Tips For Opening Your Own Business – Starting a business can be hard work, but if you break down the process of starting a new company into individual steps, you can make it easier. Instead of spinning your wheels and thinking about getting started, follow this 10-step checklist to turn your business from an overhead light bulb into a real entity.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, you probably have an idea of what you want to sell online, or at least the market you want to enter. Quickly search for existing companies in your chosen industry. Learn what brand leaders are doing today and think about how you can do it better. If you think your business can deliver something that other companies don’t (or deliver the same thing, only faster and cheaper), you have a strong idea and are ready to create a business plan.
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“In the words of Simon Sinek, ‘it always starts with why,'” Glenn Gutek, CEO of Awake Consulting and Coaching, told Business News Daily. “It is good to know why you are starting a business. In this process, you may want to distinguish between [whether] the business serves a personal reason or a market why. If you focus on meeting the needs of the market, the scope of your business will be larger than a business designed to meet your personal needs.
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Another option is to open a franchise from an established company. The concept, brand and business model already exist; you just need a good location and funds to finance the operation.
Whichever option you choose, it is very important to understand the reasoning behind your idea. Stephanie Desaulniers, owner of Business by Dezign and former director of operations and women’s business programs at the Covation Center, cautions entrepreneurs against writing a business plan or brainstorming a company name before realizing the value of the idea.
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Desaulniers said very often, people jump into opening a business without spending time thinking about who the customer wants to be and what the customer wants to buy from them or hire someone.
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“You need to explain why you want to work with these clients – do you have a passion for making people’s lives easier?” Desaulniers said. “Or do you love making art to bring color to the world? Identifying that answer helps clarify your mission. Third, you’ll define how you’re going to provide that value to your customers and how you can deliver that value on a way that they will pay for.”
During the idea phase, you should set aside the main details. If the idea isn’t something you’re passionate about, or if there’s no market for your creation, it might be time to brainstorm another idea.
When you have an idea, you need to ask yourself some important questions: What is the purpose of your business? Who do you sell to? What is your end goal? How will you finance the start-up costs? These questions can be answered in a well-written business plan.
Young business owners can make many mistakes by rushing into things without thinking about the business side. You need to find your target customer base. Who wants to buy your product or service? What’s the point if you can’t find evidence of demand for your idea?
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Conducting thorough market research in your field and the demographics of your potential customers is an important part of creating a business plan. This includes conducting surveys, holding focus groups and general SEO and data research.
Market research helps you understand your target customers – their needs, preferences and behaviors – as well as your industry and competitors. Many small businesses recommend gathering demographic information and conducting a competitive analysis to better understand the opportunities and limitations in your market.
The best small businesses have differentiated their products or services from their competitors. This affects your competitive landscape and allows you to offer unique value to potential customers.
It is also a good idea to consider an exit strategy when preparing your business plan. Creating some ideas about how you want to get out of business forces you to look ahead.
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“Too many times new entrepreneurs are so excited about their business and the fact that everyone everywhere is going to be a customer that it gives them little time, if any, to show their plans to exit the business,” said Josh Tolley, CEO . from Shyft Capital. and Kavana.
“When you get on the plane, what’s the first thing they show you? How do you get out of it. When you go to the movies, what do you show them before the feature starts? Where’s the exit. During the first week of kindergarten , they lined up all the kids and learn fire drills to get out of the building. Many times I have witnessed company managers who have not defined three or four exit routes. This causes the value of the company to fall and even destroys family relationships.
A business plan helps you figure out where your business is going, how you can overcome potential problems, and what you need to sustain it. When you’re ready to put pen to paper, use our free templates to help.
Starting any business has a price, so you need to figure out how to cover those costs. Do you have funds to finance your start-up, or do you need to borrow money? If you decide to leave your current job to focus on your business, do you have the savings to support yourself until you are profitable? Find out how much your startup costs.
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Many startups fail because they run out of money before they make money. It’s never a bad idea to estimate how much start-up capital you’ll need, as it may take time for your business to start generating sustainable revenue.
One way you can find out how much money you need is to do a break-even analysis. This important element of financial planning helps business owners determine when their company, product or service will be profitable.
Every entrepreneur should use this formula as a tool because it tells the minimum performance that the business must perform to avoid losing money. Furthermore, it helps you know exactly where the profit is coming from, so you can set production targets.
Don’t spend too much when starting a business. Know what types of purchases are right for your business and avoid overspending on fancy new equipment that won’t help you achieve your business goals. Monitor your business expenses to ensure you stay on track.
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“A lot of startups tend to spend money on things they don’t need,” said Jean Paldan, founder and CEO of Rare Form New Media. “We work with a startup with two employees, but spend a large amount on office space suitable for 20 people. They also rent a high-end professional printer that is more suitable for a team of 100; it has a key card to track what is printed and when. Spend as little as possible when you start, and only on what is important for a business to grow and succeed. Luxury can come when you are established.”
Tip: Using accounting software can speed up expense tracking. Read our review of the best accounting software to learn more and find the right platform for your needs. Consider starting a review of Intuit QuickBooks Online – this provider is a top choice for small businesses.
Start-up capital for your business can come from many different ways. The best way to get financing for your business depends on a number of factors, including your credibility, the amount you need and the options available to you.
You can learn more about each of these capital sources and more in our guide to startup funding options.
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When choosing a commercial bank, size is decisive. Marcus Anwar, co-founder of OhMy Canada, recommends small community banks because they are in tune with local market conditions and will work with you based on your overall business profile and character.
“They are not like the big banks that look at credit scores and will be more selective in lending money to small businesses,” Anwar said. “Not only that, but small banks want to build a personal relationship with you and ultimately help you if you run into problems and don’t pay. Another good thing about small banks is that decisions are made at the branch level, which can be faster than banks -large banks, where decisions are made at a higher level.
Ultimately, the right bank for your business will suit your needs. Writing down your banking needs can help narrow your focus to what you should be looking for. Schedule meetings with different banks and ask about how they work with small businesses to find the best bank for your business. [Read Related Article: Business Bank Account Checklist: The Documents You Need]
Key takeaway: Financially, you need to do a break-even analysis, assess costs and financing options and choose the right bank
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