How to Start a Business? 12 Steps to Start a Business From Scratch!

 24 Jun, 2021

Introduction on how to start a business!

There are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, who once dreamt to start a business and made it successful. It must be their dedication, hard work, and anticipation for good results that have worked for them to start something of their own and claim the marketplace like a boss.

Entrepreneurship is really rewarding as well as daunting at the same time (only if you are underprepared). But with proper planning, confidence, money, and quality product at disposal, it’s quite easy to start your entrepreneurial journey, provided you know how to start a business with a step-by-step process.

Do you see businesses like Salesforce.com, which started its office in an apartment and now has the tallest building in San Francisco? The brand succeeded because their can-do spirit was intact and their product had the wow factor.

If you too have the courage, great product, and don’t worry about little money you have to put...seriously don’t worry, you can still start a business, and grow it over time with amazing digital campaigns and outreach, and meet your bottom lines. You just need thick patience and dedication to put your efforts in the right direction.

Since there is no cookbook for starting a business, here we are bringing you some quick, doable, and easy steps that anyone can perform to start a business, all gathered from real entrepreneurs' journeys, their missteps, and their findings. 

Let’s unfold your query “how do I start a business from scratch”...

How To Start a Business? Quick 12 Steps to Start a Business Real Smooth!

Are you geared up for entering the road of entrepreneurship? Looking for how to start your own business? Well, let’s get started and decode the time-proven steps on how to start your own business from scratch. And at the bottom, let’s also uncover some ideas to start a business, along with some tips for starting a business.

Step 1 - Do You Feel Entrepreneurship is Your Thing?

“The secret of getting ahead is to get started.” In business, get started with self-introspection first. To start a business in reality you need to deeply realize whether running a business is your cup of tea or not. Because running a business is an intense job, it requires:

  • A lot of patience to sit tight through any situation
  • Determination to put in efforts
  • Leadership qualities to govern people around
  • Ample time to make this hustle work (you can even work 9-5 and still start a business as part-time)
  • Acceptance towards any kind of impromptu situation
  • And the confidence to spin the wheel in positive faith
  • Ability to strive and work hard for better outcomes

If you think you have all these qualities, congrats, it seems you are ready for claiming the world of entrepreneurship and have everything it takes to start your own brand label.

Step 2 - Identify the Business Idea

Now you are ready, you need to identify the kind of business you want to run. You need to look through certain factors to identify what kind of business niche or type would suit you best. And for that:

  • Think through your passion - If there is something you like to do or wish to sell? Is there any hobby that you want to turn into a money-making machine? The idea should come from within first. Identify your interests and come up with ideas to start a business. 
  • Know what the problem is - You need to identify the problem statements that exist in today’s market and see which product is most looked out for. You can join communities, search over Google trends, Google ads to know what internet users are looking for most these days.
  • Put money where the trend lies - If you see a certain product/service has demand in huge proportions, then choose that. You can add some innovation to it and try to fill in the gaps that other brands are unable to.
  • Think of something new & groundbreaking- Try to assess the problem areas of the consumers in any niche you decide to step up in. And see if you can create a product that serves as a solution to buyers’ problems at some or all levels. Doing this could give you an edge and stand out.

If you are thinking of selling products, you have two types of products to choose between:

Commoditized Products

  • They are generic, everyday products needed to support day-to-day livelihood. Their need cannot be bypassed. Like clothes, processed food, gadgets, toys are few examples of commoditized products

Niche-Based Products

  • They are unique, hyped, signature products that only certain businesses would produce to sell only certain sections of the society. Generally, the prices of such products are quite high and have great margins.
  • Its example could be - The blueberry frozen yogurt by 16 handles, athletic wear by Nike, gift cards by Archies, handcrafted items by urban brands.

You can choose either of two to start your venture. Best is if you combine selling both two types, this way you can target a wide range of audience.

Step 3 - Create a Business Strategy/Plan

A business strategy is a documented plan stating how and what goals a business should achieve. The goal is your ultimate bottom line, which can be about reaching 1 million users of your products, fulfilling customers' needs & expectations, creating a distinct niche for yourself, being better than your competitors, or more. 

This is an important and frontline thing before you go about starting a business, as not only it gives you a concrete path to walk on, but also helps you trace your actions, success, performance, or areas of improvement against the target you’ve set in your business strategy. It can have a detailed description around the areas such as:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Business Description, what it does, what it entails
  3. Market Analysis and Competition - who is your target audience, where does your competition lie
  4. The Product or Service details, with cost, and selling price bifurcations
  5. Marketing and Sales Plan for upcoming time
  6. Business structure 
  7. Ownership, Management, Personnel, staff details
  8. Financial Plan and Projections for the future
  9. Investment portfolio
  10. Business Location
  11. Business costs, overheads

Step 4 - Do Search for the Target Market

Did you know David Darmanin aka CEO & founder of Hotjar (biggest analytics tool) had started two startups units before establishing Hotjar? Across both the units, he employed teams who had created amazing products & services (without clearly understanding what the market wanted), and as a result, both the ideas tanked as they lacked the market’s needs.

As a lesson from the last two tanked ideas, Hotjar came out differently and was backed by thorough sheer market research, which led it to now a worth of $25.0M.

Before launching a product line or delivering any service, it is important to have some ground-level research of the target market. As in what they like, what they want, what particular product or its features can curb their problem statement. With well documented and calculated target market research, businesses can gather information on buyers’ which will help in:

  • Designing better products that buying market wants.
  • Improving buyers’ experience throughout their journey.
  • Crafting a workable marketing strategy that gets qualified leads and positive conversion rates.

Here are the 3 ways through which you can research your target market and understand its intention as a buyer:

  1. Surveys

 

They are one of the straightforward and inexpensive ways to gather qualitative buyers’ information and insights. Which will help you create user-centric products and experiences. You can easily create such custom surveys through Google Forms and send these to prospects via emails and other digital mediums.

      2. Conduct Interviews/discussions

You can conduct face-to-face or digital interviews or discussions with prospects through social media or any digital platform to understand your target market, where they are, how they look, what they feel and want, their problem areas, and everything else you wish you should know to make better products and experiences in their buyers’ journey.

       3. Create Focus Groups

If you have a budget, this process involves bringing the real target buyers from the market. Focus groups help to evaluate your business idea or product before it’s launched in the actual market). They share their opinion, experience, and problems with you and tell whether your business idea or product helps to curb that or not. 

For beginners with a lesser budget, you can create your very own focus group about your business idea or product with peers, friends, family, colleagues, or others.

Step 5 - Think Over Catchy Yet Professional Business Name

Setting a name for your corporation is an important aspect. You can’t go wrong with it. This is the name with which you will be called for the rest of your life (Nah! not the rest of your life, of course, you can change it at any interval while rebranding). 

Still, you should press upon thinking of a business name that can turn out to be an ultimate brand. Make sure whatever name you choose for any venture:

  • It should sound good and must be easy to pronounce when spoken aloud. It shouldn’t look difficult to speak like “she sells seashells on the seashore (got it?). 
  • It should convey meaning and should convey your business’s whole sole purpose or benefits.

You can search for the popular keywords around your niche and set up a name by connecting dots from there. Google AdWords keywords tool is the best place to search those keywords. Apart from that, you would find a variety of tools for naming a startup, they can really help you give good clues.

Step 6 - Decide What Kind of Business Model You Wish to Start?

Once you have pondered over the name of your business, it’s time to legitimize your business. Meaning, you must consider registering your business to:

  • Avoid any legal problems (if arises)
  • Sound as a reputed and professional business brand
  • Win the trust of business stakeholders, customers, employees, staff, suppliers (if you add any)

You have 5 types of business options to choose from:

Study all these business models carefully and decide which one you would want to register and pursue.

Step 7 - Research about the Regulations & Licenses

Get in touch with legal attorneys and research if there is any regulation or license you need to obtain to establish your business. Knowing them will keep you away from legal impediments in the near future.

And would keep you entirely legal in the eyes of the law and keep your business interests, trademarks, patents, operational & marketing aspects protected from all costs.

Go and check the Licenses and regulations you need to adhere to based on your industry, economy, and business type.

Step 8 - Get the Required Capital or Fundings

Create a detailed financial plan to determine what capital you need to oil your business machinery. Firstly, evaluate your monetary resources.

Then, identify how much money your business type will need to get started.  If it’s going to be solely offline one, identify what all resources you will need to run your business, such as:

  • Manpower
  • Raw Materials
  • Factory or outlet to produce
  • Warehouse
  • Business administration & setup
  • Shipping and transportation
  • Official setup

If it’s going to be an online business solely or a mix of both digital and physical one, identify the cost of it around factors like:

Once you have all the cost-related factors known, figure out other aspects through which you can reap some capital to venture. Some of the ways you can have money are:

  • Put your money- You can invest your personal income or savings to start a business and once the business earns profit, you can put back the amount to where it belongs.

  • Borrow from friends and family - You can borrow capital from people you know, provided you ensure you do it with a proper written agreement and amount repayment plan.

  • Business loans - You can take loans from banking institutions based on the interest model that is suitable for you.

  • Government grants - You can search for government grants for small businesses that do not require repayment of money.

  • Crowdfunding - You can raise money from large no. of people in exchange for some profit or reward on their invested sum.
  • Angel investor - Here an individual provides capital to startup businesses in exchange for ownership equity or convertible debt.
  • Sponsorships - If you have an impressive business idea, you can strap in some investors with crazy goodwill and capital to sponsor your business model.

Step 9 - Build Your Workforce & Team (if you are not planning to sail alone)

“Nothing you do is more important than hiring the right resource. In the end, we make bets on people, not strategies.” - Lawrence Bossidy, COO, General Electric.

If you are not planning to build an empire all by yourself, plan some division of staff, or human resources around to manage your business

Initially, you should keep your investment low while finding the manpower, and hire only the ones who are much needed. Once your business grows at a mushroom rate, you use the profit to expand the divisions and staff to fulfill more requirements.

Step 10 - Start Shaping Your Product or Service to Reality

So now you know your product, service, finance outlets and have registered your business, it’s time to start carving your product or service into reality. If interested in a product-based business, you have 3 options to about it:

  • By setting up your own premise and creating your own products - As the product discussed above as commoditized and niche-based products, you can choose a combination of them and decide to manufacture them at your own unit or can have it procured from external vendors and wholesalers and protect them within a safe warehouse. 
  • Customize or modify existing products - You can as well modify or customize the existing product with your own taste and touch in terms of design, features, usability, you can experiment. Supposedly, you can add your own innovations to clothing, toys, or any product in demand.
  • Start a dropshipping business - Instead of adding unnecessary cost allocation to warehouse and factory setup, start a dropshipping model online. Just like Amazon, you can create your own dropshipping website and start sourcing the popular product with reasonable vendors on it, who will directly deal with your customers’ product requirements and ship the products at their own cost, while giving you an upbeat margin for using your website. 

If you wish to deliver any services, arrange how you would do it, collect the right people, build a unique, compelling website design to broadcast your business.

Step 11 - Create Your Branding Essentials

Branding can help add credibility to your business. You must have branding essentials ready to make your business more stronger and memorable. While creating your brand presence, you should find answers to:

  • What does your business stand for?
  • What value does it provide to the target audience?
  • What is the USP that will differentiate you from your rest?
  • How will you earn the trust of your prospects?

Think over certain brand credentials that will help recall your business out in the crowd, like:

  • A catchphrase, slogan, tagline that will go together with your business name, to define it much better.
  • An attractive logo or word phrase that will help you look professionals and reliable.
  • Creative, informational packaging designs for the products to make them look cohesive, and branded.
  • The color palette throughout your packaging, marketing collateral, or online presence that will belong to only you and will be your signature.
  • Different style Typography that you can use throughout your products and marketing collateral to stand out.

Think of other things that can make your business unique, creative, and reliable for your customers. Experiment with your style and build an overall business presence that looks put together professional, and something that users can’t get away from.

Step 12 - Create Your Digital Portfolio or Online Store

With 68% of searches starting with search engines, it’s difficult to stay just offline. You need to maintain a strong digital presence to connect with digital buyers or audiences as well.  

Here are a few ways to digitize your business:

  • Get a creative and custom business website - You can run your pursuits offline and side by side have a beautiful website to stay connected with buyers who are also active at the digital marketplace. A responsive, fast, and stunning-looking website with a professional website design company can make you visible online, help rank in search engines, and get authentic traffic from them.
  • Create social media profiles - Being active on social media can open avenues for you to connect with target buyers, hear their pain paints and wants up close and personal, help understand and serve them the way they want. You can also leverage social media profiles with professional digital marketing agencies to sell your products through social commerce features.
  • Create a navigable eCommerce store or dropshipping website - An eCommerce store is the best way to sell your products online, you just have to put up attractive store management systems like Shopify, Magento, OpenCart and integrate desired features, functionality, shipping fulfillment features, payment gateways, user experience with the professional eCommerce development company and it’s easy to start selling your own products or products procured from other vendors.

Check out this cool guide on how to create a basic business website with WordPress (even when you don’t have enough budget)

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Business?

Well, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation said in 2009 that the average cost to start any business from scratch would be $30,000.

This can’t be the full truth, as every business is different, has different structures, cost allocations, resource requirements, so this numeric can’t be applicable to all. The cost to start a business can be much cheaper for franchise businesses, small-sized, or any home-based businesses.

In fact, according to the Small Business Administration in the US, many microbusinesses can be started at as cheap as $3000 and home-based franchise businesses can range between $3000 to $5000. It all depends on the business model and the financing requirements.

Some Tips to Promote your Newly Launched Business Online

Marketing is a really helpful step for your newly-minted business to build and maintain that long-lasting and forever-kind of relationship with your would-be buyers, online. It can also help attract your potential customers, create impactful brand awareness, and add big bucks to your bottom lines.

Here are some effective ways to market your business…

  1. Optimize your website for search engine ranking and traffic
  2. Use social media marketing organic & paid efforts to get brand recognition
  3. Run an informative and creative blog to drive traffic and engagement
  4. Invest in video marketing to gain traction online
  5. Invest in influencer marketing by investing in multiple micro-bloggers or influencers
  6. Set some budget for really converting PPC ad campaign
  7. Pay attention to offline marketing like Guerilla marketing too
  8. Use Marketing automation tool like Salesforce Marketing & Sales CRM
  9. Deploy email marketing strategies and efforts as their open rate is effective

Ideas to Start a Business - Some Low-cost Ideas to Start

Wondering what good ideas to start a business are, here are some cool options with rich dividends and less cost for you to start:

  1. Sell any range of products, be it start your own clothing line, merchandise or sell some commoditized goods
  2. Sell your artwork or artistic craft online
  3. Teach trending upskilling courses online
  4. Become a virtual assistant
  5. Become a digital creator or product influencer
  6. Develop and sell a niche or signature product
  7. Turn into an affiliate marketer
  8. Build apps and websites for solving certain user problems
  9. Create and sell handmade crafts or goods
  10. Become a writer, blogger with a professional portfolio website
  11. Develop and run a dropshipping store like Amazon

You can choose any business idea that seems feasible to start in terms of money, time, effort, and response.

Some Tips for Starting Business from Ground Up!

Starting a business can seem to be massive at glance, but trust us, it’s also a rewarding thing you can ever achieve. Here are just 5 tips for starting business of any scale, niche, or industry that can really help you take this important undertaking so well.

  • Recognize your skills and weaknesses - While starting a business, you would have to wear different hats, make sure while doing that you are aware of the skills and weaknesses that can help define your entrepreneurship journey. At first, you will be the only wheel, so get better at understanding what you have to offer and try to accommodate other learnings about your business’s different aspects to get started.
  • Don’t proceed without a business plan - ABC News Corporator, Tory Johnson once said that a business plan is much needed to approach a small business from scratch. A business plan is like a heads up covering all the information you need to get answers to everything you will do ahead, like your mission, longer-reaching goals, costs, estimates, product details, and other things that sum up your business.
  • Start something you have passion for - Many businesses start in the wake of just enjoying the entrepreneurial gains and often end up losing big because they didn’t start it out of passion or interest. Whatever business you start, make sure you have undying passion and excitement towards it, since doing a business is not a one-day job.
  • Truly understand your target market and customers - Get full-throttle knowledge of your customers, where they live, how old they are, why they might like your product. Create detailed buyer persona to understand their likeness, behavior in the buying market. Because if you can’t understand your customer, you can’t survive in the market.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help - Since there is no cookbook or genuine tips for starting a business, you might face hardships while making things possible on your own. In those cases, don’t fret to take external, professional advice or support. If you need fundings, go ask (from the above methods), if you need business advice, watch the interviews of big shot business heads, or if you need a prolific online business identity, don’t fret to consult a professional digital transformation company. In any case, just reach out!

          Final Thoughts on How to Start a Business!

          Starting a business is something that anyone can dream about and make happen, especially in this digital age. If you have a great product, service, and confidence (don’t worry about little money) to put yourself out there, you can slowly but surely start a business and make good bucks. 

          Many leading brands were once small and made an itch to a scratch by keeping their beliefs high, following these steps to starting a business, and making ends meet by tapping every opportunity they got.

          These steps on how to start a business are all that you need to get started, make dreams turn from documentation to reality, and create your name into the marketplace. 

          Now you have everything needed on “how to start your own business”, how about we assist you in creating your digital identity that’s compelling, converting, and powerful enough to make money.

          FAQs around How to Start a Business!

          Here are a few questions about “how do you start a business”, check them out!

          1. How to start a business with little money?

          If you have a certain skill, talent, or product, you can still start a business for really cheap. You do not need an overarching business structure or money to get started. If you have any skill, passion, or own crafted product that you can exchange for a sum, you can do it with a basic website portfolio that isn’t very costly and very effective at gaining traffic and buying customers online.

          You can start your own clothing eCommerce store or sell your handicraft with a simple website online. Check out our small business website designing plans that are really affordable to your pocket!

                2. How do I start a business?

          For starting a business, just be assertive, have a business plan in check, identify your product, evaluate your budget, have a website or online store in place, and voila start selling your products.

               3. What is the easiest business to start for a beginner?

          The easiest business to start for a beginner would be where you sell your expertise, wisdom, skill as a service, instead of goods or services (as they may require heavy investment). You just have to set up a stunning, user-centric website, and you are ready to start making money.

          Consult what business ideas you can turn to reality, with us!

               4. What is the best time to start a business?

          To start a business, you don’t need any perfect time, you can get started anytime. Just don’t wait until the perfect time. If you have an idea, product, service that can be sold online, make it possible. The key to get started is just to keep going and making small progressions with the above steps to start a business.

          What’s your take on “how do you start a business”, do you have any special recipe for the sauce, come share with us in the comments below.

          People Also Read:

          How to start a small business?

          How to start an online business?

          How to create a marketing strategy?

          10 Steps to grow your business?

          How to sell products online? 5 low-cost steps

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          Jax Williams

          I am planning to start a business but was not very confident about how to start but after going through this post, it really made me feel confident about my execution plan.

          Kyle Lee
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          Kyle Lee

          Well-written blog! Though the steps mentioned in this post are very clear, I thought for proper execution I need to outsource to a professional team.

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