How to Start a Small Business?
It doesn’t matter whether your thought of opening a business came from an idea, a persistent need expressed by others, external circumstances, or other reasons. They all lead to the same pathway that every entrepreneur who wants to Start a Small Business should follow.
Considering that you have done all the necessary homework to confirm that your future business has a decent potential for success and is worth the time and effort, you would need to plan its development and work the plan accordingly.
Let’s understand some basics about planning. A plan is meant to change. Yes, it is not rigid. So, don’t get frustrated if you find yourself drifting a little bit from the starting plan. That’s normal! Your plan might change because of the change in the external environment where your business will subsist; it might also change because of the changes in the customer needs or behaviors, an influx of a new technology, etc. Your focus should be on your main target, that is, as long as your business has a good potential to bring value and make profit, your plan will remain in a good standing.
So, how to start a small business and what are the major elements to consider before you launch it?
First, establishing a clear and solid administration for the venture:
This includes setting the right structure of the venture, whether it is more convenient to address it as a Limited Liability Company (or LLC), a Corporation, whether it is a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, etc. You also need to identify if your venture would require any specific license. There are government agencies dedicated to these tasks.
It is important for partnership ventures to establish an agreed upon operating agreement document.
If you have considered a unique intellectual property as a differentiator of your business, patenting might be considered beforehand.
In any case, it is always advisable to seek legal guidance from a specialized lawyer. There are many ways to find affordable lawyers who can help you to legally establish your venture. Keep in mind that Vamaks doesn’t provide any legal advice whatsoever.
Second, operating hours (The importance varies based on the type of the business):
Before launching your business, you should at least have an idea about the time of the day, and the days of the week your service or product should be available to your customers. This is an output of your marketing plan that is supposed to be completed as a part of your homework as mentioned above.
Third, the location (Not for all types of businesses):
The location is another output from your marketing plan worth mentioning especially for offline types of businesses.
If the location is one of the key success factors of your business, then you should spend the necessary time and effort, and utilize the necessary resources for picking the best spot.
Fourth, the façade you provide to customers:
When your customers approach you, they should find the maximum comfort. If your business is fully online, then your website should be user friendly. If your customers visit your shop, they should have full visibility or access to your products, etc. The first impression is very important in business.
Fifth, internal resources:
One of the best ways to address this, is to start from a satisfied customer, and go backwards. In other words, you should think, “To end up with a happy customer, I should …, for that I would need the following resources”. This helps you identify any overlooked resources and have them available before the eve of launching the venture.
Sixth, review of your financials:
Make sure that you have sufficient financial resources to start and give the necessary momentum to your business so it will not stall.
It is also important to note that it is less frustrating to seek for funding and financing before the business starts than while it is running.
Seventh, Suppliers and Partners:
It is worth completing a checklist to make sure that anything required from suppliers and partners is fulfilled before the start of the business.
Eight, testing and playing the devil’s advocate:
You don’t need to be overzealous, but, to offer a quality product or service, you need to test, re-test, and test again. If necessary, bring some people who have no idea about your business, to play the role of denigrating customers and seriously consider their constructive comments.
The above elements are some basics among others that answer the question: How to open up a business? They are not addressed by the order of importance; you can set your own priority level for each, depending on your venture and the strategy you want to adopt, or you can use them as a checklist.
As a member with Vamaks, you can have access to more resources and learn more details in relation with the process flow that starts with an idea, and continues further with the development of profitable and value making business.
Good luck with your endeavor,