Are you tired of not being your own boss? Do you now want to know how to start your own business? You have embarked on a truly challenging journey, but one who can turn out to be a great source of happiness for you, provided you take care of every step as well as you can. It will require hard work and you, probably, already know that many people end up failing and going back to their old jobs. However, that doesn’t have to be you. Read our guide on how to start your own business and write a business plan, overcome all the obstacles, and watch the rewards roll in.
How to Start Your Own Business – The Step by Step Plan
Step 1. The Basics
We’re going to tell you that, when thinking about how to start your own business, you must start right at the bottom. You’re going to say that this idea is implied. You’re wrong. Starting right down at the bottom means first taking some time off to think about your goals.
What is it that you want from this business of yours? Is it financial independence that you seek? Do you want to make a lot of money by having a fantastic idea and then selling it to the highest bidder? Do you want to have a small, yet sustainable business that will bring you a moderate yet steady income and which will also make you happy?
Once you find out the real purpose why you want to start your own business, it will become much easier to handle your finances as well as to construct a concrete business plan. The earlier you settle your goals, the better.
Step 2. Choose a Particular Idea
How exactly do you do that? Here are a few things to think about.
- Is there any product you’ve always wanted to make? It can be food, an item of clothing such as a t shirt, writing books, baking, photography, a scented candle, a handmade carpet, and everything in between. There are really no limits when it comes to the products you can make, as there is a market for everything.
- Is there a specific service you’ve always wanted to deliver? Maybe you’re interested in cleaning a home, driving a truck, installing a vending machine, design, catering, mowing a lawn, consulting, babysitting, planning a party, doing tax for other people, walking a dog, being a fitness instructor, coding, can collecting for environmental reasons, being a handyman and repairing things in people’s homes, such as a window, raising funds, or anything else that tickles your fancy.
- Do you have a unique talent for something?
- Do you have any particular set of skills or knowledge in a specialized field that you can use?
- Can you combine all your personal qualities in one, new business idea?
Step 3. Choose a Magnificent Name
Naming is crucial when it comes to new businesses. If you’re doing it from home and on a small budget, you will not have the means to hire a marketing team or company. This idea means that your brand or business might not get the recognition or publicity you want. Unless you find an unforgettable name, that is.
Here are a few tips when it comes to selecting the perfect name for your new business.
- Don’t let it stop you in your tracks. If you can’t find a good enough one from the get-go, let it be. It will come to you later on. A name should not hinder your plan on how to start your own business.
- Never hesitate to change it in the later stage of your development. Maybe after a few months you will come up with a better one, or maybe your whole concept has changed. If so, you can change your name as well, no questions asked.
- Make it an oversimplified and attractive name. Never pick a long and intricate name, for people will not be able to remember it. Think about the most famous brand names ever, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nike, Puma, Adidas, Beats by Dre, KFC, Evian, Dior, Walmart. One simple word will do the trick.
Step 4. Choose Your Team
You don’t have to do this alone. Even if it is your personal business, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything, from carrying the boxes to doing the taxes by yourself. Bring into the team three or four trusted friends who are willing to help you.
One tip here for choosing them is based on your weaknesses. Define and detail the areas in which you are weakest. Maybe it’s finance, IT, marketing or sales. If you feel insecure about performing great work in these fields, bring in someone who will do it better than you.
However, choosing people can be quite tricky. Therefore, you must be careful on how you select them. Make sure you see eye to eye about the concept, idea, and business plan. You also need to clarify that it is your business, and they are only helping. Don’t forget about the money issue. Even if they are your friends, they might become reluctant in helping you for free after a while, especially if your business is taking up a lot of their personal time.
Step 5. Writing the Business Plan
The business plan is a paramount cog in the intricate machinery that is setting up your own business. It will help you define what you believe you need to launch your new company, independently of its size. Many people think that, since they are contemplating starting a small business, they don’t need a plan, to begin with. Never make that mistake.
It will summarize the sense of your whole business in one central document. It will also become a virtual map for bankers, investors, potential partners, and any other type of interested parties to determine if your business is truly viable or not.
To better help you understand how to write a business plan, we have created an example. Let’s say you’re thinking about how to start your own business, and you want it to be a coffee shop. Its name will be Mrs. Deli’s Coffee. Here is how the business plan should look like.
Mrs. Deli’s Coffee’s targets in the first year after opening are as follows.
- Become the most well-known coffee shop in the local area.
- Make a profit from the first month of business.
- Maintain a 55 percent gross margin.
- The Roads to Success
- Design a logo and a brand which will attractive and memorable for all clients.
- Offer training to all employees so that we can make sure they will make the best coffee in town, quality-wise.
- Define and use marketing strategies which will help develop a stable and loyal customer base.
- Maximizing sales when it comes to staple products such as espresso and café latte.
- Detailing the Mission
Mrs. Deli’s Coffee’s mission is to become a one-of-a-kind place where clients are able not only to buy a coffee but also to socialize. Apart from providing the best coffee and cakes in town, Mrs. Deli’s Coffee will also be offering its clients the chance to unwind after a hard day’s work or to get energized and in a good mood before going into work every morning.
Mrs. Deli’s Coffee will use all the profits to invest in increasing customer satisfaction as well as proving stable returns to all its shareholders.
- Company Ownership
The coffee shop is situated in the city of Compton. It is a limited liability company. It has X square feet. It sells coffee and coffee drinks, as well as pastries and other beverages. Mrs. Deli’s Coffee‘s primary investor are Mr. Y and Mrs. Z, who own 60 percent of the company together. The startup loss of this firm is assumed to be the amount of $X.
- Locations and Facilities
The company will be located on the first floor of the Compton Central Mall. Make sure you include a detailed description of the site itself here, as well as the complete address. You can also add some minutiae about the lease contract you have with said mall.
In this section of your business plan, you need to include exhaustive descriptions of all the goods you will be merchandising in your coffee shop.
- Analysis of the Market
This section is quite self-explanatory as it consists of a detailed description of the market towards which you are aiming. If you don’t feel like you can do this analysis on your own, ask for help from one of your partners or hire a marketing manager.
According to your goals and public, list all your potential competitors. How much of the market do they take up and why? Which one is your strongest competitor and which one is the weakest? What sets them apart from the rest? What is it that made them so successful? What can you do to top them? What can you do to distinguish yourself from them?
- Defining Your Sales Strategy
Apart from the actual strategy, which can include anything from social media to banners, and free espresso shots given away on the street, make sure you also include a sales forecast. After thoroughly analyzing the market and your competition, how do you think your personal sales will go?
- Management Team
Include a detailed description of yourself and your managing partners.
How many baristas, waitresses, and cleaning personnel will you need? How much money will it take to pay them all?
Once you have all these things written down in a clear, concise, and objective way, your business plan will become the backbone of your entire company. Mrs. Deli’s Coffee might have a shot at becoming the hottest coffee place in town.
There are many ideas on how to start your own business, as there are steps to be taken. You only need to find yours, as well as the time and energy to follow through.
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