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Small Businesses: A Road Map to Start a New Business

Alyssa Williams is a finance expert and a freelance writer from Los Angeles, California.

What You Don't See

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The driving force of any dream is a success. You see the overnight success of businesses and organizations, and you want to achieve it too. The pride and pleasure of success, the luxury that comes with it, fame and recognition are appealing, and I am sure you want to experience it in your life. But what most people don't see is the planning, building, and hard work before coming to the limelight.

You need to assess your business idea, give it shape and direction, add the right ingredients, and do a test run before serving the final product to the customer.

What to expect?

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Expect the unexpected. Having a clear picture of what you need is required, and it is not done until you achieve your goal. But never expect the journey towards it to be a straight line. To excel in the business world, prepare to face changes in situations, learn to improvise, and make the right decision that works best for your business.

Do not compare

Don't compare anyone's success with yours. Your business journey is different, focus and channel your energy towards achieving your goal. Different business plans need different treatment.

Consistency, Resilience, and Persistence

New entrepreneurs tend to get frustrated when their motivation dries up or when they initially don't see expected results. You need to develop new habits and follow routines to keep you going. A breakdown in the journey is not the end; it is a learning curve and stepping stone towards success. Pushing through the difficult times and breaking the limits to reach your destination is the quality you require to achieve milestones.

Study the Market

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Thorough market research on your field and your potential customer base demographics will help you understand your customers. Conduct questionnaires, surveys, and discussions to know customers' preferences, needs, behavior, and expectations. Discover the platforms your target customers use to socialize, and this will tell you where to pitch your product.

Know your competitors and see what they offer. Try to provide the customers something that the competitors don't. Explore the possibilities of making the product more affordable and delivering it quickly for the customers.

Do a SWOT (Strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, and this will help you understand how the product will perform in the market and help you plan your business accordingly.

Write Everything Down

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Don't let anyone rush you. Write down your business plan. Assess the business plans multiple times from different perspectives to avoid missing out on anything. It would be best to have a clear idea about your product, the customer base you want to target, start-up cost, infrastructure to function, employees to execute business operations, and monthly, quarterly, half-yearly goals.

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Know Your Why

As the author 'Simon Sinek' says in his book "Know your Why." Ask yourself questions like why do I want to start the business? Why would customers buy my product? Why should my brand's logo look in a certain way? Why should my business name be so and so?

Find Your Funds

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You need to have a precise estimate of the funds required for the start-up or overestimate in case of any additional expenses. Assess how much money you can invest and how much external funding is needed. Get the contact details and addresses of the banks that provide loans for business. Learn about the government schemes for supporting start-ups; explore other funding sources like crowdfunding, investors, and venture capital.

Calculate the time you need to start getting returns from your business and the percentage of the return you can pay towards your loan.

Decide Your Business Structure

Determine the business structure by analyzing how it affects filing taxes and what is at stake if something goes wrong.

You own the business entirely in a sole proprietorship, but the risk is also solely on you.

In a partnership, two or more people are liable as business owners. Investment and risk are shared between the partners.

The corporation business structure separates business liability and personal liability and threats business as a separate entity from its owners.

LLC (limited liability company) is preferred for small businesses because this structure has the legal protections of a corporate structure and tax benefits of a partnership.

Decide what works for your business to achieve the goal.

Registration and Paperwork

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Almost there! Contact the local government office to know the registration process and paperwork required to kick start your business. Make a checklist, go through the documents, and make sure everything is available for registration.

Marketing Strategy

Final touch! Explore different options of marketing. Even though traditional marketing strategies still impact promoting brands, online marketing also provides you with reliable and cost-efficient methods.

Make a good understanding of your customer base and an excellent strategy to target your customers.

Closing Note

Harry Styles mentioned in his famous quote, "A dream is only a dream until you decide to make it real." In the end, it's you who need to take action and take that extra leap to make your dream come true.

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