Between the incessant lockdowns and a tiny virus ever so easily shutting down the world economy, if there is one thing we have learned, it is how important it is to have a passive source of income (or more than just one source of income). So while some have taken to investing, many have decided to start their Own Business in 2021
Are you looking to start your own business in 2021? Whatever setbacks might be holding you back, now is the time to get started on it and give it all you’ve got. We have put together a 10-step guide to starting your own business. These are all packed with time-tested advice so you get headstart and you don’t make the same mistakes others have. Whether you’re a dreamer or simply tired of living paycheck to paycheck, building a profitable business will help you create financial freedom for yourself and let you be your own boss. You get to do what you’re passionate about and turn a profit all at once.
Starting a business can really be an overwhelming task with all the planning, key financial decisions, and market research involved. Now that you have decided that you want to start your own entrepreneurial journey, you’ve come to the right place. On this blog, you will find all the resources you’ll need and all the right business practices and strategies so that you go in prepared and start your business the right way, doing all the right things. To make this happen, we have also curated a 17-step checklist to give you hands-on experience and help you kickstart your business. You can download the checklist by clicking the link at the end of the article.
Let’s begin with the 10 steps that you need to take to get started on your business right away.
The first step is to pick the right business idea. Business trends change every month, and every month, there’s tons of new businesses of all kinds. Whether you’re thinking of running an online business/ a brick and mortar business, or being a freelancer, there’ll be challenges. There’s so much you could do. This is why people can take years just to decide on what business they want to start. Whether you have no business idea to begin with or you have tons of those and can’t seem to decide, you can learn how to settle on an idea that will make more sales and can be validated as well.
Many people want to start a business doing something that has never been done before. This can be dangerous. You are allowed to dream big, but you have to let yourself start humble. With over a billion people in India and over 7.8 billion in the entire world, we have a surge of online businesses lately, and it’s becoming incredibly hard to come up with an idea that’s never been done before. You see, there’s nothing new under the sun, ever. You can benefit from going forward with an idea that has already been tested in the market and is in demand. Then, you can add a touch of your own whimsy and uniqueness to it. Remember that you are the USP of your business.
After you have decided on an idea, the second step is to validate it. Will it work? You need to find out. An idea that’s good in your head, but has no takers in the market, is not a good idea to begin with. Validating a business idea involves creating a beta version of your product/services and pre-launching it before you even begin production. Let me give you the statistics- more than 90% of businesses fail in their first 5 years because they don’t have the funds and/or customers. If there are already buyers, people might line up with their credit cards and wallets to buy your product once you launch.
Despite being the world’s richest man and having successfully launched billion-dollar businesses like PayPal and Tesla, Elon Musk never launches a business without validating first. So if he isn’t immune to validation, how can we be? We must utilize the resources that we already have and validate a business idea before putting it out.
The third step that you need to take is to come up with a great name for your business. In today’s day and age where there are so many businesses competing with each other, and where all good ideas already seem taken, finding the right name for your business can be a very difficult task.
Now, you need to learn how to come up with a great name for your business. Now, this can be really hard if you also want a ‘.com’ domain to go with it. But if you go with some great business naming strategies, this should be easy. When picking a name for your business, make sure it goes with all your domains and social media handles, and see to it that it doesn’t clash with someone else going for the same name. And while you go through the next 3 steps, use the time to refine a business plan.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind while deciding on a name. The name doesn’t have to be fancy- it should be easy to spell and pronounce. Think of it this way- a 3-year old should be able to remember it, and so should your target audience. The name you pick shouldn’t be too hard. It can be unique and unrelated to the industry, like “Ola” or “Apple”, or even “Samsung”.
Once you’re sold on a name, the fourth step is to define the legal structure of your business. If you’re starting a business in India, you need to pick one out of the 5 legal structures available- running a business as a sole proprietor, as a One-Person-Company (OPC), as a partnership firm, as an LLP, or as a Private Limited Company.
With the name and legal structure sorted, the fifth step is to figure out what legal licenses you’ll need to run your business. Like to run a bank, you’ll need a banking license from RBI. To import/export goods, you’ll need import/export code. To trade interstate, you’ll need your GST set up. Running a business without the necessary licenses can levy penalties and actually get you in trouble.
By now, you have a name, a legal structure, the licenses, and hopefully, a good business plan. An effective business plan, like a Google map, will guide you from your dreams to a place where you’ve realized your dreams. If you were to Go to Pune from Mumbai, you’d get in your car and Google Maps would tell you the fastest route while also warning you of blocked routes. A business plan, page-long or multiple pages, does just that for your business. It guides you with the exact steps you need to take to bring your vision to life.
A business plan will tell you where your business will be in the next 5 years. It covers all the details like your business, your ideal clients, your organizational structure, your entity type, your legal address, and your target audience. It shows what problem your business is solving, analysis for your business and your competitors, your strengths and weaknesses, market opportunities and threats, your marketing plan, your strategy to attract customers, what your customers’ journeys will look like in your business, the products you’ll serve, your financial plans, the money you’ll need to bring your marketing plan to life. It has information like who would be your key validators and investors, who’ll be your key vendors, the areas for which you’ll be hiring, and the areas for which you’ll be outsourcing.
Now you know what your sales funnel will look like and what your marketing strategy will be to attract an audience. The next step is to open a bank account and then actually launch your products. This is where you’ll start dealing with money, and so you’ll need to get your basics right. Going for the right bank account is an essential decision you need to take for your business. Having the right banking partners early on will make it easier for you to collect money and also to pay your vendors. It will also help you with any funding you might need along the way. So you need to be careful about which bank you decide to go with.
Now with a bank account and a launched product, the eighth step is to understand the financial terms. Statistics show that 85% of businesses fail in the first 5 years because of cash-flow issues because they don’t understand the finances of their business. There are 10 financial terms you need to know to successfully run a business. Knowing these will help you start taking the right business decisions early on. You need to know these even if you are a creative or a tech person in your business.
The ninth step is how to manage the cash-flow and finances in your business. And the last step in starting your own business is to set up your books- you need to track your income and your expenses. Bookkeeping is essential for every business. Without it, you could lose out on all your money without even realizing it, ending up without the money to continue running your business. This is the worst nightmare of any entrepreneur. And we don’t want you to do that. So it’s important to keep track of your income and stay on top of your expenses.
These were the 10 steps to start your business in 2021. Now it’s your turn. If you religiously follow this 10-step path and stick to the journey, you’ll be on your way to a very successful business soon enough. Good luck!
Also check out :