivity and efficiency.
13. Launch Your Business
Now, it’s time to put your business out there.
Launching your business could be as simple as publishing your website or opening your physical store.
Overall, before launching your business, make sure you’re ready to sell.
Everything may not necessarily be in place yet.
However, you should have the basics set up.
14. Promote Your Business
Now that you have everything all set up, it’s time to make sure that your business generates revenue.
Promoting your business is all about bringing your business in front of your target market so that they can buy from you.
There are several ways to do this, such as;
- Run ads on traditional print media ( TV, Radio, Billboards, etc).
However, this may be quite expensive for you if you’re on a tight budget.
- You could promote your business on different social media platforms like Facebook, Quora, Reddit, Instagram, etc.
Social media has proven to be one of the most effective and budget-friendly ways to promote a business.
- You could also explore local and online SEO, which ensures that your business is visible to your customers online.
Promoting your business can increase your sales and help you grow your business within a reasonable time frame when done rightly.
Hence, feel free to get professional help if you find it difficult to navigate this step in the process of starting a business.
15. Keep An Open Mind and Be Ready To Commit
As you prepare to begin your entrepreneurial journey, it’s also essential to have the right mindset.
Specifically, keep an open mind to learn and adapt to changes as you progress in your journey.
Also, make up your mind to give your business the 100% commitment and discipline you need to succeed.
Finally, understand that challenges will come.
However, know that only those who don’t give up achieve their ultimate goal.
In addition, to the step-by-step guide on the process of starting a business, here are a few quip tips to keep in mind to ensure your business success.
Essential Quick Tips For Start-Up Success; Process Of Starting A Business
- Start small but have big goals
- Bring the right people with you onboard
- Be disciplined
- Leverage your strengths
- Build and prioritize relationships
- Take care of yourself
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Learn constantly
- Manage resources wisely
- Finally, be passionate about your business
Wrapping Up; Process Of Starting A Business
Now you know the important things you need to do when thinking of starting a business.
One last yet crucial thing to keep in mind is that you’ll business success requires your commitment and consistent efforts in the right direction to give you the success you desire.
So be patient and trust the process to reap the rewards of your hard work in the business.
Cheers to your success!