7 Key Steps For Starting Your Own Business
When an out-of-the-blue idea takes the shape of an entrepreneurial plan, a business is born! There are no quick fixes to becoming a booming business owner. The road to success needs to be trodden carefully, supported by a deep understanding of the economic dynamics at work. There is a lot that goes into making a business plan work to accomplish the desired results. While some might want to become an entrepreneur just because they hate taking orders from their boss or have lost their job and can’t find another one, it needs to be understood that the grass is not greener on this side of the pasture either. Setting up a company from scratch or acquiring a business for sale in the United States to expand it into an empire is not a child’s play. In fact, 90% of startups fail either in their infancy or after a few years of sustaining losses. That is why it becomes imperative to know the way up the ladder before setting a foot in the overcrowded trade and commerce domain.
The much talked about recession of 2007 brought down the number of new establishments in the USA by a huge margin. However, circumstances took a positive turn and the trend was reversed by the beginning of 2010. According to the latest data, there are 30 million small and medium-sized enterprises operating in the country which have created 2/3rds of the new private sector jobs in the past few years. With the economy expected to grow by 2-3% in the current fiscal year, things are looking up for the commercial sector. This is the ideal time for investors to put their money into promising ventures that have the potential of generating high returns. Here are the seven essential steps that can get a driven and passionate individual started on the path of entrepreneurship:
1. Determine the Market Demand
Being passionate about something doesn’t mean that it can be turned into a flourishing business. You might be eager to own a coffee shop, but the market you are targeting may be already saturated with the mushrooming population of cafes. Thus you need to be clear about the business idea and identify the best business opportunity by its feasibility factor, which must entail thorough market research. Determine the competition and the demand and supply of the particular product or service you are planning to offer. Identify the demographics of the target audience and the pricing mechanism being used by the competitors. Location and demand must help in zeroing in on the final business proposition.
2. Put Together a Business Plan
Creating a business plan is like designing the blueprint for a building. It acts as the foundation of the business and acts as a guide in setting up, running, and growth planning of the organization. It is an essential tool in the arsenal of the business owner that helps in securing funding and attracting investors as well as partners and stakeholders. It creates a roadmap for the future of the venture describing in detail the goals and objectives to be achieved at the end of each year. A comprehensive business plan must have the following sections – executive summary, company description, market analysis, management structure, details of products or services, marketing and sales strategy, sources of cash flow, and financial projections along with supporting documents.
3. Identify the Structure of the Organization
From the amount of taxes to be paid to getting funding, a lot rides on the structure of the business. It also affects the documentation needed to register the business with the state government and getting the tax ID number as well as acquiring licenses and permits. If you plan to change the structure of the business in the future, it can lead to tax consequences and unintended dissolution depending upon the restrictions in the location where the business is operating. The common structures to opt for are Partnership, Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, corporation, S Corp, B Corp, Close Corporation, Non-Profit Corporation, and Cooperative.
4. Gather the Resources
It is but obvious that starting a business or acquiring an existing business for sale needs the flow of capital which has to be sourced to commence trading. There are various channels of finance, but the entrepreneur must choose the one that fits the business structure and plan. You can also self-fund the venture by relying on bootstrapping which allows leveraging your own finances to pump money into your company. Plus, there are the angel investors, venture capitalists, and the technology-driven crowdfunding options to choose from. Additionally, you can apply for a small business loan from one of the American banks.
5. Set the Business Up
Choose the location for business carefully as it affects the cost by determining the taxes, minimum wage laws, business insurance rates, property rental rates, utilities, zoning laws, and more such regulations. Once you have identified the location, start assembling the team that would form the core of the business. Make a list of the inventory and begin the establishment process by completing all the purchasing formalities. Choose a business name that resonates with your values and offerings, and get it registered with the state government to protect it legally.
6. Put Everything In Order
Once all the systems are in place, you need to direct your focus towards maintaining the order. Keep track of all the job functions and supervise each team member to make sure that they are working in sync with the goals of the company. Organize data for administrative work including establishing the payroll and following the delivery of inventory, paying the bills, sending out invoices, managing the balance sheets for every transaction, and more such tasks. Keep updating the website and the social media platforms and maintain a daily to-do task list that should be reviewed at the end of the day.
7. Launch the Marketing Campaigns
The initial stages of the marketing effort need to be directed towards creating brand awareness. Besides designing a logo and stationery including letterheads and signboards, businesses these days need to have a strong online presence. A major chunk of the population is online for most part of the day and uses the internet for making purchases and reviewing products. Thus it is essential to create a search engine friendly website along with social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach your targeted customers effortlessly. For advertising, instead of opting for the costly traditional channels, you can rely on Google Adwords and Facebook campaigns to generate mass popularity. The communication being sent across these online channels should be cohesive and engaging to hit the right chords.
Whether you build up an empire from scratch or purchase a business for sale in the United States, there will be a host of challenges waiting for you at every step of the way. That is why you must follow a streamlined procedure that has been selected after profound deliberation to tackle the problems without any hassles.