If you are interested to start a company but don’t know exactly where and how should you start, don’t worry – you are not the only one. Considering the new economic reality of our time, more people than ever before have found that the ‘‘job’’ they thought was waiting for them cannot be found as easily or doesn’t exist.
While, others have come to the conclusion that they would rather create the job they like, constructed to fit with their own life goals, professionally and personally. Even though, starting your own company can be stressful and pretty much demands your complete focus, these are not the only things that it takes to plan before incorporating your new company.
Here are some steps to help you on successful planning of your new company:
1. Develop your ideas
Developing an idea is the process of creating and communicating ideas which are abstract, concrete, or visual. The process includes the process of constructing through the idea, innovating the concept, developing the process, and bringing the concept to reality. It is best that you develop a business concept that you’re passionate about related to something that you have experience with. From there, come up with a product or service that you believe can enhance the people’s lives.
2. Test the plausibility
Once you’ve settled on the idea of your business, figure out how you can make it become a reality. Is the product or service something that people want or need? Can you make a profit selling it? Does the product work? Sometimes, the main reason why businesses fail is not for lack of capital — it’s for lack of knowledge. Knowledge in your business — most important, how to run your business — is the most potent weapon you can have for running a successful company.
3. Identify the right business for you
Give yourself permission to explore. Look at different facets of yourself (your personality, social styles, age) and listen to your intuition. Ask yourself “What gives me energy even when I’m tired?’’
In fact, very few start-ups are based on some grand idea or discovery. Most businesses are nothing new, they’re merely something new, something different or something more efficient based on an existing idea or product. Collect as many ideas as you can, write them down and start the real work. When you identify a need, start asking yourself, “Why isn’t there a solution for this problem and how could I come up with a fix?”
The three common approaches to entrepreneurship:
-Do What You Know: Have you been laid off or want a change? Look at work you have done for others in the past and think about how you could package those skills and offer them as your own services or products.
-Do What Others Do: Learn about other businesses that interest you. Once you have identified a business you like, emulate it.
-Solve a Common Problem: Is there a gap in the market? Is there a service or product you would like to bring to market?
4. Be flexible and share your ideas with your people
Connecting ideas is where innovation comes from, and connecting with people makes those innovation come to life. Chances are that your original idea will have to be modified. Being able to pivot and adapt to create what customers want will determine if your business will fail or succeed. Your nearest and dearest will most likely be the most honest with you about your business. Don’t hesitate to seek their advice and suggestions.
5. Write a Business Plan
One of the key steps to follow when planning your new company is writing a business plan. A solid business plan will guide you going forward. It’s also needed for presenting your idea to potential investors. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, an executive summary, a service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the cost of the operation. Learn more how to write a business plan at SBA.gov.
A business plan will help you get to market faster and will help you gain clarity, focus and confidence. As you write down your goals, strategies and action steps, your business becomes real.
Ask yourself the following questions:
– What am I building?
– Who will I serve?
– What is the promise I am making to my customers/clients and to myself?
– What are my objectives, strategies and action plans (steps) to achieve my goals?
6. Identify your market and your target audience
Before you spend money, find out if people will actually be interested in your products or services. This may be the most important thing you do. You can do this by validating your market.
In other words, who, exactly, will buy your products or services other than your family or friends? What is the size of your target market? Who are your customers? Is your product or service relevant to their everyday life? Why do they need it?
There is industry research available that you can uncover for free. Read industry articles with data (Google the relevant industry associations) and read Census data to learn more. However, the most important way to get this information is to ask your target market/customers directly and then listen.
Even though you may have detected some interest in your business, you need to do more homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to make a purchase. Perform a competitive assessment.
7. Determine the costs and establish your budget
Do additional research and find out the standard cost factors within this industry. Not only will this help you manage your business more effectively, but also investors will want to know this.
Once you determine how much money you’ll have to work with, figure out how much it will take to develop your product or service and create a marketing plan.
8. Find the right investors
You’re going to need some sort of funding to start off, whether from your savings, credit cards, loans, grants or venture capitalists. Find an investor who shares your passion, someone you believe you can work with. Remember that whether you like it or not, investors do have a say in your company. And you need to listen to their advice or suggestion on working through together.
9. Determine the legal structure to follow
One of the most important choices you will make when forming your new business is which legal structure to choose from. Settle on which form of ownership is best for you: a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, a corporation, an S corporation, a nonprofit or a cooperative. Find out more on how to choose a legal business structure at SBA.gov.
10. Selecting a business name
The right business name is important because all other business legal decisions are based on the business name. For example: Business cards, stationery, and office forms will carry the business name. All advertising and marketing materials will feature your business name. Decide on a name that best suits your business. Then check to see if the domain name is available online, as well as if it’s free to use in your county, state and in the country. You can use our Free Name Check Tool to find the best name for your company and check if it is available (also on internet !)