Written by: Bill Brown
So you have made up your mind to start a business? Congratulations for taking this bold step. Starting a business requires patience, hard work, enough energy and dedicated time.
But if you succeed, the reward would be more than what you invested into it. The road to entrepreneurship requires patience and consistent hard work. Since you have made up your mind to run a business, here are 7 tested and proven steps you need to follow to make it happen:
Research your potential market
The first thing you should do is to do a comprehensive market research. To make a breakthrough into the business environment, you really need to provide products or services people would be eager to buy.
Know how much the products or services are needed in the present day society, know who your target audience are, and who are your competitors and what the brand leaders are already doing right and where they are getting it wrong, and what you can do to outsmart them within the shortest possible time. All these are things you should know before you even start the business.
Design your website
Now you have done a research into the market sphere, it is time to create a good looking website. Your website says a lot about your business. Studies show that it takes people less than 10 seconds to make up their mind whether to stay or leave when they visit your website. So, your website should create the first amazing impression. Your landing page should be actively creative and engaging, and use call to action buttons.
Assess your finances
Starting a business requires funding. You really need to determine how much you have and whether you need to borrow money. If you are planning to quit your current job so that you can focus your attention on the new business, do you have the required funds to support your business before the new business start making profits? Assess your finances and find out how much you will need.
Business analysts have found out that most businesses crumble halfway simply because the owners run out of funds before they start turning a profit. If you need financial assistance, you may apply for a grant or a business loan from a commercial bank, although most commercial banks may be reluctant to provide loans to a startup. Alternatively, you may consider looking for investors.
Evaluate your target audience
Who are your target audience? What are you selling and how urgently do people truly need it? What is the market size? Are there brands in the industry that are doing the same thing you are about to deliver? What is their market size? What are the things it will take you to deliver the value you are offering? What is the relevance of your business? And will it continue to be relevant many years to come?
Evaluating your audience will help you to know more about the industry, and take a look at your potential competitors. Since there are competitors in the industry, then you don’t have to stress yourself so much, telling people why they should patronize your business, because competitors are already meeting their needs, instead all you need to do is to find ways to deliver the results better than the competition. And also know how much your audience is willing to spend to access your products or services.
Spend quality time to learn about your competitors – what they do, what they provide to their customers, how they do it, whether their customers are happy or not. The key thing you need at this point is to figure out what is missing, and then strive to bridge the gap. Your job will be made much easier if you figure out what to do and how to do it best.
Prepare for trial and error
Mistakes are part of life, so expect to make mistakes. The most important thing is not just to make mistakes, but to learn from them. As you start your business, look for opportunities, be creative, be open-minded, and have fun.
The key to preparing for trial and error is that you will decide what you really want, and where you need to grow.
Decide on a Business Structure
It is important you decide from day one your choice of business structure, whether it is sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or Limited Liability Corporation. Your attorney will help you in making this all important decision.
Your business structure determines everything right from how you file your taxes, personal liability and other legal regulations. Although sole proprietorship is good, if you can find someone with complementary skill, then you should go for a partnership. It is entirely your choice to determine the type of entity that is ideal for your current needs and future business goals.
To create a business website, one of the first things you should do is to look for a credible hosting provider. There are many hosting providers on the internet, so choose the one that suits your budget and specifications. If you have a low budget, then look for the one that charges less than $3 per month including a business email account, professional website and a domain name.
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