What you must do to start your own business
Running a business can have a powerful impact on your life and the lives of those around you, but before you can manage it, you must start it.
If you've never had a business before, the idea of starting one of your own can seem scary. Fortunately, many other entrepreneurs have already done so, so you can capitalize on the wisdom they gained from their successes and failures.
These 13 time-tested steps will help you start a business, whether it's your first or 10, with advice on all things related, from finding and validating your money-making idea, to figuring out your shipping strategy, to finally launching. your product or service.
Use the time you have available
1. Use the time you have available
No matter how ambitious your business goals are, you can still start a business in your spare time, and align it with your current life commitments. Not everyone has the ability to quit their full-time job to dedicate themselves to developing something of their own, but that doesn't mean you can't get started.
For example, it is possible to create a handmade products business in parallel with a full-time job, or start a blog that later becomes a business. If you're looking for more inspiration, here are seven more ways to start a business without quitting your 9-5 job.
2. Identify a business idea
Finding a business idea is something you can systematically tackle by relying on time-tested approaches that have worked for other entrepreneurs. Here are 12 ways to identify a product you can sell, including strategies like:
3. Validate your business idea
This may sound difficult, but it's really just a matter of testing whether customers are willing to pay for your product before you spend too much time and money on it. No matter what type of business you are starting, it is important that you validate your idea.
There are many ways to do it, some are simple and some are a bit more complex. Here are some tactical examples that can help you figure out how to measure market demand before you dig too deep.
4. Find a business name
Work to find a name for your business that makes what you do clear, is short and memorable, and is not in use in your industry. It is not an easy task, but it can be accomplished with a little effort and imagination.
Name generators can help you find a list of unique ideas, and there are also many proven good practices for choosing your business name that can help you build your own list.
5. Make a business plan.
Writing a business plan helps validate and formalize your idea, and it can streamline the business creation process by inviting you to sit down and think things through methodically.
A classic quote that applies especially to the business plan development process is: "Plans are worth nothing, but planning is everything." Many entrepreneurs say that they rarely look at their plan once they have opened their business, but they will also tell you that there is value in thinking about and researching your idea as you develop the plan.
6. Understand the finances of the business.
The shared goal of any business is to make money, so understanding cash flow is an integral part of running a business. In this sense, you must understand some basic concepts to start and scale that knowledge as you grow.
There are many businesses that you can start with just a small initial investment, but others will require money for inventory, equipment, or physical space. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear vision of your total investment, before spending a penny, as it will help you make important projections, such as when you will break even.