Starting one’s own business and being known as an entrepreneur has its perks. It’s a rewarding experience indeed. With almost everyone interested in the entrepreneurial landscape and the number of businesses opened each ear rising at an astronomical rate, it’s only natural that everyone wants a piece of the pie. However, not many people know how to get started.
Starting a business is not as simple as it may seem. There are several pre-requisite conditions to fulfill, and you cannot do everything on a whim. Sure, compared to the past, 2024 is a far more favorable time to start up a new business venture. But this does not mean you can or should start a business hastily.
According to a 2018 Small Business Administration (SBA) report, 20% of businesses fail in the first year. Around 50% fail in the first five years, which is even more terrifying. These statistics are no joke. Entrepreneurship takes a lot of planning and thinking before investing significant amounts of time and capital into it.
This blog post aims to answer questions about how to start your own business in 2024. Here’s a detailed, step-by-step general framework that entrepreneurs can use to plan their first steps into the business world.
Table of Contents
How to Start Your Own Business in 10 Steps
1. Ideation and Market Research (Weeks 1-2)
Research, research, research! The first step lies in brainstorming business ideas. Take out a notepad and think about things you are interested in. Note down subjects/fields that you might be an expert in. Now is the time to think out of the box. Research any problems that you find in your society and think about whether you can do something to solve them. For example, sales meetings were usually held on Zoom. There weren’t many platforms that integrated business calling with the sales tech stack and CRM. So, Kixie was born to make sales calls easier.
Hence, you see, the possibilities are endless. (Check out this EA publication for amazing and unique business ideas.)
What is a problem/pain that people would pay to be solved?
This question resides at the heart of every startup business idea. People will only pay for things that solve some issue or benefit them. That is why once you have an idea, you must:
-Research the market.
-Find out who else has had the same idea as you and how they address it.
Take your time. Creativity and market research can take 1-2 weeks (or more).
2. Make a Business Plan (Weeks 3-4)
Once you have a business idea hammered out and ready, it’s time to start planning. Plan out all the nitty gritty details that you will need to get things off the ground. Next, start crunching numbers and figuring out details such as your business goals, your business map for the first year, and so on. This is a very arduous and draining process, so we advise you to get additional help. Whether it be friends, family, or, better yet, professional advice, don’t say no to it.
You will be expected to know the very basics of your venture when starting execution. Understand the following:
-What are you selling,
-How do you plan to sell it,
-How much will you earn, etc. (Basic competitive market analysis and a financial game plan.)
3. Financial Planning and Funding (Weeks 5-6):
Develop a realistic budget that covers your startup costs and initial operational expenses. Explore funding options like personal savings, loans, investors, or crowdfunding. Be transparent about your financial needs in your business plan to attract potential investors. Carefully manage your finances to ensure sustainability during the initial stages.
The financial plan is most important, and we advise getting a professional accountant on board temporarily to consult with. Expertise Accelerated’s accounting and bookkeeping services are a fantastic resource, available at a fraction of the US cost and giving you access to some of the best accounting talent.
4. Business Structure and Registration (Weeks 7-8)
This is where things get a bit too complex for a step-by-step guide on how to start your own business in 2024. Things are very context-dependent, and you will have to do your leg work. The first thing to do is to decide whether your startup business will be structured as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Or any other legal structure accepted in your locality.
Once you have decided on a business structure, it’s time to name your business and start the registration process. Naming is especially important, as brand recognition is king in marketing. Plus, you will have to secure the trademark for your business name to use it in commerce. With a name decided, it’s time to contact your lawyer and begin registration for a business. You could technically do this step by yourself, but if you want to be extra careful, it never hurts to have your lawyer consult so that you do not mess up the registration process. Get all required licenses and permits and ensure everything is straightened out before you trek on.
5. Start Marketing (Weeks 9-10)
Once your business is registered and your brand is good to go, it’s time to start marketing. You can start marketing before you have your product manufacturing and other details properly hammered out. Have a prototype product ready and start conducting field research. Give out free samples if you’re selling something edible. Or send it to an online reviewer to review for free. Get the word out that you are coming into the market, and you mean business.
Online marketing is everything. Start up a social media account, and tease your product. Secure the domain name for your brand as well, and commission a web developer to start building you a website. Or, you can even use platforms such as Amazon as your storefront if applicable.
The bottom line is that until you tell people you exist, they will not know you do.
You have to make an online presence and generate hype so that you have an audience in the first place as your debut customers. These debut customers are what will get you your future business, provided your product lives up to their expectations.
6. Start Recruiting (Weeks 11-12):
If your business is operable alone, then more power to you. But given how complex business can get, we strongly advise building a core team, even if it is just 2-3 people. Recruit individuals who align with your business vision and bring diverse skills. A strong team is crucial for the success of any venture.
We understand that this may be harder than it looks. But in fact, people are clamoring for work. The freelance and remote landscape has some of the most talented people looking for opportunities. Keep an open mind, and remember that even with a small budget, you can find very talented people. Contacting staff augmentation and outsourcing services is also a great idea since they can be a safe avenue to vet and hire affordable staff.
7. Establish Partnerships and Collaborations (Ongoing):
Forge strategic partnerships with other businesses or influencers in your industry. Collaborations can open new doors, expand your reach, and provide opportunities for mutual growth. Whether it’s a co-marketing campaign, joint venture, or supplier partnership, strategic collaborations can strengthen your position in the market.
8. Prioritize Customer Experience (Ongoing):
In an era where customer experience is paramount, prioritize building strong customer relationships. Provide excellent customer service, gather feedback, and continuously improve your products or services based on customer insights. Happy customers become loyal patrons and serve as brand advocates, helping attract new business.
9. Monitor and Adapt (Ongoing):
The business landscape is dynamic, and adaptability is key to survival. Regularly monitor market trends, customer feedback, and your financial performance. Be open to making necessary adjustments to your business strategy, whether modifying your product offerings, updating your marketing approach, or pivoting in response to market shifts.
10. Scale Responsibly (Ongoing):
It is a wise thing to stay humble in business. Letting success go to your head and recklessly scaling has ended many startup businesses. Don’t let yours be the same. As your business grows, resist the urge to expand too quickly without careful consideration.
Scale your operations in alignment with your resources and market demand. Focus on maintaining the quality of your products or services and ensure that your infrastructure can support growth without compromising customer satisfaction.
The road to entrepreneurship is hard, but with effort and dedication, it can be worth it. So, strap in and hold on tight. Things might get crazy, but stay committed. There is never an end to knowledge, so keep reading, learning, and applying what you learn, and your business will surely take off.