6 Steps to Get Your Own Business Started
Living in a time when information is available at an instant, we now have fewer excuses for not knowing and more reasons to start doing.
One of the more significant contributions of the internet to the world is giving more power and opportunity to small enterprise. If you haven’t noticed, these days, there are little to no barriers to setting up your own business. That’s because anyone with a Facebook or Instagram account can set up a page or an account and be an entrepreneur!
But other than a few keystrokes, there’s just a little bit more work that goes into turning your big idea into a successful business. We’ve narrowed them down to 6 steps.
Step 1: Make sure entrepreneurship is what you want
Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean you have to be in on it. Some of us really aren’t into the risk-taking and back-breaking that comes with entrepreneurship and that’s absolutely fine. If you enjoy the security that comes with being employed, stick to that! You can augment your income in others ways: drive a Grab, tutor kids, rent out some of your stuff. The list goes on. But, if you’re after making a living while pursuing something for which you have a strong passion or, yes, building your own empire, keep reading.
Step 2: Decide what kind of business you want
Now that you’re sure you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to choose what line of business you want to get into. The best way to get started is to follow your passion. Phil Knight ran college track and was an okay (dare I say,"meh") mid-distance runner, but he was incredibly in love with running that he willingly made all the sacrifices to make his business work. That’s how the world got Nike.
That’s how it ideally works. But, because not all of us have found our life’s calling, your next best bet is just to be honest with yourself. You should only get into something that fits your personality, that interests you, that you want to learn more about, that you can get behind and talk to people about. Remember, you’re going to be in this for the long-term.
You also need to be real and check the landscape. What does the market need? Can they get it anywhere else? What’s competition doing about it? Is it hard to get started? Are there new players coming in? Really, what you want to understand here is Porter’s 5 Forces (go ahead and Google it!) That should help you make sense of the industry you want to get in to.
Step 3: Test your product or service
So, you’ve done your research. Now, it’s time to see if what you’re offering is really something the world wants. Try out test markets first – family, friends, officemates, and people you know you can get a legit critique out of. As you tweak, gradually open it up to a wider market. Where else to look but online. Most people will stop and settle here. Hands down, your network is a good market. But, there’s still a ways to go if you want this business to sustain yourself and your family.
Step 4: Come up with a business plan
We mentioned Porter and his 5 forces. The guy still has a bunch of friends – STEP and SWOT and the gang. They’re all frameworks to help you with your business plan. But don’t be intimidated! I swear you don’t need an MBA for this because I’ve already scoured the internet for the simplest guide to making one right here. Ta-dah! It’s from The Balance – for now. It may take you some time to prepare one, but going through the exercise is a must if you want your business to have a chance at succeeding.
Step 5: Get registered and make it official
“It’s not official unless it’s on Facebook” NOPE. Not in this sense. It’s official if you’re recognized by DTI and BIR. If you did it right, your business plan would’ve already set your focus, i.e. what you want to achieve and how to achieve it. So, will it be a sole proprietorship, a one-person corporation, a partnership? Nail it down and get the paperwork out the door.
Step 6: Build your brand
You’ve gone to work on this in Step 3. Now you can launch your official brand and start scaling – make sure your message is clear, your marketing materials are relevant and up-to-date, you keep track of your customers, you improve processes that need work. Lest we forget, this game is all about continuous learning to beat out competition and to give the best to your customers. So get on Google Digital Garage, Udemy, Coursera, Alison, edX. These will all help you sustain and grow your brainchild.
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