How to Start Your Own Business

How to Start Your Own Business

Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes a tremendous amount of work, patience and grit to create something from nothing and make it profitable. But when you do your research, understand the market and have a plan, putting your passion to work and becoming your own boss can be both satisfying and successful.

In a recent survey*, 500 people were asked about their plans for the future. Of those surveyed, 17% expressed a desire to own their own business. They viewed business ownership as a way to better prepare themselves in the event of future uncertainty in the marketplace. Most respondents also felt that additional education would be beneficial to help them reach that goal of business ownership success.

While there is no one-size-fits-all set of steps on how to successfully start your own small business, there are key strategies and considerations that can help you. Every entrepreneur, regardless of industry, can apply these strategies to create and run their own small business with confidence. How Can a Beginner Start a Business?

Identify a service or product. The important first step for starting any business from scratch is to identify a service or product that offers value to others. Be sure to choose a service or product that you have the skills, talent or initiative to provide, because “the business will consume a lot of your waking time and thoughts,” said Nick Stellitano ’12 , co-founder of Dillinger Research and Applied Data and an MBA program graduate of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). If you’re going to spend the bulk of your time building a business, you should choose a field you’re passionate about.

Conduct market research. Identifying your passion is not enough, however. No matter how well you know your field, market research is important. Don’t have a marketing background ? Don’t worry; marketing skills can be taught. Start by researching on your own to learn as much as possible about your target audience. “Begin with a general Google search and let that lead you to even more in-depth information,” said Ann Sanok , faculty lead of business programs at SNHU. “Be sure to explore the many thousands of articles, journals and business information websites that you can access online through your university or public library’s online research databases.”

Explore legal requirements. Consider the legalities necessary to get your business off the ground. You may need to open a business bank account, file legal papers or hire an accountant or legal consultant.

Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Evaluate your own skill set in the six primary areas of a business : production, research and development, sales, marketing, human resources and accounting/finance. “You will likely be the only person wearing all of these hats at first so be ready and willing to figure things out,” Sanok said.

Hire help. If you are able to do so, consider finding a business partner. “A CEO of a tech company once told me that it is almost impossible to start a successful business by yourself, but with two people it’s more promising,” Stellitano said. A partner may serve as another practitioner of your service or product, or they may be a talented operations manager who will handle billing, paperwork and other necessary processes. Either way, having a trusted partner by your side increases your chances of success.

Develop a business plan. “Starting a business should include the creation of a business plan,” said Meleena Eaton , associate dean of business at SNHU. A solid business plan identifies the scope of your offerings, what is needed to get the business off the ground and any financial needs you anticipate having. “You’ll also need a marketing plan,” Eaton said. The former addresses the structure of the business, cash flow and your goals. The latter outlines your plan of how to market your business to find new clients, promote your business on social media and create and produce advertising. What Are the 3 Main Ways to Start Your Own Business?

Because you may not have the luxury of putting in full-time hours to get a new business off the ground, you’ll need to be strategic in how you get started. No matter how you get started, you’ll need money to cover startup costs, like your own living expenses, paying an accountant or lawyer and buying any goods you are planning to sell. Covering these costs requires a lot of money upfront, a large tolerance for risk or very likely both.

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