In this guide to start a new business or startup, I will discuss everything that you need to know about launching your business today. I will cover the subject under the following chapters:
Start a New Business
Starting a new business can often be a very stressful experience if you don’t know to do things in order. A business requires a lot of precision and planning.
To make your new business venture a little less daunting, I have created this step-by-step guide to starting a new business. Multiple ways and steps are required to start a business, depending on which area or market you are targeting. But basically, there are 6 key steps:
- Defining Business Idea
- Creating Business Plan
- Collecting Resources and Money
- Branding the Business
- Getting an Office
- Hiring Employees
Some business experts will show you that there are more steps than this. But believe me, only these 6 steps are required for you to build a great new business.
Let’s see and discuss all these steps in greater detail.
Define Your Business Idea
Focus on your key interests and area of expertise and build upon the knowledge and skills that you currently have.
The first step in any business venture is to clearly define your business idea. In doing so, focus on your key interests and area of expertise and build upon the knowledge and skills that you currently have.
You are most likely to thrive in a business that you have a keen interest in. So why not focus on what you are passionate about?
For example, if you enjoy cutting, coloring and styling hair and have the required qualifications and skills to do so, why not set up a hairdressing business?
And, if you know cooking but don’t love doing it, why start a business around it at all?
For a business idea to succeed, you need to have both knowledge and love for that idea. There shouldn’t be any ifs and buts.
Create a Business Plan
Write the perfect plan for your perfect business and proceed only when you are satisfied with what you have.
Once you have defined your business idea, you should create a solid business plan to give your new business the best possible chance of success.
Writing a business plan forces you to review everything at once and will allow you to pay attention to both the broad operational and financial objectives of your new business.
A clear business plan will set out your business’s major goals and objectives and allow you to monitor your success over time.
🔥 Free Download: I have developed a free business plan template for you that you can grab for free here.
👨💻 Expert Advice: Be sure to have backup plans in addition to your primary business plan. Backup plans help you patch things and pivot while growing up if things fail.
Next, you should gather as much financial capital as possible to help build your business, whether that be by securing a bank loan, setting up a crowdfunding page or attracting an angel investor or a venture capitalist.
Just Google for “Business Loans near me” or “Startup Loans near me” and you may find a couple of options. Still need some help, send me a message here.
It is important to estimate how much finance you will need before starting up your business. However, a lack of finances should not put you off from pursuing your business dreams.
Have a saving approach and invest wisely.
Create Effective Branding
A memorable logo and effective branding are extremely important to increase the value of a new business as it increases brand equity, brand awareness and brand loyalty.
The branding must be relatable and easily identifiable to attract both new and existing consumers.
Be innovative, bold and daring. Don’t hold back at all. Scrap rules and make your own rules.
When developing your brand as it is important to stand out from the crowd in an extremely competitive market.
If you are undecided about your brand name, use any of these business name generators:
But if you already have a brand name, learn to love it. I have seen people change their brand names too often that the brand name becomes unrecognizable and totally diverts from their original business plan. Don’t do that.
Try to have faith in your gut-made decisions and things will fall into place.
Once you are done with the brand/business name, the next step is to design the logo.
As I told you just now, try to break rules and the same is true for logo designs. Design a logo that tells your brand story. Spend some money on it. Hire a designer to do it for you if you cannot.
Having a well-designed business logo is important because a logo represents who you are.
It is your face and that of your business.
That is how people remember who you are. And, to create a great logo, you must have a proper logo design process.
Choose Appropriate Office Space
Build a place for all staff, clients and employees to enjoy and work.
Selecting the most suitable office space is one of the most important steps for a new business as it shapes who you are and is one of the first things customers and clients come into contact with.
In choosing an appropriate office space, it is also crucial to select a comfortable and welcoming interior for all staff, clients and employees to enjoy when visiting the business premises.
Upon starting your new business, you should buy new office desks, comfortable office chairs, and suitable IT facilities and should apply fresh and calming color schemes to encourage a relaxing and friendly working environment.
Carefully Select Staff
When starting out with your new business, it is crucial that you select employees based on how well they fit the organization. To be successful, employees must share the same visions and ambitions of the company as they are brand ambassadors who sell the business to your customers.
If you are recruiting for the first time, apply the best practices in hiring new employees.
And with that, we are almost done.
You have started your business now. Now you need to maintain and grow your business both online and offline.
The Best Business Ideas to Try
I am not going to persuade you now if you already have a business idea in mind. But, there are some business ideas that are trends and have more return on investments (ROI) than the others.
Here are the best business ideas to try if you are unsure about one.
This is one of the most interesting and profitable online businesses people talk about these days. It simply involves you becoming the middle-man between product manufacturers and the consumers.
You promote and sell products you don’t have in stock. You don’t deal with shipping and other after-sales services.
However, you have the flexibility to set your prices and choose which product to promote.
The beauty of this form of online business is that you can have an online dropshipping store without the high cost of setting up a brick-and-mortar business.
There are some disadvantages I should mention here before we move on.
One of these is high competition.
The low entry point makes the activity attractive and this brings massive competition.
You actually don’t have any control over the quality of the products you sell. Your store reputation is therefore at stake as a couple of bad products could lead to unhappy customers and bad reviews.
In a few simple steps, here is how dropshipping works:
- You set up an online dropshipping store.
- Customers order from your store.
- Orders are forwarded to your suppliers
- Suppliers ship directly to your customers
I have written a dropshipping guide here, which is a must-read if you are going to start a dropshipping business.
If you have an online presence, you can start an online marketplace.
With a marketplace, you can:
- Sell space to advertisers on your blog
- Open up for sponsored content in your online community
- Promote affiliate products
- Promote your own products
By creating a marketplace online, you have the opportunity to start monetizing and generating income from your online activities.
If you are an expert in an area, you can start a lucrative online consulting business and get paid for providing analysis, expert opinions and recommendations to clients. Fortunately, establishing yourself as a consultant online doesn’t have to necessitate going through some administrative bottlenecks, especially if you are an expert in the digital field.
Here are a few types of consulting businesses you may pick from depending on your expertise:
- Strategy consulting
- Compliance consulting
- Marketing consulting
- Operations consulting
- Social media consulting
- Financial consulting
- HR consulting
- Technology / IT consulting
- Legal consultant.
- Career Coaching & Consulting
- Sales Consulting
You can write ebooks, develop apps for mobile phones, create membership platforms, etc. The only limit to what you can create is your brain.
If you can think of a profitable digital product idea, you can transform it into an income-generating business.
What if you don’t have the skills and you can’t even write an ebook? Then do one of the following:
- Hire a coder who does the work under your supervision
- If you want to own a book, hire a freelance book writer
- Buy and own the selling rights of digital products that are already doing well. Scale and sell them more.
Sell Online Courses
You may not be comfortable with creating a digital product for some reason. What about transforming your skills into an online video course?
All the technical barrier has been dealt with by numerous professional online course platforms and user-friendly technology.
All you need now is motivation and a profitable course idea to tab into the huge market.
According to a report by Forbes, e-learning will grow to $325 Billion by 2025. As COVID19 continued to impair economic activities, online courses override traditional education.
As people continue to prioritize using their computers and mobile devices, you will not be mistaken if you decide to create and promote a course to generate income.
🔥 Fire Note: Here are the 20 best online course platforms to create & sell your online courses.
Task Management/Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants can be considered another easy job opportunity. If you have good organizational skills and can carry out various tasks on time, you can consider starting your own task management business.
You can even start looking for clients right away through freelance sites.
Your first few tasks may not pay very well, but you can raise your asking rate as you go along and build your reputation by earning good client feedback.
Business Plan Template
A business plan can be prepared by anyone who is thinking about starting a business. If you need to raise money to ﬁnance the business, it is essential to convince lenders and investors that the business risk is acceptable.
A well-thought-out business plan will avoid mistakes later and will provide a springboard for later decisions.
The format may appear complex at the ﬁrst sight. Still, in simple terms, it is about anticipating the issues you are likely to face, having a clear strategy and a viable business plan:
- How will you set it up?
- How will you market your product or service?
- How will you diﬀerentiate your product or service from the competition?
- Who your main customers be?
- Your strengths and weaknesses.
- The resources needed – premises, equipment and people.
- How much capital will the business need?
- How proﬁtable will it be?
- How much cash will it generate? and
- What might go wrong?
This template has been designed to help you work through the key aspects which should be considered before starting a business.
Make Your Offices More Efficient
The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it does provide an overview of a good number of areas in which your business can start cutting its costs immediately.
Take the time to develop a way of systematically checking such matters on a rotating basis, whether daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly, depending on your needs.
Enable Staff Productivity
The cornerstone of any business is the people in its employment.
Office spaces have come a long way over the years in terms of design, and it’s widely known people tend to get more work done in quiet spaces without incessant interruptions.
If needed, designate such a space.
Also, consider cutting down on the number of meetings held and encourage face-to-face interactions between employees rather than endless emails.
Allow those who can work from home to do so regularly as well.
Most importantly, ensure that the tasks are assigned to employees based on their skills rather than who might be available at any given moment.
Harness Technological Advances
It can be hard to keep up with the latest technological advances but is well worth the effort in many cases.
Depending on the size of the office, it may prove beneficial to put a fast mesh wi-fi receiver in place instead of relying on signal boosters.
Installing WANs and LANs can prove quite expensive, and a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can improve speed and lower costs.
Cloud computing can also provide an effective alternative for document sharing purposes.
Most importantly, ensure systems are in place when these features inevitably experience hiccups.
The normal IT person won’t always be available, so have a backup plan in place.
Strive for Energy Efficiency
Older windows allow more heat and air to escape, and upgrading to the double-paned variety can result in significant utility savings since the heating and cooling system will cycle on less often.
Older heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units can also be adding unnecessarily to monthly utility expenses.
Adjusting the temperature settings a degree or two can make all the difference.
Many employees often complain about how chilly their offices are kept.
Other energy savings can be had by installing light switch sensors and not always leaving equipment on in standby mode.
Remodel the Bathroom and the Common Area
For your employees to be as efficient as possible, they must feel comfortable in their office. They won’t have issues with working longer hours if they have everything they need. Thus, the efficiency of your business will increase.
Make sure they have everything they need in the kitchen, the bathroom, and the common area where they can relax.
Every kitchen should have enough appliances to suit the employee’s needs. These include a microwave, a coffee machine, a refrigerator, and a small prep table.
For the common area, it must be equipped with comfortable furniture and maybe even an entertainment system.
The restrooms should provide privacy and cleanliness. Taps and paper towel dispensers should be sensor activated, and each restroom should be divided by partitions for privacy.
Partitions have come a long way design-wise, and now there are a lot of different materials and styles you choose from, as you can see at https://onepointpartitions.com.
Remember, happy employees are efficient employees!
Implement Eco-Friendly Practices
Much of what is done on paper no longer needs to be. Take strides in becoming as paperless as possible as an office and consider small incentives for customers to sign up for paperless billing.
If bottled water is available for employees, consider installing a water filtration system.
Encourage recycling and the use of carpooling and public transportation as well.
While some of this won’t impact your business’s bottom line too much, you are bearing the responsibility for being a steward of the environment.
This responsibility can also be extended to choosing a business partner who also undertakes sustainable practices.
Outsource and Automate
As your business grows, there comes a time when it becomes apparent that some tasks can be better left to someone else.
If possible, outsource someone to do extra work for you. These can be found at hourly rates, by project, or even for a monthly retainer fee.
Always be on the lookout for ways to automate processes as well. If it’s possible to cut out a step or two in a review process, consider doing so.
The next steps that remain are related to growth and scaling. These involve:
- Creating a business website, which can be done by following this guide.
- Choosing a CRM Software
- Submitting to Business Directories
- Making use of Social Media
- Building a Digital Marketing Strategy
Keep this 30 points checklist for new businesses with you to check what you are doing is right or wrong.