Starting a business can be overwhelming, but it’s not unachievable. All you need is a drive, passion, and determination. There are many success stories out there who have established a whole empire from scratch. If they can do it, why can’t you?
All you need is a fool-proof business plan and the right guidance to execute that idea into making it something substantial. Well, there’s nothing to stress as this all-in business guide will probably answer all your questions:
1. Come up with a business idea
If you have the zest to start a small business, one of the first things to do is to come up with a smacking business idea. You need to understand what problem you are hoping to solve that will be appreciated by the people out there. Start by thinking about the fields that are of interest to you before anything else. Or maybe you want to see a change in the world that no one has thought of yet. There are some things to remember and a few questions to ask before finalizing something:
- Identify where there is a gap in the market.
- Ask yourself – Is my idea good enough to fill the gap?
- Is someone else doing the same?
- If yes, what can you do better?
2. Write a start-up business plan
So, you have finalized on that smacking idea, what’s next now? Well, another important aspect of starting a business is to have a very sustainable business plan. It’s almost like a roadmap where you jot down every essential component that you may need to run your business.
Some of the main sections to include in a business plan are:
- Your Vision
- Your Mission
- Your Objective
- Executive summary
- Opportunity analysis
3. Register your small business
After you have your business plan in place, it’s time to get started with registering your business. Of course, you can’t miss this step. Once you’ve found a business idea you love, it’s time to get everything set up. So, you need to register your business with Companies House and HMRC. However, you can register your business under various formats as described below:
- Sole trader – This means that you and your company are one entity and you have no partners, etc supporting your operations.
- Limited company – A limited company is a separate legal entity and you and your company’s finances are separate in this case. So, if the company is in debt, you won’t be held responsible.
- Partnership – When you start a company with a co-founder, it comes under a partnership. In this case, all partners share everything equally.
4. Legal checklist for small businesses
Now it’s time for some legal paperwork, another important thing to sort out beforehand. There are numerous things that you need to keep in mind, some of them are listed below:
- The business structure
- Regulatory Requirements
- Health and Safety Rules
- Insuring Your Business
- GDPR compliance
5. Raise money for your start-up
By this time, you must have realized that running a business requires money and not just a few dollars. We are talking about the kind of capital that many people don’t really have in their bank accounts. But that does not mean they can’t start a business. There are several routes that you can take from here in order to raise the capital that you need.
At this point, it’s important to understand what kind of funding will suit your business needs the best. You can either take loans which you’ll need to pay back with a personal guarantee. Or, you can sell shares that will give certain control of your company to the investors. There are certain government grants as well, which you won’t need to return. Remember, these processes might take a bit of your time but in the end, it’ll be absolutely worth your while.
6. The Importance of Branding
Branding helps in putting forth an identity of your brand that the audience can connect with. One of the first aims of a new business is for people to know who you are – branding is the perfect way to introduce yourself. Your brand will allow you to win potential customers by building and instilling trust through consistency.
7. Digital Marketing
In order to sell your product and pass through that sales funnel, it’s important to start marketing your products. Some of the most effective ways are:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- A website with a user-friendly interface
- Put out blogs to show how your product is filling some gaps.
- Flyers and other promotional tactics
8. Tech checklist for small businesses
Last but not least, on our list is a checklist of everything tech that must incorporate to ensure seamless functioning within your organization. Let’s take a look:
- Customer relationship management: Pipedrive
- Online accounting software: FreeAgent, Xero, and QuickBooks
- For social media: Buffer
- Getting organized: Google Drive and Dropbox
- Staying in touch with your teammates: Google Chat, and Microsoft Teams
To Wrap It Up
So, folks, that’s pretty much it, everything that small business owners need in the very first few months of starting and setting up their businesses. For more information, please subscribe to the CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.