“I’ve a fantastic idea, I can’t wait to quit from my job and start business right away.” You may have heard about it over and over again from your relatives, friends, colleagues or even your superiors.
While working with someone else is kind of predictable & stable life, if you are confident that you have something (product or service) that people want to buy from you, you can make a good fortune out of it. Be your own boss!
“Thinking Big” – Donald Trump
But, how to start your business? You can start business in small scale with least capital required and it can be easy by using our 10 steps guide below to start your business.
Step 1: Prepare a Simple Business Plan Before Start Business
It is very important first step in almost every successful corporations – start with a business plan.
In your business plan, do the following:
- Evaluate & study the market of your product/service
- Who are your competitors? Check how & what they are doing.
- Who are your potential customers? Where are they? What do they want?
- How much you are going to sale your product/service?
- How much capital do you need?
- How much do you need to support your basic lifestyle?
- How long you give yourself in this business venture?
You can easily find thousands of free business plan samples in the internet to help you to create a business plan. This will help you map out how you will start business successfully.
Always budget for your personal needs in your business plan as you need money to live.
Step 2: Choose the right business entity for your business
Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd), Sole Proprietorship or Partnership? Which one is better or suitable for you?
Check out what are the costs and benefits of having different type of business entity and decide what is the best for you.
For details, see here: chooise right business entity to success
Step 3: Prepare Business Budget & Projection
Although this is part of business plan, I strongly suggest to use a separate excel sheets to work out at least 3 years budget & projection for all possible business inflows & outflows as well as personal needs and commitments.
Set realistic goals in the budget & work along with the budget, make sure everything is under control, always fine tuning your budget according to the business progress.
This step will help you to visualise the money movement within your business and help you to prevent any unnecessary spendings when running your business.
Keeping startup costs as low as possible is the fundamental key to succeed in your small business
Step 4: Choose a Perfect Name for Your Business
Choosing a business name is one of the most important things that you will need to do. Based on my experience, it is also one of the most tougher decisions you will ever need to make.
Your company’s name is a great unique way in associating your business image with your customers emotionally and since it is also the entry point to your business, a good business name will differentiate your business and your competitors instantly.
Therefore, it’s essential that you strike the right tone with your business’ name. Even though successful companies do not just have good names, they do have their own brands, but, brands are literally built on names.
Think about Google, Yahoo, APPLE, Microsoft, Intel, Starbucks, etc…
Step 5: Choose a Business Office/Shop
It is common to start small business by working from home, including myself when starting NBC Group, whenever there is a need to meet your customers, find a coffee shop or restaurant.
If setting up an office or shop is essential to your business, then precise planning and research will be needed. The following are to be considered:
- Space (How big is needed?)
- Location (Popular or rural area?)
- Building (Premium, Shop office or Soho?)
- Rental rates (Within budget?)
Other factors you may want to consider as well:
- Public transports available?
- Sufficient parking lots?
- Amenities nearby? (restaurant or convenience store?)
- Enough space for future expansion?
- Easy to get staff?
- Near your house?
Step 6: Finance Your Business
If you don’t have a daddy or an uncle who is having deep pockets that can help you to start a business easier, you will need to find all available sources to get ready the necessary capital for your new business.
The following are commonly considered when planning in starting a business:
- Personal savings
- Debt financing of existing personal assets
- Grants from government
- Borrowings from friends and family
- Angel investors
- Venture capitalists
Step 7: Obtain Business Licenses from Local Authorities or Governments
Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business. Registering company does not mean you will have the necessary licenses or permits to conduct business.
You will normally need to apply for trading & signboard licenses whenever you are running a shop, whether the shop is located at the conventional commercial building or within a shopping mall.
Step 8: Know Your Responsibilities as Employer
Hiring employees has never been easy as what you may have thought, I strongly advise you to buy a employer handbook in any Book Store. These books will normally state full details and all the tricks how to carry out your duties as employer.
Step 9: Registering A Domain Name & Create A Website
As a small and new player in the market, it is important to own a website to give customers and potential customers information about your business and what you are selling and offering.
A website representing your business will able to serve your customers 24×7, days and nights, no matter where they are as website can be assessed from anywhere and anytime in the world.
You are able to interact with your potential customers via your company’s website. This can be done by merely having a contact form at the Contact Us page or having an FAQ section to answer the frequently asked questions from your customers.
To make your website successful, you need to provide something or enhanced value to your customers, you may consider the following:
- Good & easy to remember domain name
- Well designed & structured website pages
- Sound hosting server provider
- Search engine optimization (SEO) practices
- Users’ expectation when browsing your website (user experience)
- Website security measurement
- Helpful information and contents
Step 10: Start Promoting and Selling
You need to spread the words to all your friends, relatives and ex-colleagues about your new business venture and let them know that you are selling now! Find a way to figure out what is the best method to do so.
Find smart ways to balance paid promotion with free promotion to create an excellent strategy
Other than using your personal networks, you can advertise over the google or yahoo ads, press releases to blogs and social sharing medias. You can even give away free gifts to all potential customers or organise an opening sales promotion in conjunction with the new opening of your office or shop, such as 50% discount for the first 100 customers. You can also consider for things like event sponsorships and other paid marketing methods.
After carefully carry out all the steps stated above, you are on your way to start business in the right path!