“Every business I have started comes with interesting stories; both pleasant and horrible, but all led to action.” Abiodun A. Abiodun
I have told good and bad stories in my business life, which brings about the words I quoted above.
I have to overcome a lot of hurdles to start my first business, until I learnt that getting things right in business depends on taking the right steps one after the other.
Now, you want to start your own business. It does not matter how hard you work to set the ball rolling, but how smart you work. Below are the smartest steps to take to start-up your business:
1. Think of an idea: Every human being is naturally gifted with creativity, but you won’t discover the gift until you think. Think of a business idea that add value to lives of human or solve human needs. The ability to come up with workable solution to human problem or needs could turn to a business for you.
2. Write it down: Whatever idea comes to your head or any inspiration you get, try as much as possible to get it written. Put it to paper because it can easily fade away if you put all off hands.
3. Plan: Not as difficult as you think. Writing your business goal, model and simple summary of what your business is about is enough to make a business plan. Though you may need a professional business plan if you want to get a loan or if you want to sell out the business.
Making a business plan should not cause a delay in starting your business. If you do not have the idea on how to write business plan, get someone to write it for you.
4. Set up the legal structure of the business: Determine the form of business ownership you want. Decide if you want to work as a sole-proprietor or as a partnership, Limited liability company, co-operative, Non-profit, etc.
6. Raise start-up capital: Finance your business. Calculate how much you need, how much you have and how you will raise the capital. You may get a loan, venture capital, government grants, seek fund from friends and relatives or sell some valuables you do not need.
Note: You will need business plan to get loan, venture capital & government grants.
7. Open a bank account: Open a separate account for the business so that you will not mix your business capital with personal money. I recommend a savings account because you do not need to pay monthly charges on it, unlike current (checking) account, on which you will pay monthly bank charges.
But if it is a partnership business, current account system is the best, with principal partners as the signatories to the account.
8. Establish online presence: Design a website/Blog for your business where you could tell people about what you do and how you could be reached.
If paying for domain and web designers is too costly for you, make use of Social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc are free of charges and they charge token for special promotion services
9. Get a place: Though you may not necessarily need a space for you to carry out activities in some businesses, yet you need a physical location. It gives your customers a feel of comfort and confidence in your business.
10. Hire your employee: Learn to understand the government regulations that guide employment in your locality and steps to take in hiring your employee, then take time to hire the right people. They are your team!
11. Know your competitors: Competition is not a threat to business if you know who your competitors are. Find out your competitors’ strength and weakness. Find out the what they are not doing right and how you could do it in a different but better way.
12. Get started:
Talking about your new idea takes more energy than taking steps to launch it. Stop the talk, start the move. Now!
Abiodun A. Abiodun
He is an entrepreneur, writer, barber and interior designer. Abiodun discusses and writes about entrepreneurship, leadership, business and economy.
He has interest in luxury, art, fashion, travel and technology.
Abiodun is passionate about sport, particularly football (soccer) and boxing.