As per the reports available 90% of start-up fails in the first year of incorporation. Mostly fresh entrepreneurs are extremely ignorant and follow no process or guidelines due to lack of experience or availability of information. All they have is only an idea. How will it be if there is a complete start-up guide to convert your idea into a great success? Although hard work and persistence are the most important ingredients if mixed with proper guidance and roadmap will definitely result in a big success.
To start a business requires understanding and dealing with many aspects like IT, financing, legal, sales and marketing, intellectual property protection, asset management, strategy development, human resources, and more. But a great entrepreneurial spirit and proper guidance have resulted in many success stories. So many small ideas have turned out to be the great business giants like Amazon , Flipkart , Ola, Oyo, Paytm, Facebook and list goes on. It’s not like they did not come across any failures but the right decision and proper guidance led them to become successful.
Every budding entrepreneur wants to build a successful start-up. Starting your own business really requires great courage, extraordinary passion, and dedication.
There is not any success formula but definitely, if you follow a few steps you can make your start-up success journey a bit easier. This article is a complete start-up guide that can convert your idea into a great success. Let’s check out one by one.
How to start a business from scratch – A complete step by step guide for start-up
1. Evaluate the purpose and challenges involved in starting a business
Starting a business is a big commitment. Budding entrepreneurs often fail to estimate the significant amount of time, resources, and energy needed to start and grow a business.
Below are some of the challenges to start and grow a business:
- To find a great and unique product or service.
- Having a strong plan and vision for the business.
- Having sufficient capital and enough cash to sustain.
- Finding and retaining talented and sincere employees.
- Discouragement and rejections from customers.
- Efficient time management.
- To maintain a reasonable work-life balance.
- To able to cope up with the failures and hardships.
- Maintaining the zeal and stay motivated to keep going even when it’s tough.
- Finding investors.
- To get business and revenue generation.
2. A valid business idea must be there to start a small business or a big business
To start a business you need to have a unique idea. An idea must be able to solve any problem. A valid idea should be the one which can add value to people’s life. If you face problems in any area you might have thought of some solution and this can be an idea. There are several articles and videos on different business ideas that you can follow. But the main thing is that you must have a passion to work on that idea.
3. Market Research
Thorough market research is very important before working on that idea. Are any competitors in the market already? If not, why? Research online as Google has made everything possible. You can conduct interviews, surveys, questionnaires, etc. to seek the potential of that product or service. Market research must be a combination of online resources, face to face interviews, opinion and views of people from various segments and areas.
Getting feedback and work upon them to make your product or service is most important. The user can give you better advice or suggestion that you might have missed. These people will become your brand advocates if you listen to their input and provide them improved product and service.
Create a prototype, get feedback, implement the feedback and push out your next better product or service. In this way, you can constantly improve and can deliver the best product or service.
Keep one thing in mind that not all feedback or advice is worth considering. So you must have a plan on how to work and deal with the feedbacks. Think consciously on all the feedback you receive and analyze whether they really make sense.
5. Find a suitable name for your start-up business
Finding a suitable and right name for your start-up have a significant impact on your business success. The wrong name may result in many legal and business hurdles. Here are some basic tips which you can follow to name your start-up:
- Choose easy to spell name.
- Don’t keep a name that might limit as the business grows.
- Conduct in-depth internet search on a proposed name.
- Try to get a “.com” domain name. You can check and buy the domain and hosting and with the help of wordpress can create your website with very minimal expense. Do not spend much initially by hiring developers or so.
- Do a thorough trademark search
6. Build and develop a good website for your business
In this digital era, everyone understands the importance of a good website. The potential customers, prospective investors, and visitors are going to check your website first before they actually approach you. So a website must be impressive and very professional.
You can follow some tips for building a good website
- Check out the competitor and similar sites.
- Make a clear picture of what you exactly want in your website.
- Properly communicate your requirements to the developer.
- Make sure your site is search engine optimized (hence more likely to rank on Google search results).
- Create high-quality original content.
- Make sure your website site is suitably optimized for mobile devices.
- Make sure the website loading time is very fast.
- Keep it clean and simple so the visitors find it very attractive.
- Devote efforts on UI/UX and make it visually interesting.
- Make sure it’s easy for your website visitors to contact or buy the product.
7. Legal formalities
Complete all the legal formalities and documentation as early as possible. There are a few important formalities that need to be done in the early stage of the start-up that might include:
- Decide the business structure of the start-up (Proprietorship, partnership, LLP, Private limited company, etc.).
- Register your business as per the governing laws of the country.
- Get the GST (as in India) or the prevailing Tax ID as applicable prevailing in the country. You can apply online for GST.
- Permits (If it’s required for a particular kind of business).
- License (like FSSAI or any other as required for a business operation)
- A necessary bank’s current account needs to be opened.
- Go for IPR like the trademark, copyright, patent, etc. This will keep you safe and your goodwill of name is the only thing which can take you a long way.
- Register for start-up India, MSME registrations, Udyog Aadhar as applicable.
There are many registrations and procedures you can do on your own if you make some research and can save some money. Otherwise, you can hire a lawyer or consultant for the services you need. But remember these formalities should not be held and must be performed without any delay.
8. Prepare an impressive Business Plan
You must give due deliberation in preparing an impressive business plan, which is a written document or description of how your business will evolve from scratch to finish.
A proper business plan must contain the below aspects:
- Title page. Here you need to give the name of your business.
- Executive summary. This is a very insightful summary of what the business plan includes usually covers the company description, the problem the business is solving, the solution you are offering, etc.
- Business description. Here you will mention the kind of business do you want to start? What does your industry look like? What are the future plans and possibilities and what level you would take it to?
- Marketing strategies. Based on the market research and analysis you must find out what is your target market? How you can sell your product or services to them?
- Competitive analysis. This you need to study well that what are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors? What you are providing better to beat them? Your competitive advantage over your competitors plays a very important role in determining the start-up potential.
- Designing and development of product or service. Describe well about your product or service and how will it develop? What will be the budget for that product or service?
- Operations and management plan.If you have described the product than the next thing is to describe the operational and management plan.
- Capital and revenue. This section needs detailing about the most important factor i.e. where is the money or capital coming from? What are the revenue propositions etc..?
- Details about the founder members & team. This is a brief introduction of all the founder directors and key members of the start-up. This gives an idea to the investors, banks, etc. about the success possibility of the start-up.
- Exit Strategy. This needs a description of what will be the exit strategies if the investor wants to exit and the related details.
9. Finance your Start-up business
To arrange finance is very important for the success of a start-up. As there are different ways to get finance. Out of the many ways few important ones are as follows:
- Bootstrap: Bootstrapping is to fund your start-up yourself. Although it’s quite difficult in many cases to survive as bootstrapping. But the good part is that you have all the control of the business and have no interference with an external party.
- Seed funding: Seed funding means to arrange funds from family and friends. It is usually adopted in the early stage of a start-up.
- Start an online crowdfunding campaign: Sometimes a bunch of small investments makes a big amount. There are many online cloud funding platforms available on net which can be used to raise some money.
- Connect with local angel investor groups: There are various online platforms through which you can connect with potential investors who can help you with funding if they really trust your idea and strategy.
- Approach Venture capitalists: When your start-up has good customer traction you can approach VC’s. VCs typically look for big opportunities and you can get good funding if you are able to impress and convince them.
- Seek a bank loan or line of credit: Government of India has launched several schemes like Stand-up India, Start-up India, and Mudra Loans, etc. to facilitate the start-ups and encourage self-employment. You can reach to your bank for more information.
To know more in detail read: Explore the best possible options to raise funds for start-up business.
10. Develop your product or service
This is the most important aspect that needs to be focussed upon. The development of a product or service is actually seeing your idea being converted into reality. You need to take help from various specialists to get the best product or service. Here you need to give due importance to the product’s quality, user experience, and service support, etc. If you are developing it yourself which is usually not possible then it is fine. But if you are hiring or outsourcing the work, you must keep a strict check on the cost and quality of the product or service. You must understand the whole process so that you will be able to reduce any extra cost and time being consumed.
11. Start building your team
It’s time to scale your business and for the same, you are going to need a team. You need to have a good and efficient team so that you can focus on key areas and delegate different work to suitable staff.
You must keep in mind a few tips while selecting a partner, freelancer, employees, etc.
- Clear mission and vision: Make sure everyone understands the mission and vision of the business and their role to attain the same.
- Follow proper hiring process: You must follow the proper hiring process. A detailed interview with 2-3 rounds, with proper screening, verification and documentation must be there.
- Establish a strong company culture: This means that the working culture should be like every employee is dedicated to the duties, feel connected with the company and give the best of best inputs. This can be done by few tips like involve them in decision making, allow them to express their ideas, provide them basic facilities like flexible work hours, work from home (if the job allows), competitive salary structure, etc.
12. Business Location
Here the location of business means the place of operation. It should be selected carefully. There are many factors associated while finalizing the location like the nature of business means what products or services you are going to offer, rent, utilities, and other costs, availability of raw material, any tax exemption, footfall if business demands so, the reachability of location, competition in a particular area, demographics, accessibility, and parking, etc.
13. Focus on generating sales
Now everything else is of no use unless your business has started making sales. It’s time to generate more and more sales. Always remember your first product is not your final product. So must give due importance to customer’s feedback and update the product or service accordingly.
14. Grow your business exponentially
Well, there are a number of different ways to grow your business. You must have well worked on marketing strategies. Now social media can play an important role in marketing your products or services. You can run campaigns etc.
The customer retention is very pivotal, as the product is getting better based on customers’ feedback than the old customers will readily make their new purchase and it spreads through word of mouth.
These are the main key points which will surely help the business owners or those who are planning for some start-up. However, there are several other factors that may contribute to the success of a start-up. Do many budding entrepreneurs always wonder about how to start a business from scratch? This article will definitely help them.
Although I tried to provide “A complete start-up guide to convert your idea into a great success”. Hope this will help you in making your start-up a great success. If you have any other query please comment in the section below.