Entrepreneurs are on the rise, with more people taking the risk to pursue their dream. In fact, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business’s 2020 edition report, India improved its ranking by 14 positions and bagged the 63rd spot among 190 countries. The report further estimated that by 2025, India would have more than 100,000 startups. These startups will further create employment for 3.25 people and $500 billion in value.
If you too are looking to be a great entrepreneur, there are multiple checklists and blogs you can read that stress upon the skills you need to develop. There are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur. You don’t necessarily need a college degree, a bunch of money in the bank or even business experience to start something that could become the next major success. However, you do need a strong plan and the drive to see it through.
Now that you’re in this article, you probably are looking to start your venture and have the drive, but you may not know how to start building your empire. That’s where we come in. In this article, we’ve covered the technical aspects you need to follow to ensure you build a successful business.
A) The Planning Stage:
Proceed Only When You’re Sure – This is the most critical stage; however, it is arguably the most overlooked part of starting a business by most entrepreneurs. The reason this stage is so important is that it is here that the roots of your business grow. Unless the roots are healthy, your business cannot grow and withstand harsh conditions. Here a couple of questions you need to find answers to during this stage:
What Are You Going To Sell?
This one is pretty obvious, but you need to chalk out every single detail of what you want to sell. First, determine what problem you are solving, then analyze if your solution is the best. You also need to consider the specifics of the service or product, for example, can you scale the service for multiple people, or where will you source the materials required to make your product. All of these factors need to be considered in the early stages to ensure you’re heading in the right direction.
Is There A Market For This?
You may have the best of products with the strongest of business plans. However, none of that matters if no one needs your product or service. So, you need to conduct a thorough market potential research to get a proper understanding of whether there is a need for your product or service, and if there is, how urgent is it. You also need to consider your competitors and how well they are succeeding in the market.
What Do Potential Customers Think?
To build a successful business, you need to eliminate guesswork. So, instead of guessing what the customer will think about your product or service, why not just ask them directly? You can survey the people that match your target audience and ask them questions like if they would use your product/service, what price point will they be willing to pay for your product/service, what improvements would they recommend, etc. This will give you a clear picture of how your product or service will perform on the market, and you can make changes, if any, accordingly.
What Does An Expert Think?
Businesses are unique, with each company completing its journey. That being said, some common challenges are faced by multiple companies, especially if they are from the same industry. So, it’s always recommended to talk to an expert or someone who has worked in the industry before. They will be able to give you insights on the reality of the market and what challenges you need to be prepared for. This is extremely helpful, especially considering as a new business you’re already heading into an unpredictable region. By getting details from an experienced entrepreneur, you will be able to be more prepared.
What Do Finances look Like?
Financial management is one of the most important considerations for any business. After all, without the finances, the business will shut down without even opening its shutters. Hence, you need to go over your finances and create a 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year plan. For the initial years, you might need an investment; hence, you need to consider where that investment will come from. In the five and 10-year plan, you need to ensure that your company is making enough profits to sustain itself eventually. You also need to consider the various costs, including sourcing materials, hiring and managing resources, maintaining a workplace and its infrastructure, like the internet, etc.
Also Read – How To Find Your Billion-Dollar Business Idea
B) The Execution Stage:
It’s Time For Some Action – Now that you have done all the planning required, it’s time to get into action. There are multiple steps you need to follow to get your business moving forward. Set-Up Your Company -Before you can start providing your services or products to consumers, there are specific steps you need to complete:
Register your company
Depending on what type of company you wish to run, you need to register accordingly. Typically, there are five types of companies:
● One Person Company (OPC)
● Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
● Private Limited Company (Pvt. Ltd.)
● Sole Proprietorship
Get The Required Licenses
After you have registered your company, you need to get all the relevant licenses that enable you to sell your product or service legally. While the licenses differ based on the type of business and industry, here are a few standard licenses that almost every business needs:
● Goods & Services Tax (GST)
● Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
● The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
Setting Up The Workplace
Now that you have the registrations and licenses in place, it’s time to set-up your office. Depending on what you’re selling the set-up of your workplace can differ. However, here are some of the common options you can choose from:
● Buy the workplace
● Rent the workplace
● Opt for a co-working space
● Remote working
Each option is unique, and some of them are only applicable to certain industries. Choose the one that’s best for you!
Spread The Word
Once you’re ready to start serving customers, you need to spread the word about your brand. Only then will you be able to attract customers. Marketing in today’s times is essentially divided into two parts:
● Digital Marketing
Everything is happening online, right from networking, to shopping. So, you need to be present where your consumer is, i.e. online! Hence, setting a digital presence is key. Here are some pointers you need to follow to establish a digital presence:
1. Build a search-engine-optimized website
2. Create social media pages
3. Run ad campaigns
● Traditional Marketing
While digital marketing is highly prevalent, you can’t ignore the benefits that come from conventional marketing either. Here are some ways you can effectively spread awareness of your brand through traditional, or offline marketing:
1. Billboards and hoardings
2. Newspaper advertisements
3. Host or attend events relevant to your industry
Starting a business is no child’s play. However, if planned and executed well in the initial stages, every business has the opportunity to become an astounding success. After all, as the saying goes, “people don’t buy goods and services, they buy relations, story, and magic!”
C) The Maintaining Stage:
Your business is up and running. Great! You have a steady base of customers. Amazing! But, what next? Don’t forget, 90% of startups fail within the first year of inception. How are you going to ensure you’re part of the 10% who has a flourishing business? Follow the steps mentioned below to ensure your company doesn’t become stagnant and keeps growing to new heights of success.
Improve Customer Service
Even if you have a superior product or service, it would be hard to please your clients if you don’t have quality customer service. This part of the organization is about taking the extra step of making them feel unique.
Let your clients know they are respected. Make sure you fix them right away if they have issues. Take the time to answer them if they have questions. If they pose those problems, they should not feel like things are hard for them. A perfect way to understand your clients by listening to them is via social media. If they find customer service acceptable, they will also inspire others to purchase from your company as well.
Establish A Loyal Customer-Base
In order to convince clients to come and buy what you have to sell, it takes time. But just having them to buy is not enough. You have to foster loyalty. You want them to stay loyal to you, given that there are other rivals who might give them better. Don’t feel complacent just because there are a lot of loyal clients you already have. They can be drawn to other choices quickly and they could leave you.
Provide incentives for loyalty. Let these most faithful clients be the first to know whether there are deals and promotions. You need to make sure that your clients know that they are respected.
Attending Networking Events
If the opportunity to participate in networking events is offered, take it. This is the chance for the networks to be expanded. This is incredibly important-but many entrepreneurs ignore everything. You have to establish relationships with other individuals.
Networking is an excellent way to communicate with individuals who can help you develop your business. You’ll be able to find jobs, more clients, and even investors.
Fulfill Your Corporate Social Responsibility
Your organisation needs to have something that it is passionate about. This helps to boost your company’s profile. You would be patronised by people if they realise that the money they invest goes to the right causes.
It is important that you make sure that your company works for more than just making money. People nowadays tend to feel personally linked to the businesses they are doing business with. This is why developing a unique brand viewpoint for your business is important. Is there a cause which you would like to support? Is there something that you want to improve in the world? Let that be one of the missions of your business.
Find Out What Works & Build On That
Ultimately, you’ll understand which of the techniques you’ve used have performed well. Take notice and use these techniques again. To help the organisation move forward, all tactics that failed must be removed. The objective is to stay relevant. Refine the plan and concentrate more on those techniques and strategies that have performed well in the past.
Starting a business is no child’s play. However, if planned, executed and maintained well in the initial stages, every business has the opportunity to become an astounding success. After all, as the saying goes, “people don’t buy goods and services, they buy relations, story and magic!”1