How to start your business: first steps and common mistakes

To begin with, it is important to accept and realize that entrepreneurship is not for everyone and it is not always the path to success. Statistics show that only 6% out of 100% become successful businessmen.

According to the observations of KROC Business School teachers, most often these are leaders with the following set of qualities:

  • courage and willingness to take risks;
  • passion for one’s work;
  • strategic thinking and the ability to visualize one’s idea both globally and in detail;
  • the ability to hold a blow in the market where there are competitors, clients, and government bodies;
  • the ability to assemble an effective team of specialists, where everyone will be in their place.

You can also understand whether entrepreneurship is right for you with the help of a career guidance test. He will determine your strengths and weaknesses, the presence or absence of certain skills, and will give you an understanding of which area is closer to your development.

Search and formation of a business idea

Some entrepreneurs distinguish two ways of finding a business idea: following your heart or resorting to analytics. In the first case, you need to base your business on the kind of activity you like to do, in the second case, what is in demand in the market.

Trying a slightly different approach. To begin with, analyze what kind of expertise you currently possess (it is important that it is supported by specific achievements, cases, and that you liked the activity itself). For example, you are good at selling, cooking, writing advertising texts or teaching others.

Next, it is necessary to generally assess the demand for your expertise, understand the market situation. And for this, answer the question:

  1. Do people (or companies) have some needs that they really want to meet, but no one has given them the opportunity to do so?
  2. Can you do something better, faster, cheaper, brighter than everyone else who is already doing it?
  3. Why would potential buyers want to pay you for this work or service?

The final stage of business idea formation is its validation, or critical evaluation. You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Will the future business solve any problem of the audience? What kind of?
  2. Isn’t the market oversaturated with similar businesses?
  3. Do you have an understanding of how to make a wow product that will become the best in the market?
  4. Does the business idea inspire everyone in the team and does everyone have an understanding of why it should be implemented?
  5. Does your business idea break the law? Does not pose a danger to others? Is it possible to implement it in our country?

If most of the answers are positive, then it is worth trying. If they are negative, then the idea needs to be refined, rethought or shifted to other segments of the target audience or market.

A few tips for competently forming a business idea:

  1. Don’t copy someone 100%. But taking an idea, refining it (eliminating the flaws that were discovered), bringing something of your own into it is a good option.
  2. Study other people’s experience.

Business on the Internet

Business on the Internet refers to the sale of goods or the provision of services in an online format, remotely. It can be selling things through Instagram or an online store, creating a team of freelance specialists, or an educational project. Among the advantages: the opportunity to work in international markets, because the Internet has no borders.

It is not necessary to try to find a new niche. It is better to focus on finding new ways of producing or selling something, an unusual business concept. It is also possible to improve processes with which potential competitors have problems (for example, speed something up, increase the level of customer orientation, make a convenient, not just a beautiful site).

What ideas for business on the Internet may be in demand in 2021:

  • content creation, copywriting;
  • Folsom SEO promotion of sites
  • web development;
  • design

Business at home

Most often, business at home means the production of small batches of physical goods (sewing children’s clothes, baking cakes) or the provision of services (manicure, tutoring).

On the plus side, you save on the rent of an office, warehouse or other premises and you are close to your family (this is important if you have a small child).

What home business ideas can be considered in 2023:

  • production of decorative candles, handmade soap;
  • production of busiboards (developmental stands for children);
  • cultivation and sale of plants;
  • production of cheeses, homemade desserts, semi-finished products, etc.;
  • preparation for external examinations, learning a foreign language;
  • body care procedures (massage, manicure, haircut, eyelash extensions, etc.).

Offline business

Despite the fact that many businesses are moving online, this option is not available to everyone. For example, production shops or dental services cannot be transferred to a remote work format. Therefore, offline business is also worth considering.

What areas are likely to be relevant in 2023:

  • production of healthy food (for example, raw desserts);
  • a cafe with an unusual concept (but immediately consider the possibilities of food delivery);
  • development clubs for children and kindergartens;
  • creative studios (sculpting from clay, drawing, dancing);
  • holding photo sessions.

Types of business with minimal investment

Today, there are many business ideas that do not require a large initial capital to start. But it will not be possible to start without investments at all, because this requires not only money, but also time, energy, strength, motivation and other intangible resources.

If you still feel strong and ready, then you can start according to one of two schemes:

Dropshipping. You may have to invest a little money in advertising and spend time designing an online or Instagram store. But it is not necessary to purchase the product itself, to organize logistics – this is the task of the supplier. Later, having a customer base and the required level of sales, you can leave dropshipping and purchase goods or even create your own production.

Sale of services and transition to delegation. This is often how experts start their business — first they work with clients themselves, pump up their personal brand, and increase the quality and cost of services. And then either they immediately recruit a team and start delegating part of the tasks to it, or they create training programs and after that they select students for the team and give them orders. This is how design, copywriting, content, and production studios appear.

Formation of a business plan

A business plan is a tool that allows you to test an idea and evaluate whether it is profitable or not, how long it will take to pay off the investment (and whether it will pay off at all), how many resources are needed for the start and will be needed during the year, whether it will be able to be scaled in the future or not.

Why is it necessary to develop a business plan? To minimize risks and not invest money in a project that does not pay off even at the planning stage.

A typical structure of a business plan looks like this:

  1. Summary of the project (brief description of the business idea: what is the essence, what are the features, level of profitability, necessary resources and investments).
  2. Market analysis (describe the problem you want to solve).
  3. Marketing plan.
  4. Production plan.
  5. Organizational plan (what staff is needed, production facilities).
  6. Financial plan.
  7. Risk analysis and assessment.

What to do after starting – effective business management

Suppose you already have a ready-made business plan and you have the finances for its implementation. Then proceed in this order:

  1. Work on the implementation of the idea in accordance with the business plan – you didn’t just make it up like that.
  2. Keep track of progress. And be sure to make changes, adjustments, if any conditions in the external environment change.
  3. Enter the command (if it is not already there). Because it is faster and more efficient.
  4. Follow the budget. If timing errors are simple, then financial miscalculations are not. Be prepared to spend 20-30% more than planned and to often find ways to cut costs.
  5. Build a business model. To do this, spend a lot of time analyzing your actions, looking for weak points in business processes and solutions to reduce their number. After all, a successful business is where there is a structure and established actions.

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