Those of you who have played sports or trained know how important it is to know the fundamentals. You might have even had a coach or teacher who highlighted the “fun” in “fundamentals” to inspire you to enjoy the preparation and practice needed. For businesses, it’s no different. But there is so much information these days that it’s sometimes hard to focus on the few basic principles you need. They are searching for a new angle or a magic bullet that will solve all their problems. But there is no magic bullet. For your business to thrive and grow, you need to follow some tested and tried techniques. It’s not easy to launch a new business from your home, but the following steps will help you get started.
COME UP WITH A BUSINESS IDEA THAT SUSTAINS
Starting a small business begins with developing a winning business idea. Ideally, you’ll choose a venture that
interests you and meets a market need. If you want to create a business, you can start by identifying a problem that frustrates you. Is there a problem that you keep encountering that no one seems to be able to solve? Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, look at the companies that are already in place and decide how
you can match what they do with what they can do better. Is there any gap in the market that you can fill with your product?
DECIDE WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SELL
The first step in starting a business is to decide what products or services you will sell. Your success depends on your ability to sell products or services to your customers. Make a list of products and services you might be able to offer. Firstly, consider the following questions:
- Is this product or service in demand?
- How will this benefit my customers?
- What would I be willing to pay for it?
- What could I reasonably charge?
- Is there any segment in the market for me to make money?
WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN
In the next step, you’ll create a business plan. A business plan will give you clarity as you start your small
business, and it will be of great assistance to you if you ever decide to apply for small business financing.
Business plans generally fall into one of two categories: traditional businesses or lean startups. A traditional
business plan is often several dozen pages long and is required by most lenders and investors. Comparatively, a lean startup business plan focuses on a high-level overview. You’ll summarize the most important aspects of your business and it will be only one page long. It will be much faster to create this type of plan.
DECIDE ON YOUR COMPANY’S LEGAL STRUCTURE
It is essential that you choose the right legal structure for your business if you want to get started quickly and without much hassle. A sole proprietorship may be the best option for you if you want to start quickly and easily. As a sole proprietor, there are no
partners or executive boards to answer to, so you’re completely in control. Keep in mind, however, that there is no legal separation between you and the business, and you’ll be responsible for all debts & lawsuits. On the other hand, Limited liability companies (LLCs) offer greater flexibility, create a separation between you and your business, but they also require more drafting and state
APPLY FOR EIN
If you want to register your business as an LLC or hire employees, you’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Also, you will have to get registered with SECP/FBR as an PVT LTD. or SMC locally. The IRS website allows you to apply for a free NTN and receive your NTN within minutes. You will need your National Identity no. to identify your business without an EIN, so apply for an NTN to keep your financial operations smooth.
SETUP A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT
Once you’ve set up your business entity, you should open a business bank account, which separates your personal finances from your business finances. It’s a good idea to partner with a local bank to establish a personal relationship. People find that smaller banks are more responsive and helpful if they experience a problem.
SETUP A HOME OFFICE
It’s a good idea to set up a home office if you plan to work from
home. This can either be an empty room or a corner in the bedroom, as long as it’s private and without distractions.
HIRE AN ACCOUNTANT
Small businesses face a lot of challenges, including dealing with taxes. Also, you need advice on how to structure your business, how to set up payroll, and how to track expenses. That’s why it’s wise to hire an accountant. Accountants can assist you with all of this and ensure that you are up to date with the latest tax laws. And in the unlikely event of an audit, an accountant can guide you
through the process.
CHECK ON ANY LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
Whenever you start a new business, it’s a good idea to check local
and provincial requirements. Some may require a business license or permit, and not complying could lead to a fine. If you are planning to start a business, you may need to research local zoning laws. After selecting a business structure and registering your business, check with your province’s regulatory agency to see if there are other laws that might affect your operation.
MAKE A MARKETING PLAN
Business owners often approach marketing without a plan, which
leads to wasting a lot of money without seeing any real results.
Or worse – something works, but they cannot replicate it. You should start with a marketing plan that outlines how you plan to get the word out about your new business. A marketing plan will
- An overview of your marketing goals.
- An outline of your target market and customer.
- A timeline of tasks to be completed. Important metrics to monitor along the way.
- Afterward, you can outline the goals of your website, social media channels, and company branding.