- Business Ideas
- Business Plan
- Decide on a Business Structure
- Legal Requirements
- Advertising and Marketing
- Name, Logo & Branding
Maybe there’s something you are very knowledgeable or passionate about, or you’ve noticed a gap within the marketplace. There’s a lot to consider but whatever your interests are, there is always a way to turn that into a business. It is essential that you prepare and plan. Here is the step by step guide.
Having a good business is essential. You have to consider it’s uniqueness, the value it will generate and if that is something that customers want. Once you have important insights to these considerations then you’re a step closer to your dream.
This is what we call the pinpoint analysis. When you begin with small business ideas, one way to pinpoint is to look for areas of opportunities to offer a better product or service. You have to start looking at some things that you find the need to innovate.
Decide on Product or Service Based
Is it a product or a service that you are offering to the market? You have to go deeper into the potential of your product or service through SWOT Analysis.
Preliminary Consumer Research
Simply put, business entrepreneurs have to keep up with market trends and maintain a competitive advantage and one way to do this is to identify the target market.
List out Your Ideas
Begin by listing your ideas then start turning those into reality till then you realized that the idea has become a real business. Decisions to take before opening a business can include your business operation funds and the business location.
Identify the Risks and Find Solutions
Internal and external, directly or indirectly, business risks come in various forms. Identify the risk and strategies to manage each. It will help you find ways to minimize the risks and eventually recover.
Rank your Ideas and Choose the Best One
It is possible that other aspiring business owners share the same business idea, but how you take it from a different angle can become your competitive advantage. So, keep testing, and avoid choosing a business idea because it is a business you know or a product or service you have fallen in love with.
Define your objectives of research in your research plan. This way, you will gather enough information to either go ahead with your idea or research more. Take experts suggestions, read books, browse online for resources.
Research the Competition
Researching your competition will help you to make better plans to stay ahead of them. Prepare competitor SWOT analysis & assess a company’s position & its impact on the market.
Identify your Target Customers
Identify your target market, Organize them into segments, Understand needs of each customer.
Importance of Market Research Before Starting a Business
There has never been a business that was able to succeed without conducting a market research about their customers, products and services. The market research is the simplest way for entrepreneurs to keep up with the latest trends, hence, you have to determine what are likely to sell fast.
There are generally no rules on what your business plan should cover not even the specific details. Just make sure however that the plan covers the business profile, vision, mission and objectives of your business. The market research, operational strategy, products and/or services should also be included. The marketing plan and financial strategies should be laid out too.
To attract investors, the business plan should include a cover page that has the company’s name, contact information and company logo. Conducting a thorough research on potential investors will help you save time and money. When preparing a business proposal for investors, the return of their investment should be top priority.
You may be held accountable for the projections and proposals of the content of your business plan if not planned well. Thinking a little about what you want to include in your business plan is not prudent. You need to develop a business plan outline regardless if there is a need for outside funding of your business such as bank loans or venture capital.
You need to look at the size off the market analysis as well as quantify and qualify your assessment of it. This includes the volume and value, customer segments and buying patterns. Take a look at the competition and the overall economic environment too.
Evaluate your competitors analysis and think about what makes your product or service unique. The attributes that you need to play up in order to attract your target market must be included.
Marketing and Sales
Marketing and sales are terms inseparable in business. When sales are focused on ways to persuade the target market to buy your products or services. Marketing, on the other hand, takes care from the design to the delivery to help boost your sales. A sales analysis is needed to determine and establish growth trends.
A comprehensive business management plan will help certainly organize and coordinate the activities of the business to achieve defined objectives.
Operations in business are inserted in the business plan to serve as a roadmap. Both the investors and the founders can access business operations to better grasp on all the aspects of a business.
A comprehensive financial plan is important as it makes sure your business idea will pay the bills, make profit, and eventually help you achieve your financial goals.
Decide on a Business Structure
Before registering your business, you should consider analyze the most used business structures. Whether it’s sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation, each type has different implications for liability, taxation, and succession.
This refers to one person who manages the business. A declaration of sole shareholder will be required by payments provider for legal requirements, fraud protection and anti-money laundering legislation.
This is an arrangement where parties, known as partners cooperate to work on their mutual interests. Partnership can be individuals, businesses, schools, and governments or a combination.
A corporation is a legal entity which is separate and distinct from the owners. The corporation can have a single shareholder or several. In the case of publicly traded corporations, there are often hundreds of shareholders.
Limited Liability Company
The owners of this type of business structure are called “members”. These members can either be individual business owners, several partners, or other businesses. An LLC gives you the perk of pass-through taxes, limited liability and legal protection for personal assets.
Choose and Register your Business Name
When naming your business, make sure you pick a name you can legally use and protect. For businesses, the name is your most valuable asset because that’s what differentiates you from other competitors.
Choose the Right Logo For Your Business
Before you decide what color, font, design to use, you should determine what personality you want for your business to have. Your logo design should be about personality and how you bring such personality to your customers.
Building a Brand
A working brand should communicate and help customers understand who ‘you’ are in relation to what ‘they’ need. Take a look at the landscape of your competitors to come up with a good brand.
Not following legal documents set by the federal, state and country rules and regulations mean that your business can face serious penalties. Legal requirements for small business are also subject to some of the laws and regulations that apply to large corporations.
Business Licenses and Permits
One primary reason why there’s a need to comply with business licenses and permit, is to keep customers safe and make the operations transparent. Agreements and contracts on the other hand are legally structured to protect you and safeguard your resources.
In reference to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), businesses can incur four kinds of federal taxes. These are: income tax, self-employment tax, employment tax, and excise tax. In addition, each state has different tax requirement for businesses. How much tax a business owes will depend on how a business operates.
Self Employment Tax
Self-employment tax only refers to Social Security and Medicare taxes. This is excluding other taxes that self-employed individuals may be required to file.
The United States IRS uses the term “employment tax” to refer to a list of taxes related to employees. These taxes will be paid by employers and could either be paid through withholding or by direct payment, or both. An employment agreement should be secured which has provisions to explain this part for employees to understand.
This is a type of tax on the use or consumption of certain products, hence also called “duties.” This tax is sometimes included in the price of motor fuels, cigarettes, and alcohol. Excise taxes may also be imposed on activities, like gambling. So either the federal government or the state shall impose this.
Federal Tax ID Number
A Federal Tax ID Number is also known as Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is used to identify a business entity. You can apply in variou ways or through online for free. Always check with your state to make sure you need a state number or charter.
A business can take different ways to get funding. In fact, more than one option can be used. Compliance with all the documents to get funding and good financial planning cannot be underestimated. Determining your short and long-term financial goals comes next . Creation of a balanced plan to meet those goals should be considered too.
Self-Funding using your personal savings, credit or equity means that you are assuming full responsibility for the creation or extension of your business. One of the options to get funds from reputed banks for all business expenses is through personal loan, hence, the compliance to have the necessary documents to get a loan approved.
Crowdfunding is a form of social media fundraising that encourages individuals to give a small donation towards a certain project. There are over 600 crowdfunding platforms around the world according to the research firm Massolution.
An angel investor maybe known for having a lot of names: a business angel, informal investor, angel funder, private investor, or seed investor. This person must be affluent that provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for a convertible debt or ownership equity which means that everything should be covered under the investment documents
Venture capital funding is basically for a startup business in exchange of equity. This usually comes from venture capital firms that specialize in building high risk financial portfolios. Securing financial documents is wise thing to do as past successes as well as future expectations need to be laid out too.
This is basically the money that you borrow to run your business. This fund may invest in short-term or long-term bonds, securitized products, money market instruments or floating rate debt. Fee ratios here are usually lower, on average, than equity funds because the overall management costs are lower.
Managers must have a thorough understanding about business organization, finance, and communication. They should have knowledge about the market and relevant technologies and policies because their work is critical to helping everyone work together.
How to Manage a Business
One of the basic principles of business management that has always remained the same includes the ability to successfully motivate and lead employees. This is part of the drive to increase business growth, smoothen operations management, and properly follow business and labor laws.
Human Resource practitioners who have well-rounded expertise provide a number of services from strategic planning to company image to myriad areas. The HR maintains control and can help enhance employees’ experience throughout the workforce while strengthening business operations.
One of the essential elements of operations is production, which relates to the creation of goods and services. Productivity can be used to measure efficiency of the entire business operations.
Advertising and Marketing
Advertising is just one component of the whole marketing process. Advertising and marketing involve so many facets that include art and design.
Marketing strategies should have a section on your business plan. This outlines your overall game plan on how you will draw customers to your business..
Outline key elements of your marketing plan, Make it straight forward & easily understandable. A good marketing plan should provide clear way to your marketing efforts for minimum of one year.
Name, Logo & Branding
Decide on a name, logo and colour that define your business. A logo is a graphic element with your business name while your brand is the communications strategy that communicates your expertise.
Before, during and after purchasing and using goods and services, customer service should always be provided to customers. You should always meet your customer expectations, which would eventually make them as repetitive customers.
The trick is to find a form of advertising or ways to market your business that fits your business objectives, your budget and your target customers. The internet alone offers many of these from the advent of branded viral videos, banners, advertorials, sponsored websites, and branded chat rooms.
Identify Sales Goals
According to Harvard Business Review: “When 10%–20% of salespeople miss goals, the problem might be the salespeople. But when most salespeople miss, the problem is their goals”. Before you even think about incentives, commission, or bonuses, you must study your business plan and check if your being realistic with your goal setting strategy.
A good sales plan must lay out your business objectives, high-level tactics, target customers, and potential challenges. Prepare a plan on how exactly things should happen & execute.
Strategies to Increase Sales
Prepare a strategic sales plan which focuses on the benefits or results that customers will get from the product or service. Start the process by identifying your ideal customers first then making another list of all of the benefits that the customers will enjoy sound intuitive. Starting a business entails a lot of challenges and sacrifices before all your efforts bear fruit. All the things being mentioned above are just part of the challenges you need to face before you even get returns for your investment. This guide will help you as you go along with each process until such time your business begins to grow and flourish. All your efforts combined with this valuable guide tool will help pave the way not only for you to become a successful entrepreneur, but also for you to be guided accordingly with each business venture you plan to make in the future.