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Starting a business is one of the most difficult and rewarding things you can do. The process is simpler than you might imagine, but trying to narrow it down to five or 10 steps is an understatement and an injustice. The next 50 steps to starting a business are, for the most part, necessary – although some businesses may be able to skip multiple steps and others may complete them in complete disarray.
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Follow these steps to start your business, but they are best for you:
1. To be inspired. Your first step is to get inspired to become an entrepreneur. If you are reading this article, you are probably already there.
2. Have a passion. Few business owners succeed without enough passion to direct their efforts. Find something you are passionate about.
3. Educate yourself. You don’t need a university degree, but you need to be aware of the risks and realities of owning a business.
4. Generate an idea. That’s the hard part: coming up with an idea that has the potential to start a full-blown business.
5. Do some preliminary research on the idea. Browse the web and see what you can find. Are there other companies like this?
6. Talk to others. See what your friends and family think of your idea and be open to criticism.
seven. Develop the idea. Brainstorm to determine potential flaws and key benefits.
8. Research and start a business plan. You now have the opportunity to get more involved. Find out which competitors there are and dig deep to create a full-fledged business plan (use the following steps to help).
9. Determine your target market. Not everyone will be your target customer. Find a niche.
ten. Find a financial model. How much will you charge? How much will it cost to operate the business? How can you be profitable?
11. Find an operational model. Who and what do you need to maintain production?
12. Find a staffing plan. Determine the people you need to hire to start.
13. Develop a sales and marketing plan. It is not superfluous. Sales and marketing are the engines of growth for your business.
14. Find a growth plan. How do you plan to develop in the first year? What about the second and third years?
15. Decide on a legal structure for your business. Each legal construction has its advantages and disadvantages. Think carefully about what will work best.
16. Determine what you need to get started. Think of the people, resources and capital you need and have an “ideal” and “minimal” range.
17. Objectively analyze the risk. Determine how much you stand to lose if the business breaks down.
18. If you are ready, quit your current job. If everything looks good, pull the trigger and invest full time in your business.
19. Safe capital. Withdraw savings, borrow from friends, seek financing or establish a line of credit with a bank – or a combination of these.
20. Seek resources and help. Join a small business development center and find local resources to help you succeed.
21. Look for potential customers. Keep your eyes open for individuals and companies who might buy from you, and the sooner the better. Try to get at least one customer before investing a penny.
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22. Record the name of your business. It’s a simple but necessary step.
23. Obtain a tax identification number. Remember your tax responsibilities.
24. File for national and local taxes. Do not overlook this financial step.
25. Obtain any necessary permits or licenses. Your business may require additional legal registrations.
26. Hire one or more mentors. Find experienced contractors who can help you with the remaining steps, offering information and advice.
27. Find your key locations. The location of your office, the location of operations, and related issues are important decisions to make.
28. Establish a unique brand. Find out what makes your business unique and build a brand around it.
29. Start building a personal brand. While you’re at it, create a personal brand for yourself.
30. Create a test product or service. Call it a prototype if you want. Create a sample if you have not already done so.
31. Establish key suppliers and partners. Find entrepreneurs, sellers and suppliers to help your business succeed.
32. Learn and apply your responsibilities as an employer. You will have to offer certain benefits, conditions and deductions.
33. Hire your first employees. Hire the bare minimum you need to get started.
34. Create a human resources plan and a corporate culture. Create directives and hire people who will adhere to them.
35. Start selling. Take out and sell all your products.
36. Launch a website. As soon as you can, establish an online presence.
37. Describe and start a digital marketing campaign. Digital marketing is cheap, easy and effective. SEO, content marketing and social media are good places to start.
38. Network wherever you go. Make it a point to meet people. You never know who could be a new customer or employee.
39. Find at least one reliable long-term customer. Prioritize getting at least one long-term reliable customer.
40. Use promotions and discounts to attract new customers. Profitability is not as important as recognition when you first started.
41. Take advantage of customer feedback and launch a second iteration of your products or services. Make adjustments to your offers.
42. Hire more employees if necessary. When you’re ready, expand the team.
43. Adjust your operations to become more efficient. No operation plan is perfect. Find ways to improve yours.
44. Make sure your cash flow stays positive, with appropriate security measures. Money can kill an otherwise profitable business. Do not neglect it.
45. Evolve your business strategy. Do more.
46. Evolve your marketing strategy. Go further.
47. Invest in improving infrastructure. Improve everything you can afford to improve to make your customers happier.
48. Learn more about your industry. Communicate with your competitors and attend industry conferences.
49. Become an opinion leader. Establish yourself as an authority by speaking, writing and hosting webinars.
50. Evaluate your progress so far and adjust your business plan. Determine where you stand in relation to where you thought you were, and think about the expectations you had wrong. Review your business plan and adjust it to reflect your current situation and your understanding.
Each company is unique, so it may be that yours does not adhere perfectly to the formula. Use these steps as a guideline for developing your business and get started as much as possible in the process.
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