Forget about the naysayers. Here are 10 of the most important steps you can follow to turn entrepreneur and start your own company.
Starting your own company is a fine goal to have in life. You’ll be told you cannot, that is too much of trouble for you to indulge in, that there is too much risk, and how your day job brings you a secure salary at the end of the month.
But, if you know this is what you want, don’t back off and don’t get discouraged. If you were a 9-to-5er, they’ll say you couldn’t keep your job. If you were a housewife, they’ll say you are not domesticated enough.
But by now, you already know that the naysayers will always tell you that you can’t do it. March right ahead and form your own company. Because you can! Also, as Emma Watson once said:
10 Steps To Start Your Own Company
Forget about the naysayers! Here are 10 of the most important steps you can follow to turn entrepreneur and start your own company.
1. Believe in yourself
When people have told you that starting your own business is tough, they weren’t wrong! It is very difficult and a lot of work goes in before actually starting the company.
First, accept that what you are about to do is not going to be easy. Working in a cubicle where someone else takes the decision, is easy.
Starting your own company needs every iota of confidence, resilience and motivation that is in you, maybe even a little bit borrowed. Do this only when you are ready and sure, just having a brilliant business idea won’t take you far.
Ideas are a dime a dozen. How you execute your ideas is everything.
2. Assess yourself
None of us is superhuman and even if we push ourselves, there is only so much a person can do. Now, don’t see this as a negative aspect.
The positive side to this is assessing and being aware of what you can do, and what you might not be comfortable with, or able to. This puts you at the forefront because you will not walk with your strength and depend less on your weaknesses.
Do a SWOT analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. Choose to focus your energy on the tasks that you excel at and outsource the rest or hire excellent people who can do what you can’t.
3. Identify your market
Look at the supply and demand; find out if people really do want your product. Apart from the size of the potential market, which is also important is to know if it is a short-term demand or a permanent demand.
Will people enjoy your services or will they want to try it out once out of curiosity? Your business will be your source of income to knowing the market and its demographics to understand if this source of income will be long-term or temporary/seasonal.
Knowing how to position your product or service is what makes you stand out in today’s crowded markets. Creating a winning go-to-market strategy is the cornerstone of your entire business strategy and the success of your business depends on it.
4. Evaluate the market
Don’t do something just because everyone is doing it. First, your concept should be different. Only then can you attract more customers.
Go through its pros and cons and check out its plausibility. Can you make a profit out of selling this concept? Will there be a demand for the concept forever? Because short term demand won’t fill your bank account for very long!
Once you have done this, identify your market. Evaluate all available markets and understand which one works the best for you. Knowing how to position your business against your competitors will guide the right customers to your business.
Too many business owners cover their eyes rather than keep tabs on their competitors. Competitors move fast so you must learn how to create a winning business strategy so they don’t leave you in their dust.
5. Have a business plan
My advice is, write it down. Make it professional and business-like with – mission, vision, target, and cost of operation, financial projections and miscellaneous information.
Set accomplishment goals which you will set for your business to achieve and write them down. Make sure that when you are filing your returns at the end of the year, you also tally stats with your ultimate business goals.
Writing down your goals is one of the most important steps when it comes to starting off on a new project. More so, when the project is as important as a new business. Learn how to create a stellar business plan for your business.
A proper business plan can help visualise every aspect of your business and clue you in on its sense and sensibility. It can help with funding and finance and announce loud and clear what your short-term and long-term goals are.
6. Arrange for financing
Do you know the #1 reason businesses fail? They run out of cash. If you’re looking to get your business funded, you need to create a Financial Plan that will support your business’ growth and success.
You need investors to help you fund your company unless you’re planning to use your own life’s savings. If you are getting an external investor, make sure they share the same passion for the business and are not in it merely for the profits.
And always remember that your investors automatically get a say in the works of your company. Hence sharing passion and goals is important because otherwise ideas and egos will clash.
If you don’t want to turn to an investor, you can apply for a government or bank loan. There are many options for small business loans for women in India.
7. Get the legalities sorted
Everything should be on paper, including the kind of ownership of the company. Make sure that the papers are checked by a good lawyer because any loophole might get you into trouble.
Now, decide upon a name for your business and register your new business. Ensure your business premises and everything valuable the business will own.
Yes, this is important. The cost might pinch you now, but you can sleep peacefully knowing everything is covered. Find out what your tax obligations will be and how to create a business PAN card.
Once all this has been sorted, you will need to advertise your business. You have two options for going about with it. If you have ample advertising funds, go for traditional advertising. Book slots in newspapers, magazines, websites and even television.
Alternatively, you can advertise on social media using Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, or Google Adwords, depending on whether you’re targeting a B2B or B2C audience.
This is a very effective way of advertising as your reach is huge and you can target the exact audience that is looking for your products. As an entrepreneur, you need to have a basic knowledge of digital marketing so you can figure out the best digital marketing strategy for your business.
If you’re just starting out, you can even learn digital marketing online for free. Having an understanding of the fundamentals will hold you in good stead when you decide to hire a digital marketing agency to promote your business.
9. Promote your business
A website is a good idea to promote your business. Instead of having to tell prospective clients everything about your business, maybe multiple times in a day, wouldn’t it be great if your website did the talking?
Just give them your visiting card and point the URL to them. Cool, right? Now to have an impressive website is important.
Since your website showcases your business and brand, it will be doing the talking/advertising on your behalf, so ensure that it is top-notch. Not only should the content be good, but it should also be error-free, crisp and to the point.
But if you haven’t got your website up and running, fret not. Here are 6 ways to promote your business online without a website.
10. Find a Business Coach or Mentor
The hardest part of starting your own business is taking the first step. With the help of a business coach, you can learn how to create a stellar business plan, an amazing financial plan, go-to-market plan so your business becomes successful.
If you want to upgrade your business skills and get an MBA without taking a break from work, check out these online MBA courses from top business schools in India and abroad. You can also skyrocket your business by working with an experienced mentor or business coach.
These are the steps you need to follow when starting a company. There are many more big and small steps that make up the entire process, so go slow and take every step with a good amount of thought.
Once the company is set up and functional, you can breathe a bit. All the best! Remember, you can do this!
About the author:
Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.
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