1. Start with a Good Business Idea
If you’re wondering how to start a business, it may be easier than you think. Like other successful businesses, you’ll want to make sure you have a good idea first. From there, you can build a product or service that solves a need for consumers. But before you jump into anything, you’ll want to make sure you do your research. This is crucial, because only an estimated 79.4% of companies survive their first year in operation.1
So, whether you’re starting a business in retirement or just looking to earn more cash, you’ll want to find the right startup growth strategies. Don’t be afraid of being a sole proprietorship and starting your company on your own because you can always grow and hire employees later on.
To help get ideas, think about these easy startup options:
- Business consulting
- Cleaning services
- Tax preparation and bookkeeping
- Event planning
- Jewelry making
- Copywriting services
- Personal training
- Music lessons
- Computer training
- Graphic design
- Financial planning
2. Conduct Research About Your Business Idea
Once you have your small business idea, your next step is to see if it’s worth pursuing. To do this, rely on market research and be sure to analyze your competition. This will help you gauge your audience’s interest and:
- Understand your customers’ needs
- Identify potential problems with your product or service
- Lessen financial losses by helping you make more informed decisions
- Find niche markets you may not have known about
- Set goals that can guide your business
To successfully conduct research, you’ll want to:
Identify your target customers: You can do this by looking at who benefits from your product. You’ll also want to look at factors like age, location and even marital status.
Engage your audience: Once you know who your target customers are, conduct surveys and talk to people directly to gain more feedback. Don’t overlook social media either, which can be the perfect place to engage with them.
Look at competitors: Analyzing competing products or services can give you an idea of what already exists in your industry. This can help you find ways to improve your idea. It can also help you target weaknesses in your product or service before you spend time and money creating it. Be sure to note your competitor’s prices during this process, which will give you a range of how much customers are currently spending on similar products.
3. Write a Business Plan
Your business plan outlines your current and future goals. Successful businesses use this as a resource to organize the direction of their company. Yours should include:
- Title page and contents: Investors use your business plan to get a feel for your company. That’s why keeping it organized and easy to navigate is helpful.
- Statement of purpose: This summarizes your products, market and business operation. It also states if you’re looking for funding or not.
- Product descriptions: Explain each detail of your product or services and how they benefit your customers.
- Market analysis: Outline your target demographic, selling trends and customer expectations.
- Competitor analysis: This should highlight strengths and weaknesses of companies that have similar products or services.
Writing a business plan is important because it can help you make more efficient and strategic decisions. It also helps you focus on your goals and strategies. Some other benefits of a business plan include helping you with:
- Finding potential weaknesses
- Communicating your ideas to stakeholders
- Organizing important information about your business
- Hiring employees that are right for your company
4. Make Your New Business Official
Once you’ve worked hard researching your idea and know it has the potential to last in the market, it’s time to take your business to the next level by making it official.
To do this, you’ll want to:
- Register your business with your state: This gives you legal grounds to move forward using your brand’s name.
- Pick-up the right licenses and permits: Depending on your business, this can include food, liquor, health or business licenses.
- Get a tax ID number: This allows the IRS to track your transactions. You’ll also need this to open a bank account.
Following these steps helps you create a brand name that no one else can use. And once you’re official, you can set up an office and create an online business presence.
5. Know Your Finances
You may have asked yourself, “how do I start a business with no money?” Some tips for getting the funding you need for long term success include:
- Asking your friends and family for extra money
- Getting a small business loan
- Looking for grants or local funding
- Encouraging angel investors to back your company
On top of this, if you’ve been asking yourself “what kind of business can I start with no money?” Check out some of these business ideas that you can do part time while gaining enough customers to take it full-time later on:
- Freelance writing
- Business consulting
- Graphic design
- Web design
- Personal training
- Dog walking
- Child care
- Book keeping
- Interior design
6. Protect Your Business
Starting a small business takes a lot of work, time and money. That means you’ll want to protect it with the right business insurance coverage, including:
- General liability insurance to help protect your company from liability claims alleging bodily injury, property damage, libel or slander.
- Business income insurance for help replacing lost income if you have to temporarily close your operation due to fire, theft or wind damage.
- Data breach coverage which helps pay costs if your customers, patients or employees private data is lost or stolen.
- Professional liability coverage for protection if you’re sued for negligence or errors in the services you provide.
- Commercial property insurance which helps pay for damages to your building, equipment, inventory, furniture and fixtures.
You can also combine these under a BOP policy from us.
7. Build Your Business
You can’t build a strong business without investing time and money into it. You’ll also need to promote your business and establish a strong marketing plan.
In today’s world, building a business also means you’ll need a strong website and social media presence. These can help you learn your customers better. With them, you can even request customers’ email addresses so you can reach them directly as you promote your business.
If you’re looking to add employees to your team right away, be sure to hire the best startup team who will support your operation and set it up for success.
How to Start a Startup
Starting a business can seem like a lot, but following these steps will help make sure you’re successful:
- Make a business plan
- Secure funding
- Surround yourself with the right people
- Follow the right legal procedures
- Establish a location
- Develop a marketing plan
- Build your customer base
- Plan to change