- Starting a Business: Five Steps to Consider Before You Take it to Market
- How to Start a Business: Five Steps to Launching and Marketing Your Business
- Five Things You Need to Do Before You Take Your New Business to Market
Starting a new business is more complicated than coming up with an idea and taking it to market. From writing a business plan to assessing your finances, here are five steps that will help you successfully launch an enduring business.
Starting a new business can feel like an adventure. Every successful adventure requires planning, strategies and resources that enable success at the end of the day.
Before you launch your business, you’ll need to consider various factors that stack the possibility of success on your side. Not all businesses succeed, and the usual reason behind that is a lack of data analysis, an understanding of the market, as well as the target demographic.
If you want to ensure that your business venture is successful and sustainable, then follow these five steps. This five steps will help you take your new business to market.
- Create a Business Plan
A business plan contains an overview as well as detailed information about your business. It’s separated into different sections, with each section dealing with a different aspect of your business. The ‘Executive Summary’ is an overview of your business. But other sections, such as those dedicated to products, finances, milestones and goals etc. establish a clear idea and vision for the business.
From competition analysis to SWOT analysis, market research to creating customer personas, research all angles. By the time you’ve finished writing your business plan, you should have a thorough understanding of your business, your industry, and your potential customers.
The first question you need to ask yourself is ‘what am I selling?’ A business idea is only the starting point. From there you need to estimate the value of the product or service you’re trying to sell. Who are the competitors? How successful is your competition? What drives their success?
- Understand Your Finances
How do you intend to financially back your business? Most new business owners don’t have the funding they need to start a new business.
There are several options available to you if you want to find financial support for your business venture. Some of them are:
- Bank Loans: Getting a bank loan can be difficult right off the bat. Maintaining good financial credit is crucial if you want to get a loan at the beginning, or after starting your business.
- Financial Grants: Offered by the government, banks, or other financial bodies, a grant is usually given to minorities, value-driven businesses, niche markets, emerging markets etc. Conducting research on available grants and seeing whether your business fits into any of them can be useful for you. The good thing about a grant is that unlike bank loans, a grant doesn’t have to be paid back.
- Investors: This is one of the most popular ways to secure funding for businesses. The first step to finding the right investor is to look through their background and analysing whether the potential investor is interested in your industry. Approach them with your business loan, and see where it goes. Remember though, that in an investor backed business, the investor will have a certain amount of control when it comes to running the business.
- Crowdfunding: New businesses can also approach consumers directly. If you think your idea is innovative and can provide value to customers’ lives, and they agree with you, they may be willing to provide funding for your business themselves.
- Register Your Business
Before you register your business, you’ll need to find a name for it. Don’t choose the name randomly – instead, opt for a name that’s linked to what you’re selling. You should opt for a name that has an available domain name online. This helps you get a website for your business with your business’ name.
Once you’ve selected your business’ name, it’s time to complete the registration process. Your business name is just one of many fields you’ll need to provide when you register your business.
Conduct research on the local, state and government laws on businesses, focusing on laws and license that apply to your industry. You should ensure that you apply for and get all your licenses approved before you take your business to market.
During this phase, you’ll also need to choose the legal structure of your business. Your business structure can by any of the following:
- Sole Proprietorship: You are the sole owner of your business, and all responsibilities and liabilities fall on you.
- Partnership: You and a business partner are responsible for operating your business. Here, liabilities are split between the two of you.
- LLC: A limited liability corporation is one of the most popular legal structures adopted by businesses. A scalable business focused on growth should opt for this legal structure.
- Corporation: Adopted by large businesses, a corporation based legal structure endows legal protection to the business.
- Tangible and Intangible Assets
A business has two kinds of assets. Tangible assets include the retail location, products, equipment, and everything else that has a direct role to play in selling your products or services to customers.
Your business should have a marketing strategy before you take it to market. A strong and reputable online presence is necessary if you want your business to success. Here are the intangible assets you need to focus on:
- Social Media Accounts
- Email Marketing
- Brand Narrative
You can start working on your social media presence before you launch your business. This gives you a group of followers who can immediately make purchases from you.
The tangible assets on the other hand, are the foundation of your business. They include:
- Retail Location: Choose a location that’s near your target demographic to drive foot traffic.
- Online or Offline: You can also choose to be exclusively an eCommerce based business. Even if you opt for a retail structure, using your website to sell your products online can help you make more sales.
- Employees: Unless you’re operating a sole proprietorship, you’ll need employees. Take time to find ideal matches to prevent a high employee turnover rate.
- Sales: Your Point of Sale system needs to be determined ahead of time. You can also add a virtual terminal to your store to make the sales process smoother. Online payment using credit cards, debit cards, UPI or payment gateways provides another route to make sales.
- Accounting: You can employ a bookkeeper or accountant to handle this process, but regularly monitoring your accounts is a good way to ensure proper cash flow management.
- A Grand Opening
Make the launch of your business a loud affair. You can do this by inviting people in your locality, offering discounts and coupons, and advertising your brand. This can be done online as well.
New businesses often offer large discounts as a way to allow people to sample their products and services. A grand opening helps you gain brand visibility. Paid advertising, approaching local newspapers and news channels, and a targeted marketing campaign can all help you get the word out about your business.
Finally, never stop growing your business. A flexible, adaptable and growth oriented mindset can help you build a sustainable and enduring business. Consider getting business insurance, is a good way to protect your business from unexpected risk. Find out more here.