Starting a business is an important step for every aspiring entrepreneur. But only a few are able to actually kick start a business and see it grow to become a great business with sustainable income. A simple but crucial step in getting a business off the ground is to find out exactly what you are good at and you can do best. You need to know what you are passionate about. You will have an advantage and enjoy success in starting a business you have a strong interest yet lack experience.
Talk to professionals or experts your industry of interest
Explore why they are successful in their various duties in the industry. Find out what works and what do not work. Find out what qualities or skills are necessary to success in that field. You may not possess the skills but going forward you will know what to focus on if you finally pursue the idea.
Validate your idea
The biggest mistake you can ever make is to start a business with little or no knowledge about the need for the product or service you intend to sell or provide respectively. Find out if there is a market for your product or service. You can do a simple research to find out the size of the market, your potential customers and what they really want and who your competitors are.
Build your network
Start building a network of people who may want or need your product or service. It’s important to create relationships you can build on in the future when your start offering your product to the public.
Make a list of what you really need to get started
If you intend to launch an online business, find out about domains, hosting services, building your site, business registration, initial launch cost including marketing etc. Some initial costs are industry specific, find out the resources you will need for your industry.
Create a simple executive business plan
You do not need a lengthy business plan to actually start a business. But for planning purposes, it’s important to have a working document-business concept, mission, vision, product or service, go-to marketing strategy, how you intend to make money, competition, Business Assumptions, Funding requirement and how you intend to spend the money, concise sales forecast and expense budget, your team-you can find a partner who can complement your skills. A written document is mostly beneficial when you have to seek funding in the future.
Get yourself office if you have to, but not a requirement
If you can afford it, get yourself and your partner an office. You could bootstrap from your home if you do not have the resources. Do not stress yourself with office space in the beginning. There is nothing wrong with starting from home and expanding as you grow.
Begin to put the plan into Action
Find a good name for your business. A name is the first most important part of putting plans into action. A wrong name will create problems for you in the future. Branding is crucial right from the beginning. Secure a domain name and create a coming soon page. Get to work on the real product. This could take time and not all products or services are created equal. Find out what works best in your field. Refer to your working document where necessary.
Start marketing (At this stage, I assume your first beta is ready for launch)
Refer to your marketing strategy. Choose what works best for your business-Press release, social media (Twitter and Facebook pages for your business), blogs, and influential blog posts, ads, emails etc. Focus on what will work best for your audience.
Strengthen your Network
Begin to expand your network. Get in touch with influential industry experts, business advisers, friends who could potentially refer you to others. You can even plan a lunch meeting with some of them to introduce yourself and your business. Do not forget about business cards. Begin to attend industry conferences and network with people who can potential be of help you.
Maintain your enthusiasm
It’s very important to maintain the passion for your business. Things may not go as planned, but if you believe in what you are doing, you can stick with it and see what becomes of it. Prepare for the bumpy road of starting a business.