The economy is doing well, the banks are ready to lend and the world is getting smaller by the day. There has never been a better time to start a new business. We are sure you must have a plan in mind, about the location of your office, which hosting provider to use for your website, which you want to hire and where you will transact your business. Just to make sure you get your basics right, here is a quick list of things to take care of for your new business.
No matter how excited you might be to get started, there is always time to research your business out. Someone might even tell you that not starting immediately would mean you are losing out on business, but not doing your research means, you have no idea where you are? It is like going for a swim but you do not know whether you are starting in a pool, a river or the ocean.
You have to have a minimum idea of who are competitors are, how many customers they have, what are pricing points of products or services, what are the gaps in the market and what are you doing better than the existing players, which needs a lot of research on your part. If you have not done that already, chances are you will face a lot of trouble going ahead. Another area where research helps is finalizing brand names so that you do not get into trademark suits, picking reseller hosting to save money on hosting your site and checking which domain names are available for you.
A part of your research, the structure of your business will have long term implications on your working. Depending on the nature of your business, you need to decide whether an incorporated company works for you or whether you need a limited liability company or a simple proprietorship is sufficient. Many social businesses these days also register themselves as not-for-profit companies, who do enjoy some sops from the local governments.
Once you have finalized your business type and your plans, you now need to get the necessary licences to get started. At times, this involves lengthy procedures that can be time consuming, but as a business owner it is your responsibility to get the necessary licenses to conduct your business as per local laws. These usually included a registered name for the business and all the documents you would need to file your annual taxes. Once again, depending on your business, you might have to go through some really tedious procedures to get certain documents in place, but it is all worth your time, because you are ensuring that everything is being done legally.
Right from paying rents for the office to getting raw materials and supplies, you will need a reliable source of money to get your business started. Your business might have some early customers who start paying you from day one, but still you should map your expenses and prepare for income less 8-12 months of business before you start. This way, you are insuring your business from any early hiccups that can put brakes on your day-to day working and force you to exit early. There are many ways to raising money, right from personal savings to going to banks for a loan or even investors who can lend you larger sums of money to get off to flying start.
Once all this is sorted, you will need some really good people on your side to move your business into the next phase. No matter how independent you are and well talented you might be, you will always need help in an area or another and you must not hesitate to hire the people with the necessary skills. You could need help with sales, accounts, manufacturing, quality control, customer care, logistics and much more to conduct your business and you will have to hire people who can handle these areas for you (not necessary one for each function).
Once you have the entire infrastructure, legalities, finances and people in place, it is time to get you customers. The research you have done earlier will make it easy to find your customers. Potential users of products and services are always keen on improvements in products/ services or their availability at lower pricing. You need to connect with your customer and address his need with your business. There are, both, traditional and modern, means of reaching to your customers, showing them your product, piquing their interest and then making the sale. The more the number of people you can get to buy your product, the better is the business outcome for you.
In this age of internet and social media, there are innovative ways of reaching out to potential customers and pitching your products, while also allowing you to make sales online. Nevertheless, offline sales also matter in some areas and you cannot do everything sitting at home/office. Unless your product is a website/app, I would strongly suggest that you go out in the physical world to make your product/ service successful.