Many individuals that have always wanted to start a business never do it. This is because the whole business startup process normally overwhelms them. Additionally, they are unsure of the basics and specifics involved.
Granted, everything from putting down a business plan to hiring employees, to coming up with a business name, startups can surely turn out to be daunting. Nonetheless, you should not worry. You don’t have to face all the difficulties involved in starting a business.
The following secrets will simplify your startup process:
1. Write a solid business plan
Coming up with a business plan should be the number one step you take before launching your business. The last thing you want is to write up a business plan only when you are in a jam. You don’t have to wait until you need a strategic partner or money.
Business plans serve as a guide to help you in decision-making. With this plan, you can know whether your prospective business is viable or not. The second use of this plan is to satisfy investors and lenders. All these parties need to see your solid written business plan prior to making equity investment or approving a loan. With a business plan, you always have an easy time communicating with potential customers, employees, vendors, allies and partners.
“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” – Tony Hsieh
2. The name game – find the right business name
Every business needs a great business name. Picking a memorable moniker and cool name is the prudent thing to do. If you have the resources, you can hire an advertising agency or naming company to do the trick for you. However, if you do not have the funds financially, you can do it yourself.
Start with a pen, paper, and perceptive ear tuned to everything taking place around you. Ensure you have a checklist. Think marketing! Decide on the ads that shall drive 90% of your business. Primarily, will you rely on print ads, Yellow Pages, the internet, signage at your location, T.V, radio or a combination thereof? Depending on the answers to these questions, certain criteria becomes extremely important.
Domain names and foreign words with hyphens, as well as overdone alterations, are a kiss of death for radio ads and websites. This is because easy pronunciation and spelling are critical. If you intend to drive your business with Yellow pages, then consider picking a business name that begins with A, B or C so that your ad can appear towards the front section.
When coming up with a business name, it is important to differentiate yourself from the rest. Compile the names of your competitors. Do their names really fit the target market? Are their names too conventional while today’s customers are hip and cool, or vice versa? Having answers to these questions lets you know what works and what doesn’t. It helps you narrow your possibilities.
3. To or not to Inc.? Select the correct legal structure for your business operations
Which legal jurisdiction do you want to set your business? This will help you select the legal structure to set up your business startup. An effective strategy of starting a business is remaining at home. Setting up your startup where you are located gives you more convenience and control.
You should consider your appetite for any liabilities. Various legal entities exist to offer entrepreneurs several protections against liability. An LLC or corporation cushions you the best against being personally liable for employee actions. Nonetheless, no form of organization structure totally shields you from personal liability.
In sole proprietorship, you have no liability shield. In a partnership, you are liable not only for personal wrongful acts, but for those of your partner (s) too. An LLC or corporation does not offer much liability benefits if you do not have partners, contractors, or employees.
4. Advisors and funding – get the best
Always team up with advisors that are able and willing to help. For instance, particular aspects of your business shall require the help of professionals such as an accountant or attorney. However, how will you find the right individual or company for your new business?
You need to have a vision – think ahead. What will your company look like in the coming ten years? The lawyer you choose is extremely important. This is especially true if you have plans of going public or seeking venture capital. Most venture capitalists usually judge a company by the attorney the company picks. Pick an attorney that is highly experienced in dealing with venture capitalists.
After working with a banker, accountant, or attorney, do not fall off the radar. Arrange a meeting with these professionals as often as possible in order to learn new offers. Regular meetings will also give you an opportunity to share with them how your business is fairing on. Simply put, have meetings with these professionals after every six months. If any of the professionals are not willing to have a meeting with you or bills you for the time, then or she might not be the right person to work with.
When choosing advisors, be it an attorney, banker, or accountant, make sure you choose nothing short of the best. This ensures you get the best advice. That is for sure.
“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki
5. Target the right customers – aim towards the right direction
Many business startups tend to be so desperate, that they don’t question who they ought to be in business with. The difference between failure and success revolves around targeting the right prospects.
Before assuming what your potential customers will need, do your homework right. For instance, if your prospective business is a catering company, don’t assume that all customers will only be interested in your sumptuous food. Others will need all the trappings that come along with serving them such as table décor, dishes, delivery, and customer service. You will definitely lose business even before you start, if you are inadequately prepared. Adequate preparation is more than vital.