At this point in my journey of starting and operating my own business, I have learned a few things, some lessons came easy and some not so easy. I started operating my online store www.fuliru.ca a few months back. If you stumbled to my blog, chances are that you will start operating your own business soon. Just so you know, you are on the right track. Just off head, I have made a list of things you need to do before starting your business or at least the process I went through, your journey might be different.
Research General Business Info
You don’t need a business idea to start your research, if starting your own business is your dream, then you will do it, finding what kind of business will come to you. Start by researching business basics, learn what it takes to run different types of businesses, and from there you can start narrowing down the type of business you would be interested in operating. You will also learn a great deal from other people’s experiences.
Inspiration for Business Idea
Now this is where most people get stuck, you want to start a business, but you are not sure what kind of business. The easiest place to start is, looking at your interests and hobbies, and see if there is a way to monetize them. If you are thinking of it, chances are that someone else has also had the same thought and probably tried it out. Google your ideas and see if someone put their trial online, even if it already exists, see how you can do it differently. The other option is to look at your strengths and resources around you. You might be good at management, and know someone who is great marketing and one who is great at cooking, combining your skills might lead to a great business venture. You should of course be very careful and selective with the people you choose to work with. Just because you are good friends, does not mean you make good business partners.
Research your business idea
Now that you have an idea of what you want to do, you need to research that business idea to decided if it is viable or not. Below are examples of questions you need to ask.
- Is there a need for your products/services?
- Can you create a need/ or show people how to use it?
- Who needs it?
- Are there other companies offering similar products/services now?
- What is the competition like?
- What can you do that is different?
- How will your business fit into the market?
Map / Plan your Business
You need to make a plan for your business, put it on paper and see if it makes sense. Your business plan is an outline of the business goals and motivation behind them, and your plan to reach these goals in terms of marketing and funding. Get other people to read it and give you feedback on the ideas and plans to carry them out. You will need a formal business plan, even if you haven’t solidified everything, you need to know what you are working with, edit and apply changes as you go. Many community centers offer free programs to help you in writing your business plan. You can also google business plans similar to your venture and use them as a guide line.
Plan your Finances
Depending on your business idea, you might or might not require a lot of money, but you will definitely need an initial investment. You can finance the initial investment yourself or seek out funding for your small business through small business loans and grants offered in your area. Start with government agencies that offer assistance to entrepreneurs and work yourself up to credit unions. You might also want to look for angle investors willing to invest in your business venture.
After you have the above figured out, visit your local business government agency and see what you need in terms of selecting your business structure, business name and all the business licenses and permits required for your business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and most of all, don’t be afraid to start again from the beginning if the idea does not work out. I would love to hear how your progress, so send me an email or leave a comment below. Send me your questions, if the information is not on the blog.