Many people cannot start a successful business because they do not understand business and how it operates.
Some individuals who are in employment tend to believe that business belongs to those risk takers who failed to secure good jobs mainly because they lack good academic qualifications.
In my view, most people cannot venture into business because they lack knowledge about business and how to venture into it. I have come to learn and believe that you can venture into business provided you have the love for it.
There, however, are many things you have to consider in starting a business which I covered in my earlier article. It is also important to note that people venture into businesses with one aim to make money.
Therefore, business is about making money through buying and selling of goods and services. I have summarized the following 10 steps to starting a business to assist those who wish to venture into business.
1. Dream of a business idea
The successful businesses you see today were as a result of big business ideas which were dreamt by the sponsors. Therefore, all businesses start with dreaming of business ideas by someone. The business ideas are then arranged in the order of importance depending on the blessings possessed by the sponsors and the degree of prioritization they have for each idea. This is important as you cannot succeed in any idea which you are not blessed in and which you do not like. There other things which you need to consider when evaluating the idea which was covered in an earlier article.
2. Feasibility study and business plan
Before you move very far with the business idea, you have to develop a business plan preferably written to help you establish the viability of the business idea. People venture into business to make money, and you have therefore to create the potential of an idea in making money before you implement the idea. You need some information on the following among other things to enable you to make the right decision;
- State of the market regarding customers and competition.
- Sector risks analysis
- Staffing levels and management of the business
- Production process
- Capital requirements but noting the capital employed is not free
- Legal framework
It is advisable to hire a professional firm to help you in confirming the viability of the business idea if you can afford it. Lack of professionally prepared business plan should not discourage you from your mission. You can still venture into a business provided you have an idea in your head with a few unknowns provided you have the determination to overcome challenges as you encounter them.
3. Business Ownership structure
It is also advisable to consider at an early stage the ownership structure of the firm. The possible structures you can use to own a business include the following;
- Sole proprietorship where the owner and business are not separate in law
- A partnership where more than one person owns the business under partnership law but still the owner and the business are not separate.
- Limited liability Company where the business has separate legal capacity from the owners.
It is advisable to register a business company if you can as it offers more advantages in the market than sole proprietorship and partnership.
4. Capital structure
The starting capital of the business can be raised by the owners contributing money from the private saving or through debt capital from the owners and outsiders. It is important always to remember that capital is not free, and, therefore, the cost of capital must be taken into account in determining the capital structure. The business has to afford the cost of capital. Capital from owners is always preferred as it has flexible terms regarding return and repayment
5. Management of the business
Management of the business is often overlooked on the assumption that there are so many people looking for jobs on the market who can be engaged to manage the business. I have come to learn that a good number of employees do not want or fear to be in the front line when growing the business. They prefer to support according to your operations guidelines. The business innovation and creativity capacity is not evenly spread among staff. You cannot delegate your innovative and creative ability when the business has not fully taken off. Employees of the organisation can only support the owners in achieving their mission per the governance structure in place. You have therefore to design and implement proper governance structure to ensure your business is properly managed.
6. Registration of business
You also have to register your business with the regulatory authorities to avoid breaking the laws of the country. You also need a license to carry on your business. You have also to register with tax authorities for the purpose of paying the various taxes. There are taxes based on the payroll, value addition and profits made by the business.
7. Designing and printing of various documentation
There are number documents which have to be in place as they facilitate you in running the business. The documents are many but the key documents include the following;
- Payment vouchers to support the money transaction
- Operational manuals and guidelines
- Ledger books or information technology based accounting systems to keep performance information.
- Advertising materials
- Visiting cards
8. Building an effective staff and management team
There are so many activities involved in managing a business which you cannot carry out single handed. You will need support from staff. You have therefore to engage an efficient staff, and management team to assist in running the business. When you are starting a business some support team will come from family members but make sure your relationship with family members is at arm’s length. It is important you take the recruitment staff seriously so that they positively impact the success of the business.
You must establish your brand or name as it matters a lot in your success journey. Branding involves creating a unique name, mark, image of products and services of the business in the mind of the current and potential customers. Your brand strategy will enable you to differentiate yourself from the competition. The brand which is enhanced through advertising has the main purpose of attracting and retaining customers both internal and external.
10. Developing a website
It is increasing becoming expensive to reach the current and potential customers through staff. The staff may not always be committed to attracting and retaining staff.
Also, you may not afford the cost of a winning team when you are at a level of starting your own business.
It is also important to note that there are millions and millions of potential customers willing to buy anything online that can only be reached through the internet. Information is very fast to distribute through the social media. You therefore need a website to enable access customers, potential employees, business partners and investors in the fastest way.
With the above easy steps to follow, the ball for starting the business is squarely in your court. It is not difficult to venture into business. You only need to choose an idea you like most which is aligned to your area of blessing.