First-time entrepreneurs trying to start a business often feel overwhelmed, stressed, and even a little anxious. With the wealth of things they have to look after, it’s easy to see why. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you could feel as though it’s too complicated to actually do.
It doesn’t need to be. Once you know how to start a business, the process can seem more straightforward. Focusing on a few particular areas is more than helpful.
How To Start A Business: 7 Areas First-Time Entrepreneurs Must Focus On
1. Refine Your Idea
If you’re considering starting a business, you’ll already have an idea of what kind of business you want to start. You’ll need to make sure that this is as refined as possible. A t-shirt company, for example, isn’t a refined business idea and is too vague to reach success.
A company that specializes in movie- and television-based t-shirts, however, sounds more like a properly researched and thought-out business. Spending time focusing on this before moving forward is essential. You can’t figure out how to start your business without knowing what your company is, after all.
Armed with this, you can identify your potential customers, alongside better plan out how your company will operate. Though this can take some time, it’ll be more than worth it. The more refined your idea, the more you can focus on building and growing it in the months and years ahead.
2. Assess Your Finances
Starting a business isn’t cheap, even if you’re based primarily online. You’ll need to assess your finances to determine what you can afford. Can you pay for everything yourself or will you need to borrow money? If you need to borrow, how much can you afford to pay back every month?
You’ll need to be as detailed as possible with this. You’re best doing this when you’re researching and writing your business plan – detailed below – so you can figure out your company’s potential finances. You’ll need to perform a break even analysis to determine when the company will make money.
With that, you can more effectively plan out your finances and obtain funding. You should also budget to keep your expenses as low as possible until you reach this break even point.
3. Write A Business Plan
One of the most important steps involved in starting a business is writing a business plan. A detailed document highlighting your sales and marketing strategies, business operations, and more, it outlines how you plan on running your business.
Creating one of these can be overwhelming, although it doesn’t need to be. When you’re doing so, you’ll need to:
- Perform Market Research – You’ll need to find out the state of the market you want to enter. You should focus on your target demographics, competitors, and more.
- Consider An Exit Strategy – As you’re putting together your business plan, you should consider an exit strategy. While you mightn’t want out of your company, it’s worth knowing how you can exit once you do want to leave. That could include selling it.
Once you’ve put together your business plan, you can make more informed business decisions going forward. While not everything will go to plan, having this in-hand helps you get things back on track.
4. Choose A Structure & Get Registered
Before you can start doing business, you’ll need to register it, and before that, you’ll need to choose a company structure. You have various options for this, including:
- Sole Proprietorship – If you plan on running the business yourself, you can choose a sole proprietorship, although this puts your personal credit at risk.
- Partnership – As the name suggests, this is when you and another person start the business together and share responsibilities.
- Corporation – There are multiple types of corporations you can start, each with their pros and cons. These offer you more legal protection, should the business turn sour.
- Limited Liability Company – LLCs are typically seen as one of the safest options to choose, as it puts you at much less risk if the company goes out of business.
Once you’ve decided on which company structure, it’s time to register your company with the government and Internal Revenue Service. There are multiple steps involved in this, although they’re quite straightforward.
While this can be a time-consuming process, it’s something you’ll need to get done early to ensure you’re legally-compliant.
5. Build Out Your Team
While you might want to start your company with you as the sole employee, at some point you’ll need to build it out. You’ll need employees to work on various tasks as you grow. You’ll need to make sure you hire the right workers for your business.
Doing so can be a complicated process. Unless you have prior human resources experience, it may be worth outsourcing the hiring process to a third-party when you do this. You should also focus on hiring people that are not only skilled enough for the role, but fits your company culture.
That’s simply the start of the process, however; you’ll also need to know how to manage them effectively. Taking advantage of these 23 easy tips to get the most out of your employees.
6. Choose The Right Vendors
It’s likely that you’ll need vendors and suppliers for your business. These range from cleaners to the third-parties who manufacture your products. They could even supply you with parts or packaging, depending on your needs. You’ll need to make sure you choose the right vendor for you.
That can seem overwhelming for most first-time entrepreneurs, although it doesn’t need to be. Researching and comparing options is a vital component to this, as it’ll help you make a more informed decision. It’s also worth speaking with each option in-depth when you’re doing this.
While you’ll inevitably want to focus on cost, that shouldn’t be the sole factor driving your decision. Make sure you get value for your money and the vendor can scale with you.
7. Brand Yourself & Advertise
One overlooked part of starting a business is branding and advertising, despite how essential they are. Many entrepreneurs see them as relatively unimportant and treat them accordingly. That’s the wrong approach to take.
Your branding and marketing set you apart from your competition and build awareness among potential consumers. You’ll need to focus on this from as early as possible. You should focus on several areas when figuring out your branding, including:
- Your Website – To start building your presence online, you should develop and launch a high-quality website that represents your company effectively. It’ll be a fundamental part of your marketing.
- Social Media – Consumers expect brands to have social media profiles, so make sure you have them.
- Logo – A logo should be easily identifiable and communicate your brand quickly and easily.
Once you’ve taken care of these, you should start advertising your products or services. You’ll have multiple strategies available to you, each of which have their pros and cons. Knowing what your audience responds to best is vital to this, although you can adjust your strategies as you go.
How To Start A Business: Wrapping Up
Figuring out how to start a business without all of the stress doesn’t need to be as complicated as you’d expect. Each of the above areas are essential components of the process, although they’ll be relatively straightforward.
Knowing what you’re doing and taking a planned approach is vital to this, as it’ll help you make sure everything’s done right. There shouldn’t be anything getting in your way.
Read more business ideas from Eighty Mph Mom!