Everyone has come up with an idea and thought, “I should start my own company.” But only 5% of those people actually do it. Starting a business requires more than just an idea, you need to know the steps to be successful. Ideas are the driving force behind every company. The companies I’ve created were born of simple ideas that fulfilled unmet needs and made a difference in the world.
Audo began with the goal of providing Gen Z with the skills it needed to enter the workforce. After publishing my writing on the Huffington Post in 2016, I was inspired to create Nota because I saw the need for vetted and anonymous publishing to restore civil discourse. My sister and I founded Guin Music to provide a full artist-first-ecosystem focused on artist development and sustainability.
If you have an idea and want to turn it into a reality, read on for 10 easy steps to start your business.
What Do You Need To Start A Business?
Before you can get started setting up businesses, you need to be fully committed to your new venture. Setting up a new business takes a whole lot of drive and motivation to keep going through the various peaks and valleys. In addition to the actionable steps we’ll cover here, the mental commitment and preparation for starting a business is crucial. Don’t skip this step. Consider your willingness to take on the responsibility, stress, and time commitment necessary to see a business idea through.
Research and seek out mentors who can help you turn your idea into a reality. No matter what industry you're in, there are successful people who have a lot of experience in that industry; and they like sharing the little secrets and tips on how to make it in their world. Seek out the wisdom of successful entrepreneurs by reading books on entrepreneurship for motivation and articles written by industry leaders. This can help you get into the right mindset to take the leap yourself and start your own business.
10 Steps To Start Your Business In 2022
Once you have done your research, you are ready to take the first steps to starting a business. These steps offer a basic roadmap for everything from coming up with a business idea to launching your new company. Here are 10 introductory steps to starting a business:
- Pick your idea
Deciding on an idea is the first step in determining the likelihood of your business succeeding. To come up with a monetizable idea, consider your own experience and strengths. Do you have any skills that could be turned into a business? Have you noticed any gaps in the market that you know how to fill?
- Perform market research
Before you move ahead with your idea, you want to make sure it’s actually profitable. A good starting point is to research how others in the same field are earning money and whether there’s a market for your idea. Even if you are entering a marketplace with other companies, your research can tell you how to differentiate yourself from the competition. You can offer lower prices, higher-quality products, or more convenient delivery. Find a way to stand out and meet your customer’s needs.
- Draw up a business plan
Next, you’ll need to create a business plan, which will guide you through the rest of your journey of starting a business. A detailed business plan should include descriptions of your product or service and how it will benefit customers, as well as all of the market research you’ve done. This plan should be formatted with a table of contents and clear sections to make it easy for investors to navigate.
- Decide on your business structure
Your business structure determines whether or not you will receive legal and financial protection as the founder of your business. A sole proprietorship is the easiest business structure to obtain, but it leaves you personally liable for the actions of your company. An LLC offers liability protection, which means that if someone sues your business, he or she cannot go after your personal assets. A corporation offers the highest degree of protection from lawsuits and other liabilities, but requires you to issue stock. This will give shareholders ownership over fractional shares of your company.
- File the necessary paperwork
To get started, you’ll need to register your business with the state. You’ll need to get a state and federal tax ID number for your business, as well as any licenses and permits required by your state/city. This often varies due to industry, as food service businesses have their own requirements separate from other retail businesses.
- Find investors
Now is the time to go out there and secure funding. Before you start searching for investors, make an estimate of how much money your business will need. Don’t forget to include not only the cost of supplies and licenses, but also services that are essential to the success of your business such as legal advice. Once you have a number in mind, look for financing options such as grants, business loans, and angel investors. You can even look to friends and family members to invest in your business.
- Purchase business insurance
Business insurance and liability coverage will protect you, your business, and your employees from unforeseen events. You’ll want to consider general liability insurance, business income insurance, professional liability coverage, and data breach coverage if you need coverage in those areas. You may also want commercial property insurance to cover any physical space you rent for your business.
- Hire your team
Once you’ve got some seed money, hire a team to help launch your business. You may want a co-founder to help manage the day-to-day running of the business. Many businesses, regardless of industry, use IT professionals, marketing agents, and social media managers to help run their operations.
- Start Marketing
When you start a business, you must establish a brand. Develop a logo, create a consistent voice and tone for all your marketing materials, and design a website that is both easy to navigate and visually appealing. A marketing agency can be a real asset to help you build a website and become active on social media. Once you’ve laid this groundwork, it’s time to launch.
- Launch and scale
Launching your business is the beginning of a long and rewarding journey. You’ll need to scale your business and find new ways to grow if you want to start turning a profit. Keep your ear to the ground and listen to your customers' needs so that you can refine your products accordingly. You’ll also want to continue researching market trends and your competitors to make sure they aren’t outpacing you.
Now that you know all the right ways to start a business, you’re ready to get started. But just know that the most important step of all is defining your purpose. How will your business change people’s lives and add value? If you focus on this from the very beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, you’ll give your business the best chance of thriving.