Do you have an idea for a product or service?
Do you have an offering that you are able to offer others that will provide them with value?
Are you ready to take the leap to entrepreneurship and start offering value to potential customers?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you are likely interested in starting your own business.
Entrepreneurship is a wonderful opportunity and way of life. It gives you the ability to use your creativity and offer innovative ideas to assist others. When you have an idea that can help others and provide value, it is a very exciting position to be in.
Once an entrepreneur recognizes an opportunity in the market, he or she can then take the risk and design and launch the business.
If you are currently in the phase where you have an idea and want to move forward with the next steps, then first off, congratulations. The world of entrepreneurship offers a number of benefits that can greatly enhance your way life, including:
- Pursuing your own vision
- Constantly learning and gaining knowledge
- A feeling of pride and fulfillment
- Control over your time
- Potential for high financial earnings
- Being ready for the future where traditional employment will no longer be the norm
There are of course many other benefits and I encourage you to consider the leap as to identify what specific entrepreneurial benefits best align with your values.
Once you decide entrepreneurship is for you, then you are ready to start your business. Here is a summary of foundational steps that should be set for your business:
1. Do your research and make a plan
Once you have a business idea, you want to develop a step-by-step plan on how you will deliver your offerings to the end-user. I encourage you to develop a concise plan that is exciting to create and easy to follow. Key areas to outline include your business concept, how you will profit, your target market and competitors. Do your research to make sure you have all areas covered so you can hit the pavement with confidence in your business concept. To note, the business plan does not have to be a 10-page write-up. Short and concise often is a winning strategy. If you can summarize your business plan in a page or two, that would be optimal.
2. Choose a business structure and register your business
What is the optimal structure for you – sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership? This depends on a number of factors and there are reasons why certain structures are more advantageous over others. I encourage you to do your research as to ensure your business structure is appropriate. You should reach out to a lawyer/accountant for their guidance as well.
3. Get insurance and licenses
Every company must have adequate insurance. I suggest you contact multiple insurance brokers, ask them all of your questions, see what insurance you require and compare quotes. Also, some businesses may require licenses, so ensure that these are all in place prior to starting your operations.
4. Setup your business location
Whether you plan on having a home office, shared office, private office, retail location or warehouse, setting up your location is important. Your location, equipment, computer systems, inventory and setup must all be in place prior to commencing your operations. As all successful businesses are conscious of their costs, you will want to plan your finances appropriately during this phase.
5. Choose your accounting system
An accounting system is necessary to track all of your business transactions. This means that features must be setup appropriately, including sales and invoicing, purchases and payables, inventory management, sales tracking, customer contacts, payroll, tax reporting, etc. An accounting system setup specific to your industry and business type will not only minimize your resources/time spent on accounting functions, but will also provide you with accurate and real-time data and reports to make well informed business decisions.
6. Design a website, logo and business cards
In today’s world, your website is the face of your company. It is very important to have your website content align with your business so that viewers get a clear understanding of what your business offers. The good news is that you can setup a basic website for a reasonable price. There are many options, including pre-designed templates using a website builder such as Wordpress, Wix or Squarespace. Or, you can find a web-designer who can customize a site for you. Also, make sure to have a nice logo and business card. In all of your marketing, your messaging should be congruent and tailored to your target market.
7. Start marketing
If you have a clear plan and understanding of your operations, you can get to this step fairly quickly. Now the fun begins as you can market your business and see your business vision come to fruition. To ensure you are taking advantage of the best marketing practices, I suggest watching online video training of marketing methods.
If you follow the above steps, your entrepreneur reality can be soon be realized. My recommendation is to constantly learn and seek knowledge of best practices when setting up your business. As an entrepreneur, you are in control, which means you are responsible for setting up your business effectively. At the same time, it means you can build something that you will truly cherish and be proud of.