There is no dearth of revolutionary ideas in India. Many harbour the dream to start their own business — but not everyone has the entrepreneurial spirit and drive to make it happen. Starting and running your own business isn’t easy because of the inherent risks involved, but it can be a supremely rewarding experience to see something grow that you built from scratch. So if you’re holding on to a business idea that you think has the potential to go big, or you’ve always wanted to start something of your own, here’s a 10 step guide to making that happen!
1. Evaluate yourself and your idea
It’s important that you understand the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. Talk to people who have gone through the process, understand the risks and pitfalls, and introspect whether you are prepared to undertake the entrepreneurial journey.
Next — if you already have your business idea, realistically chart out its potential to succeed. You need to put your idea through a validation process, for which the next step is important.
2. Research your market and analyze your industry
Before you can get your business idea off the ground, you need to lay the groundwork. For this, both primary and secondary research is crucial. Through surveys, focus groups and other research methods, you should understand your market, your target audience, whether there’s demand for your product/service, what price people would be willing to pay for it, if you’re plugging a gap or solving a problem on a large scale, and what your competition is, amongst other things.
3. Write a business plan
A must-have document for all new businesses, this should answer the most critical questions about your business. It should delineate your business model clearly, right from details about your product/service and targeted customer segment to sources of revenue and strategies for growth and scaling.
4. Map out your finances
Whether you’re looking at a self-financed model, VC funding, or taking out a business loan, make sure you prepare an elaborate budget for every anticipated cost. This includes your initial investment for things like market research, equipment, licenses, permits, buying/renting property and the like, as well as working capital for operational costs like rent, salaries and advertising. You will need to arrange funding to run your business till it begins to turn a profit.
5. Finalize a business structure
This is a critical step, because the kind of business structure you choose will determine several important things like your tax liabilities and implications. Depending on your plans, your business can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, or a limited liability company, amongst others. You should do your homework thoroughly, delve into the details of each of these, and if possible enlist an expert to help you.
6. Pick a name and register your business
It’s time to pick a name for your business (if you already didn’t have one in mind) and formally register it as a legal entity. The formalities for registering a business can now be done online.
7. Get all your paperwork in order
It doesn’t stop at registering your business — you need to figure out which licenses and permits you require to legally operate your business, and set the ball rolling to acquire those. You also need to register for GST, and obtain your Director Identification Number (DIN), Permanent Account Number (PAN), and Tax Account Number (TAN) amongst other things.
8. Find your space
If you’re opening a restaurant or a retail store, then your location is paramount, and can determine the future of your business. Take some time to figure out the most optimal locations for your business, taking into account visibility, accessibility and price. If you need office space to work out of, decide whether you want to rent or buy property and how big you want this space to be, or if co-working spaces are the way to go for you.
9. Build your team
Hiring the right people is critical for the success of your business — make sure there is a strong and distinct company culture from the beginning and your team understands and believes in your vision. Along with employees, you’ll also need trusted and experienced advisors, as well as technical expertise such as a lawyer and an accountant.
10. Spread the word!
Finally, invest in building a compelling story for your brand through strategic marketing and advertising — this is the key to growing your business. This could be building your own website, leveraging social media, or launching on-ground campaigns.
And if you’re still stuck on step 4 and need to procure financing to launch your business, the Bajaj Finserv Business Loan can help. On Finserv MARKETS, you can avail a Bajaj Finserv Business Loan that is customized to meet the special needs of your business. Avail collateral-free business loans for up to Rs 30 lakh with minimal documentation and fast approval. No excuses anymore — if starting your own business is something you’ve always been passionate about, it’s time to get going!
Read more on benefits of business loan at Finserv MARKETS
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