Starting a business from scratch is probably one of the scariest and simultaneously exciting challenges any entrepreneur can undertake. Entrepreneurs have a number of business ideas racing around their head, but it takes something special to put one of those ideas into action. If you are, however, struggling to come up with a business idea, click here to gain some inspiration.
Relating to the above, the process of starting a new business should be undertaken with caution. Statistically, 20% of new businesses fail within two years of opening, with 45% not making it past the five-year mark. The business landscape is cruel and unforgiving, especially in today’s climate, where financial difficulties are lowering business confidence around the globe.
It is, however, not impossible, and the sign of a great entrepreneur is someone who takes the challenge head-on. Fear is good, of course, as it shows that you know how competitive the market is, but confidence is just as rewarding as it shows that you have what it takes to see it through and build something special.
What about the very beginning of the process? The starting point – where the business is in your head but not in reality. This can be a little unnerving for those who have never done anything like this before. It is, however, the perfect time to take the appropriate early steps that will lead you to having a fully formed prospering business. If you are not too sure exactly what these steps are, we’ve compiled them into a short list below to help you get from the ‘idea of the business’ to the business itself:
Get To Know Yourself
The first step you should take is simple: Get to know yourself! It might sound strange, but one of the first things that can trip you up is not understanding who you are as an entrepreneur, including your relevant skills, your budget, your attention span and of course your personability. Essentially, you need to know how to recognise your strengths and utilise them in your chosen field.
Get Excited About Your Concept
Again, you might think this is a little bit of an obvious point, but so many businesses fail because of a lack of motivation and engagement – even from the business leaders themselves. Every entrepreneur needs to be excited about their concept because they are going to be living and working on it for years. For this reason, if the market allows for it, you should sit on the idea for a little while longer as the best business ideas are the ones that are truly actualised by the entrepreneur.
If you went to college, think about the amount of research you put into writing your assignments each semester. Multiply this research by a hundred, and you’ll be somewhat close to the amount of research you have to do for your first business.
This will include defining and analysing your target audience, seeing if there’s a real demand for the product or service you’ll be selling and understanding how far you can really go. You should also be researching your competitors. What are they doing to engage with their customers? What does their innovation look like? This will all be priceless information when creating your own business.
If you are looking for investors to help you start your business, you will need to have a proof-of-concept that shows that your business model works, even at a very basic level. Testing the business premise will also tell you more about your audience and how your business is going to perform in the current market.
Get Your Business Registered
It is also crucial that you formulate a structure for your business and look into the different types of registration that is required. If you haven’t got a company name yet, this is the time when you need to find one and register your business under that name. Pick a name that you feel will resonate with your target audience as well as your product. Picking your brand colours and slogan is also a vital element in the process of trying to build your brand and create a strong corporate identity.
Get Your Budget Under Control
Finance is obviously one of the most crucial factors in the success of a business. For this reason, you need to open up a business bank account, analyse and control your budget and then spread your finances into the necessary areas. There are a number of accounting, tax and financial responsibilities that you will be required to adhere to, and you’ll need to know how efficient your expense management system is when it comes to timekeeping. If you do all of this, there will be no unnecessary shocks in the future and you can ensure your budget doesn’t take a dent out of the blue.
Get Your Website Looking Shiny
In the US alone, 70% of people did their shopping online in 2022, so you need to be aware of just how important the e-commerce space is when starting a business. This starts with a strong and reliable ecommerce platform. Make sure your website looks and works like a professional business website, and you will find that your customers will not only become more engaged with you as a company but will return to provide repeating purchases. It is also essential that you get accustomed to the IT issues you might encounter as a new business and how to resolve them.
This is not something you can do on your own, however, It is important to partner with a strong e-commerce platform provider who can help you create the perfect website and assist in its ongoing growth, Like Wix.com for example.
Get To Know Your Target Audience
Beyond market research, you need to get to know your target audience on a personal level. This will involve utilising your social media pages and forming your own community – which will also allow you to gather data and learn more about buying habits. Make sure to also not shy away from in-person relationships. If you are a B2B company, for instance, then building relationships through in-person meetings and events is the perfect stepping stone to formulating strong partnerships and loyalties that will last.
Get Great Security
Cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats to businesses worldwide, so it is crucial that you tackle the issue early on and make security one of the first priorities before your business is on the ground. Small businesses, specifically, are at high risk of detrimental cyber attacks. There’s nothing worse than spending all that time and money on creating your dream company, only for it to be taken apart by a single hacker, so put the necessary precautions in place and be proactive rather than reactive.
Get The Gang Together
Lastly, you should start looking at accumulating a dream team who can take your business concept and turn it into a reality. In those initial stages, hiring the perfect team is crucial. For this reason, you need to know what to look for in a CV and choose the people that you think are the most passionate about the business and will stay engaged long into the future.
Maintain Your Excitement
These early steps in creating a company can be a little scary, but they’re also immensely fun and rewarding. Remember, you want to start this business because of that jewel in your head, and the excitement that you felt when coming up with the concept. Try to maintain that excitement, put it into everything you do, and just watch as your business starts to really take off.