Business. Big word. What comes after are the known CEOs and Entrepreneurs, but let me tell you one thing, if not all of them, at least some of them weren’t born rich and with the company as their first birthday gift. Whether it’s a small business or one that would shake the business world, it’s never too late to start a business you would call your own.
To start a business might sound very overwhelming but believe me that’s why this article is here.
Here are the first few baby steps you might want to try to start a business:
Step 1: Research, Research
With the flow of change and economic cycle in this era, you might want to do a lot of studying and researching first, besides what information is not available on the internet nowadays? For example, you would want to have your own clothing line, and while there are thousands of clothing line available on the market, what would make yours stand out or at least be seen in the crowds. Things like, your target people, your brand and your mark. This is very important because to start a business means to work all by yourself at first which requires you to be very flexible in every aspect possible.
You might have the initial idea but it better be supported by facts and thorough research. Ask your peers on their opinions and ideas, they might just shock you on what they have to say that would add fuel to the fire you already have and be able to make your black and white canvass a colorful one.
Basically, the first step is where all the planning part comes, but be very careful, it won’t cause you a penny to research and do the talking but you might want to save your present job first before quitting, maybe you’ll need a penny or two to complete the process to be able to start a business.
Step 2: Invest in People
Who told you that all investments cause money? Nope, not all. Investing with people might come a bit difficult at first but you need to broaden your social circle in able to know the market, technically. Your relatives, your friends of colleagues at work top this list, but start attending social parties and events, get the know-hows and sneak peeks on what comes and goes on their lives.
This could strengthen the research that you have done and another idea might just pop, there’s no perfect and polished result at first work, you could always use a bit of editing in between.
Step 3: Sketch, Build, Sketch
The process may be repetitive but we learn through trial and errors, if you’re expecting to become a billionaire overnight, this is not the right path for you. This is for people who knows that starting at rock bottom is very important. You have to secure your own land before building your empire.
This step involves reducing your needs. Remember a start-up company isn’t as what it seems like in movies: having a fancy office, with a few staff to work with. They may all come handy but the amount of money you need will cut-off your hands. If the business you have in mind can start operating all on your own then you do not need an office yet or employees yet.
Having an office comes with bills, internet costs, maintenance fees, probably a rent as well. Same with hiring staffs, you’ve got to have payrolls and such (plus tax is less complicated when you do it alone). For a start-up company, it’s very important to build your grounds first and the expansion and improvements comes after.
Step 4: Pilot-Testing
This is where working alone comes helpful, doing it all by yourself means that if you fail the first launch and the first few months, it wouldn’t be much of a loss and you’ll just have to go back to Step 1.
Step 4 is about testing the waters, if you’re going to float or sink. Start with your own social media presence, contact the people you’ve met and invested with. Hear their thoughts on your business and then from then consider their inputs as well as yours because there are some things you might have missed considering.
Remember, it’s always good to start with a few and then to more than full forcedly start with more and end up with less.
Step 5: Outsource
While there are some business that really do not need a penny to start, I understand if yours is different. Going back to the clothing company, of course you’d need fabrics and other needs, you’ll need equipment and materials. Bottom line: you’ll need some money to start. But keep in mind that a huge amount of money is not necessary, some money that would get you started is important and if your savings or current job won’t cover the capital you’ll need. I got you with some options:
- Family and friends. They should be on your list. No matter how small or big of a help it still feels very grateful to receive help, which also means that they support your venture.
- Angel investors. These are wealthy individuals who looks on business and invest on them. One perk though is that the consequence they ask is to be a partial owner of the company. Something you might want to consider first.
- Venture capitalists. These are like angel investors but they are organizations or partnerships that scout businesses that already exist. But it might still be worth the try.
- Crowdfunding. There are a lot of sites that supports crowdfunding, as long as its appealing to a certain audience, you’ll get funded for sure.
- Government grants and loans. There are government agencies that helps business starters get their engines started.
- Bank Loans or other loans. They might have come with a huge interest but as long as you’ve kept your records clean and will be keeping your records clean, you can surely get some money from them.
This year might just be the year for you and you’ll never know if you don’t try. As I believe by, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”.