Deciding to start a business is a tough choice; there are many things you need to think about seriously and decide. If you’re not sure what steps to follow first list your ideas and second write down your financing options. Don’t forget about taxes and insurance if you’re funding the business with your own money. Here are the main six steps to follow if you want to successfully start a business.
Research the market
Usually, if you decide to open a business, you want to sell something. Your products will be made in a certain way, so you need to find out who would want to buy your products. It might sound complicated, but with Savanta market research, you’ll be able to have a clear data visualisation and analysis for what you need. The research provides you with information that helps you position your business in the market in such a way to benefit both you and your customers.
Why is research so important? Because you can avoid failure by opening a business where the market is already saturated, and you’re not bringing anything new. You need to find your target customers; so create the ideal client’s profile by writing down their age, gender, religion, and profession. If your business sells beauty products for young, employed women, you need to ensure that your website/company caters to this group’s specific needs.
Define your brand
Your brand should be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about your business. You should define your company’s brand to help customers know what you’re doing and if they can trust you. Factors like visual designs, advertising, and communication will shape your business, so you need to work on them. If your business is food-related, consider using a colourful palette for the visual representation, with a friendly tone.
It’s easy to get customers first, but getting them to come back requires hard work and a good customer experience. The audience will associate their experience with the brand’s quality and worth. Your brand’s image will be affected not only by the products or services you provide but also by the experience that your clients had in the purchasing process.
Find ways to finance your business
If you have your own money to start the business, you don’t have to stress too much about it. But if not, you have the option to apply for a grant or loan. The difference between them is that loans need to be repaid. Depending on your resources and plans, you can choose which one is best with these tips:
- If you want a loan, you should know that you need to be eligible to qualify for it in terms of credit score and how long you’ve been in this business. You already need to be making some money off of your products, so this option might not be the best one for starting a business.
- If you want a grant, government agencies support many entrepreneurs in their first businesses. Qualifications vary for each institution, depending on your area of interest.
Choose your business structure
Before registering your business, you need to decide which structure fits it best. It’s an important element because it affects how much you pay in taxes or determine personal liabilities. Here’s a brief explanation for the main business structures:
- Sole proprietorship: you’re the only one who owns the business; you have unlimited personal liabilities and self-employment taxes. It’s the best choice if you want to test your business idea with low risks.
- Partnership: the company can have two or more people as owners, and the same liabilities and taxes as the sole proprietorship. It’s a good structure for a family business.
- LLC (Limited liability company): you can be the only owner or have associates; you’re not personally liable, and might have self-employment, personal or corporate taxes. This option is better for medium or high-risk businesses.
- Non-profit: the ownership and taxes apply the same way as the LLC, but you’re exempted from taxes (and you can’t distribute your profits). For example, if you want to provide education services without earning money from the venture, an NGO might be the best option.
Build a website
Building a website might sound easy because you already have digital tools that can help you, but before creating one consider these elements to guide you:
- The domain name is also known as your website address, and it’s the first thing customers see before accessing your website. It should be easy to spell and short, so it’s easy to remember.
- The website hosting is a tool that offers the services necessary for the website to be functional. You need to purchase a hosting plan, so do your research thoroughly.
- Your website’s interface will affect your customer’s buying experience, so you should make it engaging and easy to browse. Also, don’t forget to optimise the interface for both mobile and desktop versions.
- You need a content management system that helps you create and manage your content.
Recruit your team
After you’ve implemented everything, you need employees. Therefore, you will conduct a recruitment process in which you have a few steps to complete:
- Analyse your company’s needs (like the growth rate of the organisation, your business work culture and salary structure);
- Prepare a job description (add duties, responsibilities, qualifications needed, location and benefits);
- Screen your candidates (there are plenty of digital tools that will help you sort resumes and shortlist the best candidates);
- Conduct the interview (online or face-to-face, this process will take you some time. You need to prepare your questions carefully in order to figure out easily if the candidate is qualified for the open position).
You can post your job offer on your website, a job site or social media so you’ll get to more people. If you already have a team, you can implement the referral program, where current employees receive an incentive for recommending a candidate who gets hired.
Take your time with the recruitment process because finding the right people for your team will decide the company’s road to success.