Some people assume that it takes an expert to be an entrepreneur or business owner, but you might be surprised to know that all it takes to start a business is an idea and determination. Really, that’s it.
If you have a great idea for a business, you’re already halfway there! Just follow these seven simple steps for starting your own business and turning your passion into a source of income.
1.Solidify Your Concept and Write Up a Business Plan
If you’re having a hard time getting your idea down into writing, check out these lists of business ideas that may help get your gears turning. Once you know exactly what it is you’ll be narrowing in on, it’s time to write up a business plan to organize your concept into an actual workable business. You can start with this simple one-page business plan from The $100 Startup to get started.
2. Scope out the Competition
Once you’ve mapped out your business plan, it’s time to scope out the competition. Start by looking up the top 5-10 companies in your niche. Take notes on what makes them successful, but also think of improvements that you notice could be made. Look up consumer reviews to see what their customers like and dislike, and see if you can implement a solution in your own business and product to get an edge. If you notice that there are significantly more than 5-10 similar businesses out there, you may be better off going with a different idea in a less saturated market.
3. Choose a Name and Logo
There’s more to a business name than something catchy or memorable – it must also be marketable. This means that it’s different from your competition and has web availability. As you brainstorm name ideas, search on godaddy.com or other website domain sites to see if the names are available as websites. Once you find one, it’s time to turn it into a logo. You can design your own logo or hire a designer to create one for you. You can also purchase pre-made logos online from these awesome resources.
4. Build a Website
Now you need a place to sell your product or service. Purchase your domain and start building your website. There are several user-friendly systems that allow you to build your own website without any prior experience, such as WordPress, SquareSpace, and Wix.
5. Secure Inventory
As you build your website, it’s important that you are also securing your inventory so that you have something to sell when the website is ready to go live. It would be fruitless to start spreading the word if those who hear it can’t act on it. If you’re selling a product on a broad scale, checkout Alibaba or Aliexpress to buy wholesale. If you want creative and memorable packaging, checkout packlane to customize your packaging materials. You can also handle your own packaging at a low cost by using plain boxes from a home improvement store and creating your own labels through VistaPrint.com.
6. Manage the Money
Before you’re ready to sell, you must also have a financial plan in place. Calculate your expenses and your projected revenue. Keep in mind the cost of your own time and labor, and also any hired help you may need. Make any adjustments needed to ensure your margins are reasonable and allow for growth. Setup an account that integrates well with your website’s shopping cart, such as a free PayPal business account.
7. Spread the Word
Now that your product is stocked and your website is live, you’re ready to spread the word like wildfire! Marketing is a whole business in and of itself, but there are a lot of inexpensive ways to handle your own marketing, such as through online ads with Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Twitter. If you’re new to the marketing world, checkout this helpful resource to get started.
As your business grows, you may need to start delegating some of your tasks to others in order to keep up. You can hand off your inventory and order management to a fulfillment center like Elite Ops and enjoy a nearly automated source of income without much work from your end.