The thought of starting a new business might feel very daunting, but when you get into it with the clarity of mind about your objectives and the way to achieve it, you will find it exciting and challenging for sure. Here are a few steps to help you be on track towards a successful business venture:Only research will light your way
Quite probably you have already identified a business idea
, but does your brainchild have the potential to succeed? You will need to run your business idea through a validation process
by asking and answering several questions before you take the plunge:
Does your product solve a problem or fulfil a need in the market?
Who are the people who need it?
Are there similar products/services now?
What is the competition like?
There are a number of ways you can find answers to these questions including market research, focus groups
, product prototype introduction and even trial and error.Have a plan to follow
It’s the blueprint to make your business idea a success. It will act as your guide from the start-up stage through to establishment and then onwards to future growth. If you plan to look for startup support from an investor or financial institution, a comprehensive business plan is essential. If you are not looking for finances, a simple one-page business plan is sufficient to give you a clear picture of what you hope to achieve and how you plan to do it.Plan Your Finances in detail
Starting a business will involve some initial investment as well as the ability to cover ongoing expenses before your business turns profitable. Make an estimate of the one-time start-up costs like licenses, legal fees, equipment, insurance, branding, inventory, opening events and property leases. Also, make an estimate of how much you will need to keep your business running for at least a year. This will include rent, utilities, marketing and advertising, production, supplies, travel expenses, employee salaries and your own salary.Choose and register a business structure and name
The business entity you choose will affect many elements including your business name, your taxes, your liability, and the volume of paperwork involved in starting the business. Your business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company or a Limited liability partnership. The simplest form to register would be a sole proprietorship and you can change the entity as you grow or as per your requirements at a later stage.
Choosing a name carefully for your business is very important because that will be your public identity. Keep an eye on the future, your growth and diversification plans should fit into the name you select. Do register your domain name immediately after you decide and register a business name.Define an accounting system
You will need a proper accounting system to set, monitor and manage your business budget. manage costs, set your prices, keep track of revenues, file taxes, know how your business is doing and plan for the future. If you are not an expert in accounts you have to take the help of professional accountants.Set up your business location and team
You will have to finalise the place of your business keeping in mind whether the location suits the type of business you will be doing, the space you need to operate, equipment to be installed and other business essentials like furniture, electricals, computers and server if you need one.
For hiring your team, outline the work at hand and the positions you need to fill and the job responsibilities of each position before you start your recruitment process. You can also outsource most of your work depending on the type of your business.
Please remember that one of the most important elements of your business is the ability to sell your products profitably. You have to formulate a marketing strategy and arrive at a unique selling proposition (USP) for your products. Advertising them through various mediums and setting up distribution channels are among the several other things you have to do to sell your products.
Amazon, one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, provide you with an excellent opportunity to sell your products online. You get immediate access to millions of Amazon customers and the benefit of professional services that help you through every step of selling online. To sell on Amazon, you can register for free