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How to Start a Business; Step-By-Step
How to Start a Business; Step-By-Step
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How to Start a Business; Step-By-Step

Money254
Ian Job
May 19, 2022

Doing what you enjoy on your terms while also creating your income and setting your hours can be thrilling. Well, the concept of beginning your business sounds like a beautiful opportunity.

Until ‌you think about all the specifics involved in the situation, realising your ambition to launch a business may feel more like a nightmare than anything else.

It's okay. Take a deep breath. Every other day, prosperous new businesses are launched by regular people like yourself. And if you are ready to put in some effort, you could be next. 

In this article, we take a look at steps you can follow to structure your business creation process and prime yourself for success. 

1. Decide on Your Why

There's a saying that without a vision, people perish. The same concept applies to business; businesses flop without a clearly defined-vision. For every business to prosper, it is crucial to determine your reasons for undertaking it, as this will be your driving force, especially ‌when it all gets rough and you're losing hope.

Several people have started businesses, but sadly, some do not make it past the fifth year. The difference between successful and unsuccessful business ownership lies in knowing your why. 

If you want to make it through the difficulties of running your own business, you need to be passionate about it and have complete faith in it.

Deciding on your why resonates with your business idea. Your idea will give you the why, which ideally should be your passion.

2. Develop a Business Plan

A business plan is like a road map in any entrepreneurial venture. To operate without one is like walking blindly on a strange path. Although it might seem quite hectic to come up with one, it remains a critical component for your business's success. Craft your plan in such a way that it answers the following questions.

What product/ service do you plan to offer? A simple question to ask oneself when establishing a product or service is: What problem is my business solving? Those who run successful firms focus on solving specific issues. Do you offer a meal preparation service to assist the time-crunched lives of busy professionals? Are you seeking to give your clients an outstanding salon experience? To create a product or service that succeeds, strive to improve your customers' lives.

What work schedule will you use? Adopting a flexible schedule is one benefit of being a business owner, but you must also be practical about what suits your business model. If you're launching a bakery, sleeping until midday and opening in the afternoon is not the best strategy. In contrast, you can snooze if you're selling jewelry through the Jiji app!

How much money do you have to work, for starters? Creating a budget for your business will help you prevent financial disasters and provide you with a sense of security and confidence. There's a good chance that your firm won't start making profits right away, so the last thing you want is to spend money you don't have. Also, figuring out your budget will assist you in figuring out what you can and can't afford.

At this point, you can also get into your financing options by considering the shortest route to fund your small business. 

How much will you charge? It is vital to your business's profitability, ability to market, and general success that you set the proper pricing for your product or service. Pricing has to be both reasonable for your clients and profitable for you. You can only arrive at this by conducting market research.

What is your business policy? For delivery, refunds, cancellations, and any other aspect that applies to your business, you require approaches for both the expected and the unforeseen. Having these policies in place ahead of time is an excellent way to ensure you are protected and that there are no ambiguities. Also, explain these policies to your clients clearly, whether in person, on your website, or by email.

3. Make It Formal

Please don't experiment with the concept of starting a business with no intention of making it a reality. Put an official tag on it. At the minimum, you will need to:

1. Get a permit for your business. The cost of obtaining a business license isn't all that prohibitive—only it's approximately Ksh15,000, depending on your location and business type. To register your business, all you need to do is perform a fast Google search for the relevant licensing information for your county or visit your county offices for the required information.

If you are starting a food-related business or one that involves music, you may need additional licenses from the relevant authorities. Note that sometimes, you may need to present your professional certification before getting approval for your business.

2. Decide on a business structure. Deciding on a company entity is figuring out what kind of business you want to start. The three main options are:

  1. Sole proprietorship: It is an easy and inexpensive one-person operation to get up and running. When you file your tax return, you must list your business's financial information. The downside is that if the firm gets sued, or defaults on a loan, you are personally accountable. If your business is straightforward and low-risk, this can be a great option. 
  1. Partnership: You can create a business in partnership with another person or a group of people. There are pros and cons to this, as any other business type would have but dealing with partners can be particularly stressful which is why you always have to make sure the partnership agreement is airtight. 
  1. A Limited Liability Company (LLC): This is an entity that is legally distinct from its owner. While most small businesses don't need to be registered as an LLC, if you have a lot of assets to safeguard, ‌think about forming one.

3. Open a business account: Separate personal and business finances as quickly as possible. It will be a great relief from the anxiety of accounting and tax obligations. The account can be in your name or that of your business. 

4. Plan Ahead of Time for Taxes

You may find tax matters a little overwhelming at first, but you need to be aware of your tax obligations as a small-business owner.

All businesses, just like their employees, need to submit their annual returns. It's also your responsibility to file and pay your income taxes as a small-business owner.

Payroll taxes (also known as employment taxes) are another consideration if you plan to hire personnel for your small business.

Make intelligent decisions with your money and don't ‌deceive the taxman. Everything you do will impact your life in the future. Get a tax professional with a teacher's heart that you can rely on to prevent any mistakes.

5. Create Your Brand Image and Marketing Strategy

After figuring out your financial situation, it's time to get the word out about your firm. To prepare for a dialogue with your customers, you should concentrate on your brand and marketing.

Work on Your Brand's Image

Your firm's brand is how you show the world who you are as a business. As you work to establish your brand, give some thought to how you would like your clients and consumers to feel when they interact with you. Do you have any ideas for the aesthetic or aural aspects you'd like to incorporate into your company? Which descriptors of your business do you hope people will use when speaking about it?

Customers expect the same experience with your brand no matter where they interact with it, including the colors, content (the words used in advertising), and product design of your website.

Have a Marketing Plan

A chat with potential clients is perhaps all you might need to come up with the right strategy to promote your business. Get to know them, what their needs are, their idea of high-quality service or product and translate these expectations into marketing messages. To get you started, here are a few simple marketing assets:

  • A website
  • Accounts on popular social media platforms
  • A marketing mailing list
  • Promotions and events held in person
  • Promote your business with the use of free material

As long as you're consistent and deliberate, marketing doesn't have to be pricey. Also, remember that consumers buy from those they like, trust, and are familiar with. You can use marketing to build your brand's recognition, likeability, and credibility.

WRAPPING UP

Keep in mind that launching a business requires time. It's tasking to establish a business, and it can be even more challenging to keep it going strong when working in the trenches. 

However, here's the thing: you don't have to go on this path alone. You don't need a degree to start a successful business; all you need is the proper training and help from others whom you have to skillfully identify. 

Ian Job is an articulate writer with over four years of experience in SEO writing, digital marketing and screenwriting. Away from writing, he's probably producing an indie movie if you don't find him mentoring upcoming content writers. You can connect with him on Medium.

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