Do you have a business idea in place already and are you mentally prepared to start a business?
Then just get on with the task without thinking too much about the nitty-gritty.
You need to get started with it immediately.
Often we realize that’s the best way to extract the best returns from the business concept.
Given the advancement in technology and the widespread use of the Internet, starting a business is just a few clicks way.
In fact, if you plan methodically and execute as per plans, you can design a business concept in a matter of hours.
You can then present your business in front of a huge client base in the matter of days.
Well when speed is king, you need to be careful.
It is possible to start a business in few days
But you must understand that less time is almost synonymous with devoting more energy to precise planning and creating a strategic business plan.
You must understand that the maneuverability is relatively less in this regard.
Therefore, you need a lot more meticulous planning.
How to Start a Business
This is how you can start a business in 10 simple steps:
- Giving Shape to the Idea
- Detailed Research Before You Start a Business
- Create an Identity
- Build a Business Plan
- Create an Expense Account
- Financing Your Business
- Formalize a Marketing Plan
- Select a Board of Advisors
- Execute the Plan
- Start Selling
The key to success, in this case, is step by step progress:
Step 1) Developing a Business Idea
Theoretically it is a great thought that your business idea needs to be original and should not copy an existing model.
But the truth is if the need exists so does the business opportunity and being unoriginal is no big deal.
But you must remember that when you enter the market, your product should speak for itself by virtue of its quality and appeal as well as pricing.
Whether there is competition or not, you surely need to spend time educating people about the product and making them understand what makes your product better than the best that is available.
Indispensability of Your Product
When you are developing the business idea to start a business, it becomes that much important to make it obvious to the customers about the indispensability of your product.
Only then can you be sure that the product or the service that you would be launching in the market will be able to get the right kind of response.
So the question then is how do you develop a business idea that is undoubtedly the best option available and also yields maximum returns?
It can be very helpful if you can jot down the merits and demerits of your business idea and then proceed with it accordingly.
Jot down all the possible opportunities you can think of and then make a distinctive plan about what can work or for what you perceive a greater need and based on that you can work out a detailed concept to work upon.
The key here is not to over analyze it but to work with what comes to your mind instantaneously to make is easier to start the business as soon as possible.
Step 2) Detailed Research Before You Start a Business
Most entrepreneurs by virtue of their vivid imagination have many great ideas but the problem is not all of them might really work out.
In fact, statistics reveal that a majority of businesses that fail is not because of a bad idea but simply because there is no market for the product or the business that is being conceptualized.
This is why you need to spend time in evaluating the market.
Working on a ten days deadline, you need to spend at least a day in this task.
To make your task easier, we decided 5 questions that can help you judge the viability before you start a business.
- What problem does your business resolve?
- Who would be the target customers?
- The reason why people would buy the product that you will offer.
- Competition: The kind of competition you must deal with.
- Pricing: The pricing that you must decide.
Well, the good news is getting the answers to these questions is not that difficult.
All you have to do is decide on the set of objectives and identifying the future buying trends.
Designing your survey though is a tricky business.
You must only ask relevant questions and try and cover as many relevant issues as possible.
Also, don’t be satisfied by asking your question to just a select group.
Starting a business without answering these questions is not a good idea at all.
It is important to keep your test as broad based and comprehensive as you can.
In this way, you can get the perspective of a significantly larger cross section of people and create a comprehensive understanding of the market you set to explore.
You should focus on getting as deep insight into the market as possible to learn what business you want to start exactly.
Step 3) Create an Identity for Your Business
You must understand that after creating a market analysis and formalizing the concept, this is the third most important element to start a business.
With a time span of just 10 days, devote your third day to creating an identity for the business that you are starting. Naming the business is the most important aspect.
Come to think of it the name of the business is very crucial and often personifies the entire spirit of the business in totality.
Get a blank sheet of paper and begin jotting down every possible naming idea that might come to your mind.
Think about the potential name and how it syncs with the overall business.
Does it sound good? Does it look right?
All these factors are extremely important as the name provides the first and most important identity for your newly started business.
The people who hear about it must be sufficiently intrigued to evince interest in your firm.
The whole idea is to get a name that fits the business you want to start, is catchy and something that people can instantly remember or identify with.
Think about how the name ‘Google’ eventually led to a term in English like ‘Googling.’
Nowadays when you want to start a business, you have to consider the role that the Internet plays in our life, your next step is no doubt getting a domain registered with the name.
The moment you hit on a name, it becomes immensely important to register it.
Businesses today ought to have a strong web presence given the strong marketing push that a social media presence can help achieve.
As an astute business person you need to work towards getting the related formalities in place.
The name does not have to be just registered on the website but also tested out with a sample customer survey.
This will help you in gauging the true worth.
Step 4) Build a Business Plan
In this regard, the first step is no doubt creating the perfect business plan.
When you start a business, the business plan is pretty much the framework which guides its movement.
In many ways, it is perhaps the best documentation of the course that the business takes up from the nascent conceptualization stage to the ultimate execution of the whole business and making it functional in totality.
It is important to understand that when you start a business, you must be careful about not making a mistake.
A business plan might not ensure 100% success.
But the fact is it will always ensure that you avoid making a very costly mistake.
The concept no doubt forms the key aspect of the business plan.
It is here that you describe what your business is all about, the structure, format and allocation of responsibilities for a smooth functioning of the entire business altogether.
To start a business, you also need to document your market analysis in the business plan along with a brief description of the type of customers that you are going to target your products to.
Once you put in a complete evaluation of the how and why of your business, you can understand and identify the potential loopholes quite simply and better formulate your strategies against the competition.
The business plan is also the place where you put down your cost, expenses and the broad funding necessities that need to be addressed, while you also consider the business startup costs.
You can also jot down the funds that you have organized or that you mean through and the channels that you intend to use.
Before you start the business, it is also very important to share your plan with other people who might be associated with the business.
The constant questioning and counter questioning can often help in exposing the problem areas in the business and make you work on a stronger plan.
Learn how to create a business plan in details: Writing a Business Plan to Have a Strong Business Startup
Step 5) Create a Business Expense Account
Once the business plan is ready you become a lot closer to start the business.
The next day is all about getting the expenses in place.
Let’s face it setting up a business is an expensive affair and if you do not get appropriate handle on your expenses, it can soon become the source of your ruin.
Business Expense Account Checklist:
To understand clearly how much cash you might require to start your business and how you will allocate your resources, it is best to create a checklist with all these details:
- List out the office furniture you would require and any other related one off expense that the business startup might need.
- Work out the supply chain for running your business.
- Calculate the taxes, utility costs and the possible rental outgo that you need to factor in on a daily basis.
- You also need to calculate the total number of people that you may be able to hire and what you would be doing on your own. Then you do get a better handle on the broad hiring expenses you need to account for.
- Itemize any long standing stocks and the kind of money that you would have to shell out for marketing the raw materials that you would require to start off the business.
- Cost of manufacturing the product along with the cost involved in shipping and storage of the product that you are creating.
- Cost of funding is important. In case you have taken a loan, it is very important to account for the interest expense and the repayment costs in the total balance sheet.
- Insurance is also another important expense that you must account for.
All of this accounting will result in proper assessment of funds and create a smooth cash flow structure to start a business.
So they are very important.
Step 6) Financing Your Business
Well, obviously you will have a plethora of choice between debt and equity, a lender and a partner and of course, floating shares on the stock exchange.
You would notice that debt financing is another way to describe a loan pact.
In this case, you will borrow a fixed amount for a fixed period and pay a fixed interest on the loan for a specific period.
In this case, you can easily calculate the entire loan cost right at the outset of starting your business.
When your funding is via equity, the investor who is giving the fund become a part owner or a stakeholder in the entire business.
In the early days of the business, this can often be a lucrative way to generate funds as there is no set repayment procedure and in most cases, the investor gets payment as per the profitability of the business.
To start a business, you can also opt for a straightforward loan from the bank on the basis of the business plan that you have created.
This is particularly useful for funding small expansion or resource generation process.
You must understand that when you are working on a 10-step schedule, this might not be very effective as the need for ready funds is most important in this case.
Bank dealings, though a lot more certain and clear are generally time consuming and have to follow a number of steps to ultimately qualify for the loan.
Step 7) Formalize a Business Marketing Plan
The next step in your tryst to start a business is all about working on a strong marketing plan.
Making people aware of the product that you are making and helping them understand its superior appeal is very important.
Only a good and well planned marketing plan can help you achieve this key step.
Aggressive marketing can also significantly enhance the relative profitability and the returns that you expect from a business.
Marketing is essentially all about understanding customers and anticipating, identifying and satisfying the core customer requirement in a way that absolutely satisfies the customer.
A marketing plan is of particular value when you are starting a business.
It becomes crucial to highlight to your customers that you exist and when you have just one day to work on it, you need to ensure that it is tightly compartmentalized and absolutely food proof in all aspects.
The marketing plan, therefore, lists out all your primary business objectives and takes the message forward to your clients and potential customers.
It splits out the entire objective of spreading awareness about your business into a number of subparts with a common objective of improving the business prospects.
In general, you would notice that the marketing plan is quite comprehensive and often is an extension of the business plan.
It helps you create a buzz about the product both online and offline.
People begin to discuss the products on social networking sites and further boosting the marketing initiatives.
To start a new business, a marketing plan does not have to be elaborative always.
Simple circulation of the message on WhatsApp and asking referrals from friends could also count as a type of marketing initiative depending on the size of business that you are establishing.
Step 8) Select a Board of Advisors
Often we see that entrepreneurs get very nervous prior to the business launch and constantly fret about what they might be missing out on
This is the key factor that they might not have paid attention to even worries about the funding plan.
So the question is how to mitigate these?
When you start a business, one simple way to deal with any kind of eventuality is to keep a panel of advisors handy who can give you candid third person responses.
In very simple terms, the advisory panel is essentially a collection of formal and informal advisors who can help you with important insights about your business.
It could include anyone from industry veterans to finance or marketing experts.
You could be even appointing regular citizens for providing you with important insight on some or the possible element of the business.
The advisors are particularly helpful in improving your insight and helping you at crossroads where you might feel that you could do with some help.
Step 9) Execute the Business
Now that you have all the plans and funding sources ready to start a business, the time has now come to execute the business.
You need to execute the plan you envisage, track the progress and measure the overall activity that you choose to establish through this elaborate plan.
Measuring the success and failure of any business is a rather tricky art.
You need to ensure that you have sufficient tracking alternative to get these results on air.
Let me simplify this.
Let’s say you advertised in the newspaper about the business and leave a unique phone number where potential clients can see the number they need to contact the company.
By tracking the number of responses, you can easily gauge the success and failure potential of the business you are starting.
You can also track the hits on your website and the data indicators on demographic details of the client.
Execution is all about putting the documented plan into reality.
Existing business plans and marketing plans need to be thoroughly tested through execution to ensure a seamless implementation of the business.
Execution is an important step to start a business also because this is the only point where the theoretical plan actually gets tested in practical terms.
Step 10) Start Selling
So, you finally manage to start a business in just 10 steps.
This is the time when you should start trading actively.
Remember in business, there is never a tomorrow.
Don’t keep anything waiting for a later date.
Simply start trading the moment you have the business framework ready and functional.
Start the day with a checklist of all the activities you need to undertake, the task that needs to be carried out and the function that has to be completed on an inaugural day.
Additionally, you can also create a checklist for weekly activities and what’s been planned for the month.
You can even break it down into specific areas like cash flow, cleaning, maintenance and the like for a closer and more efficient bookkeeping.
Ensure that all the pricing activities are complete and all the product/services on offer are appropriately priced.
You must take into account specific permutation and combination for a more detailed pricing structure.
You must also create a list of all the products, their prices, special offers and features for easy reference whenever you or any of the staff members are interacting with the potential customer.
Also, you must make sure to train your staff to make the customer understand why they must buy from you as against the competitor.
Is It Really That Easy to Start a Business in 10 Steps?
It seems it is easy to start a business in the matter of 10 steps.
The difficult part is getting the execution bit right with no scope for any miss.
Given the time constraint, both the execution as well as the planning bit has to be absolutely foolproof with key attention being given to bringing out the core objective of the business.
Indeed, it is not easy to start a business that makes money consistently and grows every year.
That’s why over 90% of the business fail to survive until the next year.
Starting a business needs a lot of time and money.
Passing any of the above 10 steps can take you a long time.
I am not discouraging you.
I am just informing you about some facts that you have to consider when you want to start a business.
You should know that is not an easy task and the chance of success and making profit is not that high.
The solution is following the well-developed and strong business plans that work and have a much higher chance of success.
Don’t try to start a business before you read this article entirely: Following a Proven Business Plan Is the Success Key