As a business owner, you can reclaim more power and autonomy in many areas of your life. Not only can you take control of your income, but you also have more control over your time. The benefits of business ownership may entice you to learn how to start a business from scratch.
Although starting a business is no walk in the park, the hard work can definitely pay off in the end. With that in mind, let’s explore how to start a business from scratch today.
Key tips for how to start a business from scratch
When you dive into starting a business, there are many steps to walk through. If you take things one step at a time, you can build a strong business that stands the test of time. Here’s how to start a business from scratch. Keep in mind these tips are also relevant even if you are starting out with a side hustle!
Consider why you want to start a business
Step one is to consider what you want to achieve through your business. The first thought that comes to mind might include the financial benefits for yourself. But try to think beyond that. What else do you hope you achieve? You may want to build more flexibility into your life or solve a problem that faces many in our world.
Dig deep when determining why you truly want to start a business. When the going gets tough, you can look back on your reason and hopefully find the motivation to move forward.
Confirm that you have time to commit
Starting a business from scratch is definitely not an easy task. Although it can be rewarding, you should fully expect to commit a lot of time and energy to get your business idea off the ground.
With that, take a closer look at your schedule. Do you have time to commit to building a business right now? If not, what changes can you make to your schedule to provide the necessary room?
Brainstorm an idea that excites you
The right business idea makes all the difference. If you aren’t even excited about your business, you’ll likely have a hard time convincing potential customers to give you a try. Take some time to brainstorm potential business ideas. Seek out an idea that excites you.
Research your target customers
A business cannot function without customers. So it is a good idea to start your business with your target customers in mind. Do some research to better understand what your customers are looking for in a product or service.
Not sure how to find out what your target customers want? Just listen to their opinions. If possible, build a prototype of a product and ask for live feedback. If a prototype isn’t possible, then use the resources at your disposal. Dive into niche forums and ask questions to potential customers. When you have some feedback, take the time to implement the information you’ve learned into your business.
Build a business plan
A business plan essentially acts as a blueprint for your business. With a solid business plan in place, you can confidently move forward in starting a business. A business plan should include:
A high-level summary
What are the key features of your business?
How does it stand apart from the competition?
What’s the strategy to sell your product or service in a competitive market?
Outline the day-to-day activities of the company and long-term plans.
Of course, you can make changes to your business plan on the fly. When you dive into your business launch, you might have to pivot based on changes in the market. However, a business plan is a good place to get started.
Register your business
Registering your business is an important step to solidify the legitimacy of your business. At this point, you’ll have to choose between several different business structures. Your choices include:
Low costs and minimal paperwork make this an attractive opportunity for new business owners.
Have just one partner? A partnership could be the appropriate structure.
Limited liability corporation (LLC)
LLCs are very popular business structures that provide some legal protections for your personal assets.
The right choice of business structure will depend on your unique financial situation. If you aren’t sure, then consider consulting with a financial advisor to determine which structure will work best for your finances.
Open a business bank account
When it comes to starting a business from scratch, your business finances are incredibly important. A business bank account is a chore that many avoid — myself included. But it is a very necessary part of building your own business.
You don’t want your business funds to mix with your personal bank accounts. Otherwise, it can be very tricky to keep track of. Having business accounts like business checking and business savings accounts is essential to managing your business finances.
If you have an income plan, you might also consider getting pre-approved for a business credit card to build business credit and for your various transactions.
Set up a business website
A business website can serve as a central spot for your online presence. Although you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a website, you should make sure that it’s easy for customers to find the information that they are looking for. A simple website with a clean design can be fairly easy to create and a useful place to direct potential customers.
Claim your social media accounts
Social media is a growing part of running a successful business. So once you have a business name, do claim your social media handles. Even if you aren’t planning on being active on the platform right away, claiming your handle means you can get started when you are ready.
If the exact handle you were hoping for isn’t available, get creative to find one that will work with your business. As time passes, you could hire a freelance marketer to help you.
Create content to market your business
Whether you sell a product or service, creating marketing content is key to making sales. Luckily, there are many different ways to create content. You can choose to write articles on a blog, post on social media, and get the word out about your business in other ways.
You may have to try several strategies before you find a combination that works well for your business.
Build a team
You don’t necessarily need a team to start a business from scratch. But at some point, you might need extra hands to reach your business goals. Don’t be afraid to build a team of competent people along the way.
Before hiring people to help out, consider what you need the most help with. Are there tasks that you absolutely dread? Are there some tasks that only you can tackle? Think through the tasks you need to hire out before putting out a job posting.
Buy necessary insurance
Depending on your business, you might need insurance right away. But this will vary dramatically based on the type of business you have. With that, take some time to research the insurance needs in your industry.
The bottom line: You can start a business from scratch
Now that you know the basics of how to start a business from scratch, you’ll likely realize there is a lot of hard work along the way. But it can be absolutely worth it when you reach your business goals. Ready to start your business? Take advantage of our free business course bundle that will walk you through the process!