Starting your own business sounds easy in theory, but the reality of starting and running a business can be quite daunting if you’ve never done it before. This Startup Secrets guide will help you learn everything from finding an idea that will sell to learning about business funding options and then learning how to get customers and keep them happy with your product or service. Whether you want to start a business to supplement your income or you want to make it your full-time career, this guide will help you navigate the process every step of the way.
1.Come up with ideas
Ideas are a dime a dozen, but putting your idea into action is what will separate you from everyone else. So start by coming up with ideas for your business that are centered around something you’re passionate about. Then think about whether or not those ideas could be expanded and made more successful if you started your own company to bring them to fruition. And finally, assess your skills against each idea—do you have what it takes? Can you do it?
2.Brainstorm potential business models
Once you’ve settled on a viable idea, it’s time to figure out how you can make money off of it. This can be a very difficult step for some entrepreneurs, but if you brainstorm long enough, different models will start to emerge. One of my favorite tools for brainstorming business models is Trello; I like its flexibility and its ability to connect dots between seemingly unrelated ideas.
3.Research the market for your idea
Researching your target market will help you understand how big your potential customer base is, what their interests are, and what problem you’re solving for them. This research can be done by doing interviews with people who fit into your target market, or by reading studies or watching documentaries on similar topics. You might also want to look at other successful startups in your field for inspiration on what trends are working now. Find more tips on researching a business idea here .
4.Register your company
Registering your business can be a very simple process, or it can take some time depending on how you want to structure your startup. The two primary types of incorporation are S-corp and C-corp.
5.Determine how you will make money
It is important that you understand how your business will make money. Make sure that you are providing a product or service that other people are willing to pay for. If it is difficult for your business to make money, it might not be sustainable.
6.Figure out what you need from investors
Once you have a good sense of your business model, figure out exactly what it is you need from investors in order to launch your business. Are you looking for $250,000? If so, do you need that all at once or could you raise a smaller round and then look for more funds later? Knowing what kind of investor support will be necessary can help guide your fundraising efforts and inform which resources—like angels or VCs—you should connect with first.
7.Attract early adopters
Before you spend months building a product, it’s a good idea to get your idea in front of people as soon as possible. This is where niche communities and forums come into play. When you start your own community around a certain topic or platform (Twitter, Facebook, Quora), you’ll often find people who are eager for fresh content and willing to give honest feedback about their experience with similar products.
8.Create something people want
There’s a lot of talk about finding your passion and working tirelessly toward it. The phrase is tossed around so often that it has become cliché, but it does make sense: When you enjoy what you do, it’s easier to get started—and harder to quit. So, if you can figure out a way to combine your talent with something people need or want, that’s a great place to start.
9.Pivot until it works
If your first idea isn’t profitable, pivot until you find one that is. In his book The Startup Owner’s Manual, Steve Blank advises entrepreneurs not to give up after a couple of missteps.
10.Grow, Scale and Profit!
When you have an idea, there’s one thing you need before you can launch your business. A small amount of startup capital can help cover expenses for a variety of crucial things, from buying inventory and paying rent on a retail space to creating a website and securing essential equipment. The key is finding and securing funding quickly without giving up too much control over your business or personal assets.