Starting a successful business is the wish and goal of many people out there, but unfortunately only a few people will ever take that leap to make it happen.
To start a successful business can be very tasking and sometimes it may even look somewhat impossible.
Many businesses are reported to have failed within the first two years of establishment and even many that go past the two years mark may later fail on or before they reach ten years.
So only a small portion of businesses actually make it to the level of profitability and popularity as we know it today.
To start a business there are certain things you should consider so as to guide you on your journey to entrepreneurship in starting a successful business.
How to start a business step-by-step
Deciding on what type of business you want to start
Before anything else, the first question you should be answering is… what type of business do I want to start? It is in answering this question that you will be able to progress forward.
Establishing the reason and purpose of the business
After deciding on what type of business you would like to start, then you should also try to establish a reason or purpose of the business. The purpose of the business is what will further guide the decisions that you will be making in the future.
Thus, the purpose of the business can be said to be the problem you are trying to solve, because if you are not trying to solve a problem then I really don’t see why you will want to start the business in the first place.
As much as business is meant to make the owner richer, it will only become a lasting profitable business if it is actually solving a problem, otherwise it will not last long before crashing down.
Choose your business model
There are numerous models of business that anyone can use, however depending on what type of business you would like to start and the reason behind the business you will be able to choose a suitable model that will work well with the business.
Here are six types of business models to consider:
- Affiliate Marketing: This is when you base your business on promoting someone else’s product or services and getting a commission on every sale.
- Freelancing: This is more like consulting for other businesses and getting paid for it, in this model you don’t permanently attach yourself to any business, but rather you sell your skills to any business that needs it for a fee.
- Coaching and Consulting: With this model all you do is to consult and coach other people on a skill that you already have. In this model you become the professional that helps and guides others to learning what they want to learn to improve their lives or businesses
- Information Products: With this model all you do is to package and sell your skills in the form of digital products like eBooks, webinars, courses and more.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): With this model you can create a piece of software and then sell the services of the software to other businesses and get paid a recurring subscription fee monthly or yearly for making use of it.
- Ecommerce: with this model has to do with selling physical products only by setting up a website where people can place their order of their desired product as you ship it to them. This can be achieved using platforms like Shopify , WordPress, Wix and many others. Example of an ecommerce store is wearsify.
Carrying out a market survey
This has to do with checking around you to find out those who are already doing the type of business that you want to start and how are they doing it.
This will help you learn the strategies they are using and then from there you will be able to find how you can improve on their strategies and provide a better service and product.
Clarifying your target audience
Clarifying on who you want to sell to or who you intend to target is a very critical decision that can drastically improve your business growth.
This will ensure that you are able to streamline your promotion/adverts to this target audience and not waste resources and time trying to market to everybody, even those who will never have need for your product or service.
Deciding on the location of the business
Deciding on where you intend to sell will inform on the type of product you can carry and also help you figure out how to structure your logistics and also picking of vendors and manufacturers.
Writing a business plan
With all the above information that you have gathered then you can come up with a business plan based on the information that you have gathers. This will ensure that you don’t have too many assumptions in your plans, but rather you have concrete data that will guide your plans
Decide on your funding options
Funding is something that you necessarily can’t do without, because this will determine the amount of starting inventory that you can carry and also how you will pay for your location or online presence if you are doing ecommerce.
Determine the legal structure of the business
The legal structure of your business will have to do with the people you want to be part of the business at the founding stage, if you intend to start off alone as a solopreneur or if you want to have a co-founder.
If you decide to have a co-founder you will have to put into consideration what the other person or persons will be contributing to the business, this could be in form or capital or competence.
Register the business with the state
After you have decided the legal structure of your business, then you can go ahead to register the business with the state.
Registering a business has many advantages in terms of getting access to certain grants and other access to some vendors, because you get to have your tax ID and other paperwork.
Open a Business account
This will help your business look very professional and also provides you with all the data for any future paperwork for Tax filing, financing and accounting.
This will also ensure that you don’t mix up personal money with your business money.
Set up your sales channels
Setting up your sales channels has to do with putting in place your online store and payment systems for collecting cash, invoicing and other inventory management processes.
Choose your vendor
This is a very important aspect of starting a successful business, because the vendor you choose to work with, will either help you have a smooth flow of things by meeting up with your regular demand or make your business suffer by not meeting up with the product quantity and quality as when needed.
So choose wisely by consulting many and then picking the one that best meets your requirement.
Create your first product and ask for feedback
At this stage you can go ahead and create your first product, either you are doing it inhouse or you are using a manufacturer.
After getting your first product, you can start testing it out through your sales channels and also in the process ask for feedback from your first customers.
With the feedback you get you can decide further on how to improve the product and then increase your inventory.
Decide your Branding
Branding as we know is a very important aspect of every successful business and it is good that you give it some attention at an early stage.
This will be by deciding the colour you want to be associated with your business. The logo and other sales channels formation and colour schemes.
*** However, this should not hinder you from starting off your business, because you can always improve on it in the future.
Launch and promote your business
Launching and promoting your business is a very crucial part of the success of any business, this could be in the form of word of mouth, social media, TV or Radio.
Whatever method is convenient for you and that you believe will drive the sale of your product.
It is usually a common thing now to budget for the social media promotions either for Ads bidding or using influencer marketing to kick start your business launching and sales thereafter.
Start accepting payments for your products immediately after launching, this is important because you don’t want your new customers to have any bad experience of delay when they want to do business with you right away after seeing your promotions.
It is in the process of immediate sales you will further find out areas where there are issues in the sales channels and move fast to rectify them.
Because, no matter how you prepare there could be an area that you have failed to give proper attention or have underestimated the activity of the business.
Scale your business
As you begin to sell and your product and business becomes accepted by many people in your area of doing business, the next thing will be to replicate the model to other areas or increase your reach to more people.
By this you will be able to drastically increase the sales of your products and revenue of the business, this process can continue for as long as you want to keep growing the business.
It’s also important to note that as you scale your business, that other issues are going to pop up as a result of increased sales and handling.
These will require that you hire other hands and adopt other innovative technologies to meet up with the demand and growth of your enterprise
NB: If you have any question you will like to be answered, please ask them on the forum I and others will try to help you.