5 steps to starting a small business

by Anindya Ray on 31/10/2017
Deciding to start your own small business is a critical decision and an absolutely new phase in your life. It will change your lifestyle, professionally and personally, and can involve a significant financial commitment. Your abilities, initiative, capacity to work, as well as the economic and business environment, will decide whether your business succeeds or fails.

Here are 5 steps to start a small business that increases your chances of success:

Put your business idea under a microscope

To know whether you have a viable business idea, you have to have your fingers on the pulse of the market. The only way to do that is to do a market research. This is not only about getting an idea of whether there is a demand for your proposed products and services or not; but also involves researching information on the industry and undertaking competition analysis. This will help you determine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT analysis) of your business idea and help you take a decision.

Create a business plan

A well-prepared business plan will help you run your business successfully in the long run. A business plan normally requires you to create a document which will describe the following:

Business profile

Vision, mission and goals

Market research

Operational strategy

Products and/or services

Marketing plan

Financial strategy

You can also download business plan templates from the internet.

Decide upon a business structure

One of your key decisions would be to choose a business structure that suits your business and personal requirements. Three types of business structures exist, namely Sole proprietorship, Partnership firms and Company, however, a new hybrid form of partnership firm and company known as Limited liability partnership emerged a few years ago. It is important to decide which structure suits you best because your decision will determine:

your business tax liabilities

responsibilities as a business owner

potential personal liability

asset protection and

volume of paperwork required

Get a grip on your financial outlays

Understanding how to set up and manage your finances is an important part of starting your small business. You will have to determine whether you have the start-up costs and the expenses required to keep your business running till the time payments start flowing in. The start-up costs include:

legal or accounting fees

insurance costs

furniture and equipment

stocks

advertising

permit or license fees

staff salaries

leasing cost of premises

Market your products or services

Someone once said that if you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door. It’s not always so. In today’s world of high decibel advertising, you have to create a lot of buzz to hold the attention of the customer and persuade him or her to opt for your offering. The mediums to reach your customers include website, print advertising, social media, blogging, direct mail, brochures, flyers, networking events, and word of mouth.

One of the most effective ways of marketing your products is to sell them online. If you plan to do so, you can explore the option of selling on Amazon, one of the most popular e-commerce platforms with millions of customers across the world. You can register for free as a seller on Amazon.

Become an Amazon seller today
© 2018 Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved